A few ways you can stay healthy in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
Hospitals are severely understaffed, entire countries are on lockdown, and everything from Disneyland to March Madness has been shut down while the world gets a handle on the spread of coronavirus.
Here are three simple ways you can protect your health when you can’t rely on a flu shot to protect you (and hoarders have already snapped up all the hand sanitizer and disinfecting soap).
Fresh foods help boost your immune system, but anything that’s been sitting on an open shelf can be considerably less safe than anything that’s packaged. To cut down on risk, wash, freeze, and cook any fresh veggies you’ve purchased. This will help disinfect them from anything they may have been exposed to while on the open shelves. Also use a food safe disinfectant to clean fruits and veggies even if you won’t be consuming the peel, such as bananas, oranges, or avocados. This way, you won’t transfer viruses or bacteria from the outside of the fruit to the inside while cutting or eating it.
Though it sounds like a bit of an old wives’ tale, olive leaf extract is highly effective against respiratory illnesses. While OLE’s ability to definitively prevent illness has more anecdotal than clinical evidence, it has been scientifically proven to shorten the duration and ease the severity of respiratory illness. Our take? It can’t hurt, and even if it’s not a silver bullet against coronavirus, it certainly can help boost your immune system.
Skip the gym (if it’s even still open), and either exercise at home or take your workout to the great outdoors. Since coronavirus can spread through the air, being in a closed space with lots of other bodies is both irresponsible and dangerous—especially if you or others are breathing through your mouth, which doesn’t have the same pathogen protection as your nose.
But that doesn’t mean you need to skip your workout all together. In fact, breathing through your nose while exercising boosts your body’s production of nitric oxide, which can help protect your immune system. Some studies have found that nitric oxide–which has long been known to have antimicrobial effects–is also effective against some viruses. Though there are no studies yet testing this for COVID19, a 2002 study found that nitric oxide was effective in reducing the replication of SARS (a strain of coronavirus that shares 86% of its genome with COVID19): in this study, the introduction of nitric oxide reduced the progeny yield–the amount of viruses that reproduce in the body–by 82%. So don’t be afraid to get your daily sweat in, as long as you can breathe in some clean air while you’re at it, and don’t push yourself too hard.
Take care of yourselves!