Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Ways to protect yourself against the Coronavirus

With two new cases of the Coronavirus confirmed in Tallinn today, no doubt the fear of contracting the virus is in the back of everyone's mind. The total number of infected people in Estonia currently stands at 12 and health experts expect that figure to rise.

The Coronavirus emerged from China in December last year and has since spread to over 114 countries. The virus is highly contagious and has crossed borders at an alarming rate, over 116,000 people worldwide are confirmed to have the virus and 4085 people have died from it. The countries with the highest infection rates are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and France. Last weekend Germany's number of infections doubled from 670 on Friday to 1260 on Sunday night.

The Coronavirus is similar to the flu in nature and is potentially deadly for people with weak immune systems, namely the elderly (those aged over 65) and smokers. So far there have been no recorded deaths of children aged under ten.

With the fear of infection looming over our heads there have been some shocking developments during the past week. We have seen panic shopping, supermarket brawls over toilet paper and the complete lockdown of parts of Italy in order to contain the spread. Governments and health officials around the world have taken measures to combat the virus but on a personal level, what can we do? What is the best way to protect ourselves? The Estonian government has published this information sheet with some practical advice but there are a few things I would add.

We are most at risk of contracting the virus when we are in crowded areas. Commuting to work on a crammed bus or train or being confined on an aeroplane is the likely place to contract the virus. Wearing a mask and gloves is one way of protecting yourself in addition to washing your hands regularly, but there is something else you should do that is equally important - bolster your immune system. By strengthening your immune system with a high intake of vitamin C you have the best chance of fighting the virus or not contracting it at all.

My tips: Wash hands regularly and thoroughly.  Always carry a supply of tissues with you to cover a cough or sneeze. Boost your immune system with regular doses of vitamin C, the body absorbs it fairly quickly so you need to top it up every three hours. I prefer to eat blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and sometimes use powder form (ascorbic acid) too.  I also eat a chunk of fresh ginger every morning and night. Drink plenty of water and sleep at least 7-8 hours every night. Limit alcohol and refined sugars and this should keep you healthy. 

Updates about the Coronavirus can be found here: COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK