Tags: wellness (45), healthy (43), illness prevention (10), cold and flu (2)
We wanted to discuss the current situation with the Coronavirus – Covid-19.
First of all, there is no reason to panic! Even in China where the majority of cases have occurred, there is only 1 case for every 85,000 residents that live there. And the other good news is that in 80% or more of those cases, symptoms are relatively minor, like a bad cold. And unlike China, the US now has advanced warning and can take measures to reduce the likelihood or severity of occurrences here in the states.
A History of Coronaviruses
Coronaviruses, first documented in the 1960’s, are a family of viruses which, most of the time, cause symptoms similar to a bad cold, causing mild to moderate upper respiratory problems such as a runny nose and sore throat. Unfortunately they can also be potentially deadly, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which occurred in the early 2000’s infecting over 8,000 people and killing over 800, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), first found in Saudi Arabia in 2012, with 2,500 infected and over 800 deaths.
The latest coronavirus, COVID-19 (2019-CoV) was first identified in Wuhan China last year. While the death rate is far less than SARS (10%) and MERS (30%), COVID-19 has spread much more than those two, nearing 90,000 documented infected people around the globe, and so the death rate of over 2% has meant that nearly 3,000 people have already died worldwide.
While there are only several handfuls of cases in the US, including 1 in Wisconsin, there is little doubt that the virus will continue to spread, which has already caused many to curtail travel plans and will undoubtedly continue to cause disruptions in the economic sector and our daily lives.
What Is Good Harvest Doing?
We have always had disinfectant wipes available at the front door for wiping off shopping cart handles, and will continue to do so. We’d suggest even using for the kids shopping carts. Cashiers will also have wipes at the registers to frequently wipe anything that may be touched by our shoppers.
We will be reducing food sampling to try to reduce the spread of germs. We will also have less sample bottles in the Wellness department for the same reason. If you’d like to sample something in the café, just ask one of our employees and they’ll be happy to give you a sample of whatever you’d like to try.
As always, our employees will continue to frequently wash their hands with hot water and soap, and we will continue to make sure that café tables and other frequently touched areas of the store will be washed and disinfected to help avoid the spread of germs.
What can you do to safeguard yourself?
The spreading of the virus occurs by direct contact with infected individuals, or touching or coming in contact with droplets from sneezes and coughs. While there are no cures or vaccines for the COVID-19, there are several steps one can take to try to avoid the virus and also strengthen your immune system to make sure that if you do contract the virus you increase the odds of recovering.
- Avoid Air Travel to Infected Regions
- Wash Your Hands – Frequent hand washing, even with just soap and warm water, is important for protecting against all infectious diseases, and using hand sanitizers and disinfectants can reduce viral spread by over 85%.
- Disinfect surfaces – Coronaviruses can persist on surfaces for up to 9 days! Make sure you disinfect surfaces in your home, especially if you think someone might be infected.
- Strengthen Immunity – Unfortunately those folks who are older and/or are immune compromised have a much higher rate of death from all viruses, and so doing what you can to strengthen your immune system is vital.
Strategies to Boost your Immune System
Exercise, stress relief, a balanced diet and certain supplements are all effective ways to boost your immune system:
- Exercise – Regular exercise mobilizes T cells, a type of white blood cells which guard the body against infection. However, continuous rigorous workouts can actually weaken the immune system, so moderation is a key.
- Sleep – A solid 7-8 hours is needed to avoid reducing the activities of T cells in your body.
- Less Stress – Stress can release the hormone cortisol, which negatively affects T cell reproduction. Try yoga, meditation or deep breathing each day to reduce your stress levels.
- Moderate Alcohol intake – while moderate consumption of alcohol can positively affect overall health, excess intake (more than 2 drinks/day) can negatively affect the immune system
- Stop smoking – Smoking impairs the immune system, and you have a significantly higher chance of being seriously affected by virus infections.
- Healthier Diet – Vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts are loaded with nutrients essential to immune health. A diet rich in colorful food typically will be higher in valuable vitamins. These foods all can help you strengthen your immune system:
Red Bell Peppers
- Herbs, Vitamins and Supplements – While the hope is you can get many needed nutrients from your diet, supplementing can help improve your immune system. Here are just a few things you may want to include in your daily regime:
- Echinacea, Elderberry & Zinc
- Vitamins A, B6, C, D & E all help strengthen your immune system, and especially Vitamin C, which you can get from citrus fruits, spinach and strawberries. And although it’s cold here now, consider getting outside during sunny days to help your body produce more Vitamin D. Even just 15 minutes in the sunlight will help!
- Mushrooms and mushroom supplements – rich in essential nutrients and very good for your immune system.
We all hope that the spread of Covid-19 is curtailed as soon as possible and if so, great, but if not, we look forward to helping you as you reduce stress, improve your diet and strengthen the ever important immunity system. All of which is good regardless of what season we are in!
See you in the aisles…
The Cast & Crew at Good Harvest Market and the Harvest Café
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