Nine Things You Need To Know About The Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are common! From Toronto Public Health, we learn that Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that circulate in animals including humans and may cause illness in them. Human coronaviruses are common and can range from mild illnesses such as the common cold, to severe illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV).

Nine things to do to avoid getting this coronavirus
I've quoted Toronto Public Health directly in italics, so you don't have to believe just me.

1. WASH YOUR HANDS before putting your dirty dirty little fingers in your mouth or eyes. That's how we get viruses. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It's much better to wash your hands in running water than to use a hand sanitizer for two reasons in my opinion: 1) the ingredients in hand sanitizers may not work and may be harmful. Just Google "Triclosan ban" and scan the results. 2) Alcohol dries out your hands and could leave your skin more vulnerable to infection.

2. KEEP YOUR DIRTY HANDS OUT OF YOUR ORIFICES! Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

3. COVER YOUR COUGH OR SNEEZE with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm. Don't cover your mouth with your hand if you can help it! If you have a cough, you are the one who should be wearing a mask around other people.

4. STAY AT HOME WHEN YOU ARE ILL. I know the evil frackers in Ontario took away working-class sick days, and that's evil, but so is giving your flu or cold to your co-workers and strangers on the subway. And babies! Take a sick day for the babies! In all seriousness, you don't know if you might spread your illness to someone who is immune-suppressed, and who might become seriously ill from your little 'flu.

5. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND PRACTICE KINDERGARTEN-LEVEL HYGIENE. You are very unlikely to come into contact with the new coronavirus aka 2019-nCoV, but you might as well take this opportunity to strengthen your immune system - No, I don't mean that you need to buy a bunch of supplements - and remember what they taught you in pre-school. Wash your hands before you eat, and after you use the toilet. Close the danged toilet seat before you flush. And sleep for 8 hours because your immune system needs it to recharge. And eat real food. Just like your mother told you to.

6. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE ILL A no brainer, right? I am sure public health authorities don't mean abandon your sick children, but it makes sense to rebook the date with your friend with the bad cough, and not to hug your sniffling co-worker. If you are caring for someone who is ill, be extra diligent about following the advice above, and consider following the EXTRA BONUS advice below.


7. BE CAREFUL WITH DOOR KNOBS, HANDLES AND OTHER THINGS EVERYONE TOUCHES with their dirty dirty hands! Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Wear gloves in public, or at home with your sick family. It's winter anyway, so why not. Then don't stick your dirty dirty gloves in your mouth or eyes.

8. WEAR A MASK IF YOU ARE ILL, OR IF YOU ARE GOING TO A CROWDED PLACE. In some places, it's not uncommon for people to wear a washable, and even amusing, face mask in public. Cyclists wear pollution masks. Health care workers are fitted with N95 respirators when potentially exposed to airborne infections. I've seen some pretty scary scare-mongering about how masks don't work, but no doubt masks help to stop you accidentally coughing in someone's face on the subway, or inhaling someone's sneeze at the checkout counter. We carry inexpensive washable masks because you should use them when handling powders like mica or diatomaceous earth. We also carry the N95 respirators because customers asked for them and we had a supplier we could order from. Consider this if you are caring for someone who is ill, or you are at higher risk of serious complications from any 'flu If you want to delve into the mask debate, you can start here

9. YES, AROMATHERAPY AND HERBS CAN HELP AND THERE'S GOOD EVIDENCE There are 67 solid papers on essential oils and coronaviruses. For instance, blends of cinnamon, carrot seed, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils were effective against H1N1 and HSV1 viruses, and in the words of the researchers (This blend) may be interesting to treat influenza and post influenza bacterial pneumonia infections... (The blend) could be very useful in clinical practice...

As an enveloped virus, there are many essential oils that continue to prove effective in trials, and in real life experience: palmarosa, clove bud, lemon balm aka melissa, lavender, tea tree, pine, thyme, bay laurel, hyssop, ravensara - all the mints, evergreens and citruses... Here is a great intro article with citations by a respected aromatherapist
I wrote this article 11 years ago, and although it's more confrontational than I'd write nowadays, what I said has stood the test of time

Consider asking us to make an effective blend you'll love long after you've stopped worrying about the new coronavirus. We could make you a custom spray or a custom perfume or a custom blend Or you could choose one of our existing blends:
Bandit's Blend
Cold & 'Flu
or our in-store blends Bronchitis, Inhale, Breath or Baby Breathe
To learn more, check out my article Essential Oils for Colds, Flu, Bronchitis and Congestion

Today, we created a blend specifically for this new coronavirus, and rather than name it Bat Blend, which in retrospect we should have, we called it Bird 'Flu Evidence-Based Formula and it's delicious - spicy, pirate-y, welcoming and good enough to eat - but don't. Inhale it. The ingredients have been shown since the early 20th century to be effective against airborne pathogens, and we used research to choose each specific essential oil.

But our favourite panacea for viruses is the mighty and delicious elderberry syrup we make from elderberries I grow in my food forest 350 metres from Anarres Apothecary! Compounds from elderberries can directly inhibit the virus's entry and replication in human cells, and can help strengthen a person's immune response to the virus. ... "What our study has shown is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus," said Dr Golnoosh Torabian
We still have some!

A Bunch of Cool Things You Don't Need To Know but you might as well finish reading this blog post

1. Coronavirus is not named after the beer, but rather the virus' appearance. The name "coronavirus" is derived from the Latin corona, meaning crown or halo, which refers to the characteristic appearance of the virus particles (virions): they have a fringe reminiscent of a royal crown or of the solar corona.

2. Probably no one got it from a bat. Just like no one in Africa screwed a green monkey and made AIDS, no one ate bat soup in China and made the Coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV. Scientists and public health officials have been expecting influenza viruses to mutate, and to jump from one species to another, as the viruses do. The coronavirus's closest relative occurs in bats, but since no bats were sold at the market in Wuhan, China where we know several people were infected, the virus probably jumped to another species of animal, and humans got the virus from handling the animals.

3. You've had a coronavirus already! Chances are, you've had a common cold that involved a coronavirus. The coronaviruses HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1 continually circulate in the human population and cause respiratory infections in adults and children world-wide."

4. The common 'flu is a bigger threat. It's not as easy to catch as the common 'flu, apparently, nor is it as harmful in terms of the numbers of people affected or who become seriously ill or die, as the common flu. Flu causes about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year. People who are susceptible have gotten the new coronavirus, and because they are more vulnerable than the general population, their mortality rate is higher. This article is about everything, but it starts to ask and answer important questions.

6. CONSIDER HOW PRIVILEGED YOU ARE TO BE ABLE TO WASH YOUR HANDS WHENEVER YOU NEED TO! You probably have clean running water near you. Maybe you even wash your car with drinkable water! More than 130 indigenous communities in Canada lack clean drinking water at any given time. NOW THAT'S AN EPIDEMIC WE SHOULD BE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT.

I challenge you to talk about it in person, bring it up with your MP, and keep up the pressure to solve this very real public health crisis affecting tens of thousands of people in Canada every day.

Thanks for listening and stay well.
Tracey TieF
Certified Natural Health Practitioner
Registered Aromatherapy Health Practitioner