It’s hard to get away from breaking news on coronavirus. It’s everywhere… on television, Facebook, Twitter… there’s no escape.
And of course, you’ve been hearing plenty about it from me…
I hope that’s OK and that you understand where I’m coming from.
The information keeps coming — and because it does — it’s not easy to digest. The folks on the news channels are busy keeping up with numbers… how many are infected, how many new cases have popped up around the country, how many new hot spots have erupted and so on and so on.
They’re also trying to share important facts about how we all can try to avoid coming in contact with the virus, but even that is hard to keep up with.
With all of the headlines that are screaming the latest frightening statistics at us, it’s easy to see how you could have missed some of the small details that might matter most in the coming weeks and months.
So, with that in mind, here are five important coronavirus facts you need to know. Save this email in your inbox so you can come back to it, along with the other information I’ve already sent your way.
Some of this you may have heard before, but I promise, it bears repeating. But there will be some new things you’ll learn, here, to keep yourself safe…
#1 — The virus can live on surfaces for up to three days
You may be worried about standing in line to get into the grocery store behind a person who is coughing into their arm or sneezing into a tissue, but putting your hands on the shopping cart or basket could be just as dangerous (or even worse).
Studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that coronavirus is capable of living on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for up to three days.
That means someone with the virus could have pushed that shopping cart through the store three days ago and traces of the virus could still be there today.
So, be sure to use a disinfecting wipe before you touch objects in public, or, better yet, wear gloves and use hand sanitizer the second you remove them.
#2 — You’re at a higher risk if you’re overweight or obese
I recently read that being overweight or obese can increase the virulence of a virus. That’s because carrying around extra weight could actually interfere with your immune response and allow any virus (including COVID-19) that gets into your system to become stronger and more dangerous.
Experts warn that obesity leads to higher viral loads — meaning the amount of the virus detected in a patient. Extra weight can also make it harder to take deep breaths once you have an upper respiratory infection and influence the ability of the virus to spread to your lungs more easily.
If this sounds like you, be cautious, but don’t worry about dieting now. That can wear down your immune system. Just eat healthy whole foods and plan to get back to your weight loss goals when this nightmare is over.
#3 — Summer weather won’t send the virus running
There’s been a lot of speculation that warmer weather could help slow the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
However, according to the doctors and scientists studying the virus, speculation is all that is.
“Unfortunately, the virology of COVID-19 does not diminish in warm temperatures,” says Rocio Salas-Whalen, M.D., of New York Endocrinology. “Although the virus may have a seasonal cycle, it is not reasonable to expect a huge decline in transmission due to warmer weather alone. We see the largest decrease in infections when people refrain from being in locations with poor ventilation and/or large crowds.”
#4 — 20 seconds is the minimum
You’ve probably heard by now that washing your hands well and regularly is a must if you want to avoid coronavirus. With that has come the recommendation of washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.
Still, most people have not heard the news that 20 seconds is the bare minimum and shooting for 30 seconds is better. It’s also important to remember that that 20 or 30 seconds is longer than you may think… so be sure to count slowly.
After washing, apply lotion for a protective moisture barrier. Dry, cracked skin is an easy way for germs to get inside.
#5 — Take off your shoes
While everyone has been reminding you to wash your hands, you may have missed the information that kicking off your shoes at the door is vital.
In fact, they’ve found that, like with tuberculosis, coronavirus droplets can be carried on the bottom of your shoes.
So, if you want your home to stay coronavirus-free, your shoes should remain outside at all times.
One more fact
I hope these five facts haven’t added to your stress level because there’s something else you need to remember…
Stress, mental or physical, can wear a body down quickly. In fact, stress can weaken your immune system. And I’m speaking from experience…
I’ve told you about how I became a health researcher because of my family heart “curse.” That may sound dramatic, but when your family members begin dropping like flies, it can sure feel like doom.
And that feeling of heavy doom is stress… worrying over what you may or may not be able to control in your life.
But like I do with everything else, I researched how I should deal with stress so it wouldn’t make my risk for a heart attack any higher. That’s when I discovered the power of adaptogen herbs.
Adaptogen herbs help with stress management, healthy cortisol production, energy levels, hormone production and strengthening the adrenals — all of the things that can become unbalanced and contribute to poor immune health, weight gain, fatigue, trouble sleeping and a restless, worried mind and body.
But adaptogen herbs, like Ashwagandha Root, Rhodiola Rosea Extract and Holy Basil Powder support healthy cortisol levels, reduce anxiety and boost your mood and brain health.
They help you relax, sleep better and wake with a calmer mind.
Hang in there my friends. Take it one day at a time and remember that despite the social isolation, we are in this together. Come hell or high water I plan to keep sharing what I can with you. And I hope you’ll pay it forward and share with your friends.