Are you worried about the new Coronavirus? I’m not yet overly concerned, but because I live in New York City, I’ll certainly be dealing with the virus’ repercussions in the coming weeks. My husband takes a subway to work in a hospital every day, so my risk is probably much more than yours is.
What follows are some tips on staying healthy right now, whether you’re worried about COVID-19 or just run-of-the-mill colds and flu.
1. Bathe your kids as soon as they get home from school.
If we aren’t planning to leave the house in the evening, I’ll pop my kids in the shower and put their clothes in the wash as soon as they get home from school, rather than waiting until after dinner.
We all know that schools are the germiest places ever, so I love to get my kids scrubbed and in clean pajamas as soon as possible once they get out of the cesspool that is the classroom. This is their favorite bubble bath.
2. Support your immune system with stuff that works.
I’m not a big supplement person, but I do believe a few key immune-boosters are worth taking, especially when we are in the midst of flu season.
Elderberry syrup has been shown to reduce the duration of colds and flus, and may even be protective against complications from Coronaviruses. Note that this study was conducted on cells in a petri dish rather than in an animal, much less a human, and it’s also from a different strain of Coronavirus than the one circulating now. Still, the fact that the Sambuca nigra fruit compound protected these cells against the Coronavirus is promising, in my opinion.
I also give my kids this vitamin D gummy every day for general immune support, especially in the winter. You might also consider a probiotic for yourself or your kids. I also add Olea True high-phenol olive oil to their meals whenever I can sneak it in (salad dressing is the easiest way to get it in them!).
(Related: My thoughts on multivitamins.)
3. Pop a few pills when you feel symptoms.
When you do get sick, consider a few natural remedies that really work to make you feel better, faster.
4. Invest in a good air filter.
The right filter can remove bacteria and viruses from the air. If someone in your family is sick, running the filter might help stop the spread of germs. I have this model in our living area, and this one in the kids’ room.
If you can’t get to a place to wash your hands, the next best thing is spraying your hands with sanitizer.
I was totally that mom wiping down tray tables and armrests on our flight last week. Note that the CDC recommends sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and the brands we sell are alcohol free. A toxin-free version WITH alcohol is this one. If you can’t get it on Amazon, check Whole Foods or local health food stores.
P.S. If you are extremely worried about Coronavirus, keep in mind:
- Kids are not getting super sick with this virus (and none has died), and the same is basically true for healthy adults. The risks are higher for the elderly, especially those with underlying health issues.
- Overall, COVID-19’s fatality rate is low compared to other virus outbreaks in recent years. Ebola kills between 25% and 90% of its victims, and SARS and MERS (both coronaviruses themselves) have fatality rates of 10% and 35%, respectively. Right now, it looks like COVID-19’s death rate is somewhere around 3%.
- For middle-aged adults, this Coronavirus is probably about as dangerous as the flu, and it appears to be much less dangerous than the flu for kids.