Health is not just an absence of illness. At the very least health includes a well-functioning immune system, our bodies’ first defense against pathogens that cause disease. This includes COVID-19, the coronavirus.
We are all constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses, and parasites even if we wash our hands twenty times a day. If our immune system is working well, it creates a barrier that stops the antigens from entering the body altogether. This is the first line of defense. If this fails, the second line is for the immune system to produce white blood cells, chemicals and proteins that find, attack and destroy the antigens before they can reproduce. If that fails, the immune system destroys the antigens as they multiply. If the antigens are able to multiply a lot you will feel lousy as your body fights the disease in earnest. You will have unpleasant symptoms. A large part of your energy will go towards your immune system’s battle. You will be sick.
I don’t know about you, but I want to stay at defense levels one and two. And this is more than possible, even with the coronavirus. Don’t get me wrong—handwashing and not touching your face does reduce the amount of pathogens that make it to your immunity barrier, but it doesn’t eliminate them entirely unless you live in a special isolation bubble. To be healthy, you also need your immune system functioning robustly. The following suggestions (to do before you become sick) may strike you as common sense, but, to paraphrase Voltaire, in the middle of a pandemic common sense is sometimes not so common.
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