Viral outbreaks are nothing new. We have shared our existence with these microscopic (invisible) entities for eons. Through multiple platforms of social media, pseudoscience is consumed as fact and reinterpreted without substance. Viral outbreaks gain instant attention and panic, fear-mongering and all-out hysteria become the norm.
N-COVID-2019, the latest mutated coronavirus to appear has the world in panic. Publications of increasing death tolls and the speed at which the viruses spread from person-to-person have offered the public nothing but fear. The current coronavirus has led to more than 89000 infections and approximately 3000 deaths worldwide. Let us compare that to another virus that just 10 years ago infected a third of the world’s population and killed as many as 650,000 of us globally. The latest flu season in the US alone has estimated to have infected 32 million people, resulting in 310,000 hospitalised admissions and caused 18,000 deaths (CDC). So why the panic? When it comes down to familiarity, scientists have had decades to familiarise and decode the family of influenza viruses and although it remains as a huge danger to many, we have a much clearer idea of how to predict the types of flu viruses that appear each season. However, with COVID-19 little is known and its future capabilities of how it will behave or mutate is currently unknown.
Governments and global institutions are quickly trying to capture data, conduct studies and are quickly trying to capture data to work out the best treatment protocols to minimise the impact and spread of this new virus.
Most people in the world lack the experience, knowledge and basic understanding for preventing disease; albeit diabetes, cancer, or viral infections. Government announcements and other public bodies have bombarded us in the last few months with hand hygiene tips, avoidance behaviour and other, not always useful, tricks to help minimise the spread of coronavirus. More recently we are also witnessing clinical trials in hospitals treating coronavirus using high intravenous doses of the powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C, with some initial positive results.
My questions her is: Why were we not practising these behaviours before or conducting these trials earlier with the flu virus, given the statistics or its severity that we have. Why also do we not focus on preventative measures for cancer or diabetes and other none infectious diseases?
As a doctor, I truly believe in the power of prevention and REVIV, one of the largest global preventative healthy movements currently in existence. It should not take an outbreak of a highly infectious virus for us to wake up to take precautions to protect our health. The next virus could be fatal for even the “fittest” amongst us, so we need to adopt novel and effective ways to ensure that our bodies are ready to fight virus, disease or even the ageing process itself.
How many of us truly know how our bodies work optimally? What they can detoxify from? how they optimally lose weight? How they interact with the nutrients in the food we eat and what diseases they are at risk of developing? If there was a greater understanding, then we can put actions in place. We can take action earlier to ensure that we mitigate the negative genes and nurture the positive ones. High accuracy genetic testing is also rapidly becoming more affordable and accessible which allows individuals to determine the secrets to optimising their lifestyle to improve outcomes in health.
If we exercise more and feed our bodies correctly with more of the right nutrients and less of the wrong nutrients, then we can ensure that our immune system is working at a protective and effective level. Countless studies point to key vitamins and antioxidants that can promote better immune function especially when given in high doses.
If we practice avoidance behaviours with good hand hygiene at all times and not just during a global viral outbreak, then maybe our vulnerable and elderly members of society will be less at risk from all infective illnesses.
We need to think about disease and infection prevention at all times and not just when something threatens us, building new behaviours into our daily lives. It really isn’t that hard. We should all be prepared, not only for potential future infective outbreaks but to also minimise our risk of contracting or developing existing infections and diseases. We should no longer wait for a problem to learn how to solve it, we should be anticipating a problem and use the information out there to ensure we are prepared for it. We must all take responsibility for our health. We have a duty to ourselves and each other.
Dr Michael Barnish MBChB
Head of Genetics & Nutrition
REVIV Global Ltd.