You cannot contract covid-19. That’s an important fact you need to understand. You also cannot infect other people with covid-19. If that sounds confusing and doesn’t make sense this explanation will help you understand exactly what covid-19 is.
Covid-19 is the disease that results from your body being infected by the SARS-CoV2 virus, a member of the coronavirus family of viruses. It is this coronavirus that is infectious, easily spread, and that results in the disease called covid-19, which can prove fatal. We tend to refer to covid-19 now, rather than the coronavirus, which can be confusing. So to summarize this important point, the infection isn’t transmissible, you cannot “get Covid” from someone. They can infect you with the coronavirus though, and you may then go on to develop covid.
Not everyone who is infected with the coronavirus develops covid. Some people remain asymptomatic (they don’t show any symptoms of the illness or infection) when they are infected with the coronavirus. You could argue that these fortunate individuals never develop covid. This can be for a number of reasons, including strong immune systems and possessing antibodies that can combat the coronavirus. Here are a few facts about asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus.
- They can easily infect someone else. They are more than likely unaware of the fact they even carrying the coronavirus as they aren’t sick and may think they do not pose a transmission risk. This is what makes this group so dangerous and one of the main vectors for spreading the virus.
- We now think that it takes only 24 hours after they have been infected for asymptomatic carriers to be infectious and this phase can last for days while their body quietly destroys the virus. Studies in ferrets have shown cross-infection within a 24-hour window.
- The simplest way of reducing your risk from asymptomatic carriers is by maintaining your distance and wearing a mask, avoiding crowded indoor areas and social/church events.
So now you know how covid-19 is caused, the obvious solution to avoiding it, is to avoid the coronavirus. As we cannot see these tiny viral particles in the air or on surfaces, they are hard to avoid. We do have a number of tools at our disposal to minimize our risk of catching the virus. We’ll examine the most basic first and end with the covid vaccine.
1. Wash those hands! Frequently
We touch our faces with our hands, on average, 23 times every hour. Our hands are one of the main ways in which this virus, and other viruses and bacteria, make it into our systems. A simple rub of an itchy nose is enough if your hands have been in contact with a contaminated surface. The coronavirus can live on metal and plastics for up to 72 hours, that’s up to three days after the DHL guy sneezed on your front door handle.
You can reduce this risk significantly by washing your hands frequently with a product that has been proven to destroy the coronavirus. The FDA publishes a monthly list of FDA approved or notified products (and guidance here) and you can also find lists for household cleaners to disinfect surfaces in your home. Don’t overdo it on the handwashing though, as you can develop contact dermatitis and eczema from excessive exposure to chemicals.
An easy workaround to exposing your hands is using disposable latex gloves for when you know you’re in a high-risk area. If you suffer from latex allergies, look for cotton gloves that you can easily wash after wearing. A tumbledryer set at high temperature for 15 minutes will assist in destroying any remaining virus after washing the gloves. Here’s a really helpful video on how to correctly remove and dispose of gloves.
2. Masks, masks, masks
Did we mention masks? The main reason for wearing a mask is a selfish one of keeping yourself healthy by avoiding inhaling the coronavirus. Most masks cannot prevent the virus from entering your airways, but they can reduce the risk, especially N95 or N99 masks. New products are continuously being introduced to the market so shop around. There are excellent and highly effective masks for sale online, but do your homework and ensure you purchase from a reputable company.
The second reason for wearing your mask is more altruistic. It really does cut down on your ability to spread the virus via airborne transmission. In other words, even if you are well, you may have contracted the coronavirus and not be aware of it. As such, you can infect others. Wearing a mask significantly reduces your ability to spread the virus and protects members of the public you may come into contact with.
Wearing a mask may save your life and it will protect the lives of others.
3. Social Distancing
Keep that recommended distance of 1.5 meters between you and the rest of the public. If you are indoors, try and stretch that to 2 meters to be really safe. Don’t pick small crowded shops to buy your goods in, opt for quiet ones or large hypermarkets if they are available. Consider shopping online and having the goods delivered if you can afford it.
If you must meet up for coffee, do it in small groups of two or three friends and do it outdoors where a decent flow of fresh air will reduce the risks of transmission. Indoors is always problematic, despite what individual states may advise. Avoid church congregations, choir practices, and other group activities until this all passes or you’ve been vaccinated.
God is not going to send you to hell for looking out for your health and the coronavirus has not been sent to test your faith. Don’t buy into this fallacy spread by irresponsible preachers and ministers. You’re not going to cross the road with your eyes closed because God will look out for you. This is the same thing. You are aware of the danger, so act accordingly to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Finally, let’s get on to vaccines before we discuss your nutrition, which impacts your immune system, the key to you fighting off any invaders.
The covid vaccine
We have highlighted the word covid above for a good reason. The vaccines currently being deployed across the globe are not designed to stop you from catching the coronavirus. To be clear, NO VACCINE CAN PREVENT A VIRUS FROM ENTERING YOUR BODY. That isn’t how vaccines work. The vaccine stops you from developing covid, which is why it isn’t called the coronavirus vaccine.
The vaccines work by tricking your body into thinking it has been invaded by the coronavirus. Your body then produces the antibodies in response. When you encounter the real coronavirus and it enters your body, your immune system already knows what to do with it and it quickly kills off the invader by making more of the antibodies the vaccine taught it to produce.
You may still even have some of the original antibodies from the vaccine floating about in your system. We aren’t sure yet how long they stick around for. The vaccine, therefore, is designed to stop you from developing the disease, Covid-19 after you contract the coronavirus. It isn’t 100% foolproof (between 90-95% effective after your second dose of the vaccine) but those odds are 95% better than no cover at all.
As you can still be infected by the coronavirus, you can still spread it, even though you are vaccinated, so don’t put your mask away. Ensure you still wear it around other people, particularly those that are at risk from covid-19. We won’t discuss vaccine safety as you would need to be an idiot to still think the vaccine is unsafe. 6 million Americans have been vaccinated and none have died as a direct result of their vaccination.
In the current pandemic, your health and the health of your immune system matters. Stress is one of the biggest enemies of a healthy immune system and you need to take steps to reduce your stressors. Stop smoking, don’t overindulge in alcohol, and try and get a little daily exercise. Even a brief walk around your back garden is helpful.
There is very little scientific evidence that vitamins and other supplements (including Vit. C) offer much in the way of a boost for your immune system, so save your money. There is NO product currently on the market that will prevent you from developing covid. None.
Supplementing a balanced diet with a little Zinc and Vitamin D is a sensible option and you can explore adaptogenic herbs as a safe nutritional addition to your diet if you live with high levels of stress. The three main adaptogenic herbs simply assist your body to recover from stress (clinical evidence).
Eat well, get enough sleep, and laugh a lot. Maintaining a positive mindset is helpful and remember if you are currently taking medication, always consult your doctor about any vitamin or nutritional supplements you intend taking to ensure these will not interact with your medication. Manufacturers and websites will often obscure this data to ensure sales. Remember, there are no miracle cures or preventative products to stop you from developing Covid-19