By Orsi Crawford:
As I write this, the world is experiencing a global pandemic, with the "official" number of deaths worldwide at almost 4,000 people with over 133,000 infected thus far. COVID-19 has been confirmed in 122 other countries and territories. Testing availability is still extremely low, which means the numbers are probably much higher. These numbers would only be accurate if everyone around the world who had flu symptoms (mild to severe) were tested. This is not the case, and it's something that realistically cannot be done.
Vacationers are trapped in their hotel rooms, cruise ships are being quarantined, and entire cities are shutting down. There are more and more universities closing for the semester, conventions and indoor events canceled. It's scary stuff, and the perfect storm for panic and fear to set in. In this kind of panic mode, less and less people travel or spend money on anything other than Purell or toilet paper. They are afraid of socializing in public places. This has had a direct affect on our financial markets, small businesses, the manufacturing industry, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, the airline industry, and many other sectors of our economy.
The people most likely severely affected by Covid-19 are the elderly and the immunocompromised—those with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, autoimmune disease, and other infectious diseases such as HIV and others.
Healthy people can still get this virus, but most likely it will manifest with milder symptoms.
The reason this particular pandemic could play out worse than previous ones is that our population is already sick! The United States is the world leader in obesity, diabetes, and other serious chronic illnesses—thus our baseline immunity suffers.
We should be more concerned of the baseline health and well-being of the collective. It would make us stronger. Our immunity could better withstand a virus should a pandemic hit.
We sure hear enough about our healthcare system—which is nothing but a sick-care system.
Yesterday, I read that we have 4,000 deaths worldwide from the Coronavirus. Though 300,000 people a year die from obesity alone, we'll come out with a new Doritos flavor tomorrow. Writing about the solutions to these problems could be lengthy.
I highly recommend a book that just came out by New York Times bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman called Food Fix. The book's premise is that our most powerful tool to reverse the global epidemic of chronic disease, heal the environment, reform politics, address social injustice, and revive economics is . . . food!
So let's address some basic dietary guidelines, supplements to take and lifestyle adjustments during this pandemic period.
Basic Dietary Guidelines in times of viral pandemics:
Load up on leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits, especially Vitamin A & C–rich foods.
Up your water intake and electrolytes, ditch sugary drinks and alcohol.
Ditch sugar in general! Remember that bread, pastries, pasta (things made of conventional flours) will turn into sugar once broken down by the body.
Opt for ancient grains, sprouted grains, and legumes.
Switch your beverage to an herbal tea, such as Licorice, Echinacea, Elderberry, Cinnamon, Ginger, Turmeric, or Lemon.
Add Manuka honey to your diet.
Reduce animal protein consumption for the time being.
Up your plant-based foods.
Reduce or eliminate processed foods.
Consume less dairy and opt for dairy alternatives such as nut milks, coconut, or cashew yogurt.
I challenge you all to temper fear with reason, panic with patience, and uncertainty with education. Let's see this as an opportunity to learn a great deal about health, hygiene, immunity, and how to deal with these great pandemics in our society. Let's meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and an effort to seek truths, facts, and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation, and catastrophizing. Be an example for our kids to practice precautions, not panic.
Stay well, wash your hands, and meditate!
Orsi Crawford is a Wellness Advocate and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from the Los Angeles area. Orsi is dedicated to empowering others to be their own health advocates through educating people on the fundamental and practical knowledge of nutrition and lifestyle.
More Common Sense Guidelines to help you through these trying times.
Read Elizabeth Gracen's interview with Orsi Crawford here.