The COVID-19 has posed an immense challenge that mankind has possibly ever seen (except perhaps by every yugaantha as Hindu methodology says, if we believe in them). Not even the worst periods of drought or the Cholera or the Plague have been this bad for these were localized to some regions of the world only eventhough the death rate was higher. Today most people are affected directly or indirectly. Whether we or our close-ones have been affected by the virus itself or not, either socially or economically most of the people in the world have been affected. To some there is a job loss. To some there is an economic loss (me for example, in addition to not having a salary that I was used for 34 years now due to retirement two months back, plus my rented house becoming vacant two months back with no rent coming by in next few months). To some their produce is not marketable. To some there is an inconvenience of maids not coming to home for chores. To some, there are restrictions on movement. To some, there is heavy work load, such as those in the health sector. To some, their family members are unable to visit them during these hard times. And to some, there is a killing boredom. The list goes on. No denial that nearly all of us in this world today, be it in Africa or India or US, have been affected to some degree.
To talk the least, is the fear of us or our loved ones catching the virus. We will address only the health risk for now. So if we take a step back and observe what all has been done and achieved so far.
Stop the spread of virus – I think governments have done and are doing a lot on this already, although the extent varies by region.
- Social distancing – maintain a minimum of 3 foot (one meter) between individuals. Acknowledging this is not helping to the degree we would prefer, and looking at the data of those contracting the virus, now some agencies are recommending maintaining a minimum of 8 feet between individuals. How practical is this? And how religiously could we follow this at all times? What about questions of letting some whom we believe do not have virus (such as our family members), to come within the 8 feet circle of influence? And for how long can this be sustained?
- Personal Hygiene – clean your hands often, use sanitisers frequently, wash for 20 seconds at minimum every time you use soap for hand cleansing, sneeze or cough into your clothes or elbow or napkin at ALL times, wash your shopping material before you open and use them. Clean your car steering with alcohol or sanitiser. Wipe the door handles. Take a bath every time you go out and return home. And god knows what all in addition to these, under the sky! How practical is this, and for how long?
- Close country and region or community borders – how long can we sustain this? Do we have an ETA (as they say in the airline industry of Expected Time of Arrival) for when we will be in that period of time when the virus will stop spreading? It doesn’t look like the WHO or reputed health organisations or the so-called health experts seem to have a definitive answer to this question. So the real question is how sustainable is this action (of no-action, meaning stopping the traffic)?
Find a Vaccine – Few weeks back the US president said they were very close to finding a vaccine. Earlier to that some health professionals confirmed it wouldn’t be possible to find a vaccine in less than 6 months (meaning no sooner than late June). And that is, if we were to find a vaccine in a record time. The reality is, due to mutations in the virus genome structure (I suppose I quoted it right), the real nature of the virus is not understood yet. We do not fully understand why it is spreading so fast. We do not fully understand how it is spreading exactly (sailers in ships on a vast sea are contracting the virus, people from even the remotest parts of the world are catching the virus, people with no interaction to affected people or from affected regions are also contracting the virus, and so on). When we know so little of something, how can we assume that we will have an answer tomorrow, or the day after, or a day after a month or six?
Will a vaccine really stop spreading? Specialists explain how a vaccine actually works. It is explained that vaccines help strengthen our antibodies which in turn actually fight the virus off. All our bodies already have several antibodies and are working very efficiently killing several viruses without even us being aware of it. And by every second. Yet we do get sick some times. And so the health specialists say that vaccines don’t necessarily help kill viruses in all cases, and at all times. To make things worse, vaccines could actually increase the odds of a person contracting the virus. While this is not to discourage people from taking vaccines, it does remain a fact that’s no guaranteed prevention. We all know of some cases who actually get influenza AFTER taking a flu shot!
