Some thoughts on avoiding COVID 19

The COVID 19 pandemic is proving unsettling to us all, perhaps even more so to those  who at this moment feel in good health. We look at what is happening in Europe and elsewhere in the world with a foreboding dread of what we might expect here in Canada.  Listening to almost continual broadcasts from the media and we don’t know quite what to do. We are isolated by design physically from our friends and that takes an emotional toll. Then there’s no shortage of internet “advice” - some of it contradictory on how to cope with this looming threat to our very existence.


The following are my recommendations in addition to the instructions being offered about frequent hand-washing, basic hygiene and social distancing. To that end, I am sorry that I will not be taking massage or shiatsu clients during this outbreak. 


We can avoid getting sick by building a healthy immune system and I have written about that in previous blogs. I want to summarise some of what I wrote.


Yes, we are dealing with a virus. Perhaps there is the misnomer that just because you are exposed to it, you will get sick. This is not so. Apart from the luck of the draw, you may get sick if, in the first place, you are not in perfect shape or your resistance is low. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we talk about “Wei Qi” This is also known as Defensive Qi. If your defences are down then you are opening up yourself to attack.


The first line of defence is that you should be eating the right food, getting sufficient exercise and getting enough rest. It’s remarkable how getting more sleep enabled me to successfully recover from my recent cancer surgery.


You need to be eating a healthy variety of infection fighting foods rich in protein (these are the building blocks), as well as vitamins, (particularly A and C). Also, don’t forget  your minerals and antioxidants including Beta Carotene, Zinc, and Selenium. If you are vegetarian or would rather reduce your meat intake, beans and lentils are an excellent source of protein.


It is better to choose foods that are rich in the above rather than relying on supplements. That means eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables.


For the sake of brevity, I am going to list them: citrus fruit, red fruits such as plums, nectarines, grapes, raisins and berries. Recently I have started making my own granola with lots of different nuts and seeds, (following approximately a Jamie Oliver recipe). To this I add raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Occasionally I vary my recipe using orange fruits such as nectarines, apricots and mango. 


By the way, research the importance of oats and barley to your diet because these are rich in fibre, Vitamins B, E and selenium. These are brilliant for building the immune system.


Vegetables should be an important part of your diet including broccoli, peppers and Brussel Sprouts, as well as leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage and kale. Just don’t overcook them like my mother did back in England. By gently steaming, you keep a lot of the nutrients intact.  Some of these are great uncooked as part of a salad.


If you are not greatly fond of vegetables, you can use them anyway to make a delicious soup. If you have finicky children, by the time you have gently sautéed onions, garlic, parsnips, carrots, celery, maybe added lentils, plus other vegetables slightly past their “best by” date, added a vegetable or chicken stock, pureed the lot in a blender, you have an easy-to-make, nutritious meal.


On the subject of garlic, look up one of my previous blogs entitled “Immune Tonic homemade recipe”.  It contains some of the most powerful natural ingredients: juiced, garlic, juiced ginger root, organic apple cider vinegar and honey. Make up a litre batch of this and take a spoonful a day first thing in the morning. In the preparation of this you do a short gentle simmer so that raw garlic is not seeping out the pores of your skin and you start to lose friends……. unless you need help with this social distancing thingy.


Stay well, don’t upset yourself and take it one day at a time. Feel free to email me, text or phone me if you would like some reassurances or my thoughts on other issues.