As I write this blog the UK news and in many countries around the world is focussing upon vaccination programmes -seen as the first line of defence to defeat the virus and put an end to the pandemic. In the UK the programme is geared to treat front line workers and the vulnerable first. The vulnerable are classified as having underlying health conditions.
So, what is meant by an underlying health condition?
It’s a medical definition that applies to any person, irrespective of age, who has an illness which weakens the immune system. The vast majority of people who contract an illness will go to their GP for diagnosis and treatment if it persists and over counter medications do not relieve it. In some cases where the nature of illness attacks the immune system, such as Immune system disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, and Psoriasis, will be treated with immune suppressing drugs that include steroids in order to ward off the illness. Unfortunately such treatments are more apt to develop complications of COVID-19 compared to those who don’t use these drugs.
Generally speaking older people have weaker immune systems, but that doesn’t mean it applies to everyone over the age of 60.
A weakened immune system, which makes you vulnerable to COVID-19 can be caused by a number of factors besides certain medications treating illness as already mentioned. Lack of sleep, anxiety, low vitamin D, too few fruits and veggies, high-fat diets, too little time outdoors, lack of exercise, too much alcohol, grief, and of course, nicotine. You’ve only got to scan this list to realise current restrictions on movements, inability to work, loss of face-to-face contact, can develop discontent, destroy your sense of purpose, and cause overindulgence and inactivity.
Over time the human immune system will develop antibodies that will neutralise viral infection, as was the case in the 1918 flu epidemic. And one has to be reminded the superpowers of the 18th and 18th century globalising their influence wrought havoc amongst indigenous peoples whose immune systems had been environmentally protected before invasion. And people who have little or no interaction with allopathic medicine can have adverse effects from being introduced to it.
It is recognised the majority of people who get the virus are in the under sixties age groups.
The majority of these age groups are people who work for a living -many who now are furloughed or have lost their means to earn income. So, the difficulty we face is whilst restricting peoples movements reduces transmission of the virus -at the same time these restrictions are having unhealthy effects.
So, what can we do about it?
In my mail last week I pointed to ways in which we could strengthen our immune systems and actions we should take to minimise the risk of getting the virus. This week, I would like to add something about foods and lifestyle.
We need to shop more discerningly!
Some foods are loaded with nutrients called antioxidants -look for these; Elderberry, button mushrooms, Acai Berry, oysters, watermelon, wheat germ, low-fat yogurt, spinach, sweet potato, broccoli, garlic, chicken soup, pomegranate, ginger, and tea (choose your favourite)!
Every time a sheep baa’s he loses a bite!
The old saying also applies to us when we talk whilst eating -the damning difference is we unconsciously eat whilst we do that. Feel what you eat and drink -the emotional nature of our body system will then capitalise on the nutrient value of what we ingest. Eat and drink for its own sake -if you do so watching TV some part of the nutrient value will be wasted.
What else can you do?
And talking about TV, as most people are watching more, or playing games -tune in to programmes which benefit both mind and body. Laughter is a good medicine -helps stimulate, try for comedic films and shows. A bit of romance does you good as well! Try to avoid programmes that portray violence, health problems -and, dare I say it; news. Particularly news about the virus! Oh, and by the way whilst games stimulate grey matter they also shut you off from body awareness -not to mention being addictive.
So, the message is if you are still struggling -try, try, and try again!
The poem I’ve written for this post is:
The Reassuring Voice
Ah, winsome love what aches your heart
breaks the rhythm of mentor’s rhyme;
stuns you into silence?
Does the world debase, sully your native innocence,
trade on gentleness, draw on the giving Self?
Do you fear the well has gone dry,
your effort a hoist of cold rocks?
Brain tired of strictures, of duty
and of duty denying the Self?
Fear binds good with bad
Gives security cutting edge.
Let go, let go.
Give your mind a rest,
pulse your heart in Nature’s way.
Feel the moment,
Rebirth your innocence…
this is a better way.