Cure for the Affected – I don’t really know what’s happening in the world and what’s the progress we have made so far, of someone finding a medical cure or a recommended treatment. There has not been any effective cure for sure, through the so-called Malaria medicine (Hydro Chloroquine) used in some regions including the US, or the ginger and other home remedies. With so little in the news that I see on TV and hear from others or read from WhatsApp (that I do so rarely, nevertheless). It doesn’t like a lot is happening on finding a cure, as much as it seem to happen to stop the spread of virus. So I guess there isn’t much of a tunnel for us to see the light at its end.
So What the Heck am I Supposed to do? I recollect very vividly what Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana said once in his speeches. He said, “A healthy person is not one who does not have any diseases now, but one who is in a state now that he will not have diseases”. I always thought that was a very wise of describing a person to being health. Many people may not have any health issues currently. But the prevailing lifestyle of high work/personal stress, combined with not so-good food habits and inadequate physical exercise are bound to increase the odds of someone getting diseases in the future. That’s a known. I don’t need to elaborate or convince any on this. So how can we call such a person as a healthy person? A healthy person, really is one who is unlikely to contract any disease in near future. So what all should we do to become healthy and unlikely to contract the COVID-19 virus? Or in a worst scenario, at least be assured that that we will get rid of that just as we do of a seasonal flu if we did contract one.
Live naturally as Nature created us – other than human being no other animal processes or cooks its food before consuming. Eat raw. If there is any good time to shift to a raw food diet, this is the best time. There is ample scientific evidence to show how much fruits and raw vegetable based salads or juices can help people being healthy. Nearly all doctors recommend including some amount of fruits and vegetable salads in our diet. And on a daily basis. There is nothing to debate on this established truth that consuming fruits and salads are good for general health.
Let Raw Food be your Primary Diet – Based on my own experience in last two years of eating only (or more accurately 90%) raw food based diet, I can say for sure that it makes a hell of a difference to how good health becomes both physically and emotionally. There are several several people than you can imagine, around the globe who eat only raw food as their primary food. They all have experienced the benefits of eating raw so much so that despite the temptations of delicious cooked food, they have chosen to consume raw food only and created recipes that satisfy their palate too. They and I have realised that including some amount of raw food while may be good, is not good enough. Your entire food has to come predominantly from raw produce. But you need to start somewhere. You can’t hit the goal on the first day. Start today not sometime in the future. Here is one.
Wonderfully delicious Beetroot Salad – For a single serving, just chop two medium to small beets into 1 cm cubes. Add two handfuls (yes I do mean that large quantity since it is your full meal) of almonds and slice them thin or at least of 0.5 cm thick. Add 7-10 soft pitted dates and chop them as needed. Mix the ingredients well with a long spoon. And eat them fresh rightaway. If you do have to, put on your favourite channel on the TV while you have your meal. Yep, this is one good meal that should easily keep your system on for 5-6 hours or more before being hungry. Shoot a picture and post your food on Facebook and other social media to help others motivate you, the most important person in the world!
Let the Lockdown help you do some Physical Work – Since you cannot do your morning walks, or go to gym, or still better now that you have saved the commute time by not going to office, find a physical work at your hone. It could be gardening for some, developing a new hobby such as wood work (me into that now!), clean your entire home inside out, fix some broken things at your home – electrical fittings, craft work, leaking taps, that cooking gas stove that needed some heavy cleaning, washing your clothes without the help of washing machine…….the list goes on. You get it! Find some reason to do some heavy labor work every day.
Elevate your Spirit with Meditation – do some yoga and meditation every day. Even 20 minutes a day can help improve your spirits soar. There is a feel good factor with many of these that health professionals confirm. It doesn’t matter for you to experience it or confirm for fact whether the mediation or yoga asanas will really help. You will feel good that you are regularly doing it now. That’s a good enough reason to practice it rather than research on it.
Improve your Immunity. That’s the Bottom-line – with proper diet, mental well being, and good physical work that ensures using different parts of your body over a period will surely improve your immune systems. In that case, we may never contract the COVID-19 even if our neighbour got it. And god forbid even if did, at least we could recover from it as easy as from the seasonal flu!