The coronavirus pandemic really hit home to me when a close friend of mine here in Australia lost his friend and business partner to the virus earlier this week. The father of two left behind two young children and his wife. Thankfully, neither his wife or two children were infected with the virus, nor his two employees. This beautiful family lived in a south-east Asian country only a short distance from Australia.
The coronavirus is no respecter of persons. Yesterday the newspapers announced that Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK, has got the virus. Minister Peter Dutton also contracted the virus, from President Trump’s daughter. No-one is exempt from possible contagion.
Currently as of yesterday, there was 594,791 cases in the world, with a total of 27,255 deaths. In Australia, as of yesterday, there were 3,378 cases with 13 deaths. Whilst this figure is tragic, it is a very encouraging ratio compared with other countries like Italy, Spain and America, which are now in panic mode.
Friday’s headline in The Australian newspaper says it all: “Coronavirus Australia: Fewer deaths, hospitalisations in first 1000 cases”.
Coronavirus cases are growing exponentially in Australia, but “something different” is happening here, unlike in most of Europe and the US.
In what is a potential glimmer of good news for Australia, the spread of coronavirus appears to not be behaving in the same way here in comparison to other countries which are faced with being overwhelmed by the disease.
An analysis by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) found the trajectory of the first 1000 cases in Australia was “somewhat different” to Italy, the US and UK where deaths have been higher.
Australia passed 1000 cases last Saturday, March 21. Up to that point, only seven people had died and less than 20 had needed intensive care treatment.
That compared to more than 20 deaths in Britain, around 30 in Italy and 35 in the US at 1000 infections.”
To bring that into perspective, Australia, from the viewpoint of fatalities, is three times better than the UK, over 4 times better than Italy and 5 times better than the USA.
I was talking to a doctor who is an emergency specialist, and is on his respective state-based Coronavirus Task Force. “Warwick”, he said, “There have been numerous mistakes made by various government bureaucracies, such as the Ruby Princess disaster. Having said that, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison is doing a great job, having understood the problem early. In the big picture, Australia seems to be going exceptionally well compared with all the G20 countries.”
Journalist Kim Hjelmgaard from USA Today said,
The Australian government activated its emergency response to COVID-19 on February 27, designating it a global pandemic much earlier than the World Health Organization and any other advanced economy in the Group of Seven nations.
Michael Wallach, a vaccines expert at the University of Technology Sydney, said that this enabled authorities there to quickly release emergency funding and tax breaks, and bought precious time for its hospitals to prepare for a potential flood of patients.
The USA Today journalist is right, because Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the coronavirus out as a pandemic on 27 February, a full two weeks before the WHO (World Health Organization) had the foresight to do the same. We should be very thankful for his foresight.
So, in light of all this, what’s a Dad to do?
You have heard the routine of emergency procedures on planes. The parents must put the oxygen mask on first, and then help the children. It’s the same with the coronavirus. It’s your job to get your wife’s and your own immune system up to the highest level possible for the months ahead.
This article from Harvard Medical School in the USA called, “How to boost your Immune System”, gets straight to the point.
“Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimize stress.
Let me add two more which are not mentioned above, but which I believe are vital.
You need to get out in the sun from time to time. An article in Medical News Today says,
“Getting outside in the sunlight may benefit the immune system. Researchers discovered that sunlight energizes infection-fighting T cells that play a key part in immunity. Specifically, the blue light that is found in the sun’s rays made T cells move faster, which may help them get to an infection site and respond more quickly.”
Dr. Vyas says, “Get some sunshine (at least 15 minutes daily, if possible)”, in an article called “4 Things You Can Do Right Now to Boost Your Immune System” by Lisa Bain.
Dr Keith Nemec from the Total Health Institute shows laughter is a key to good health in an article called, “Laughter Boosts Immune System and Helps Fight Cancer”. Dr Nemec says:
Another simple but very effective way to boost your immune system and balance your hormonal system is to laugh. Isn’t it interesting how our mind affects our body? When people watch comedies, their blood flow increases by 22%, and when they watched graphic war movies, their blood flow decreases by 35%.
The studies in Japan even show a more balanced blood sugar in diabetics when they watch comedies and laugh. So purchase some I Love Lucy DVDs and start improving your health today. Research has shown that the average child laughs hundreds of times, and the average adult less than 20 times per day. Could this be tied into aging? Norman Cousins wrote in his book Anatomy of an Illness how he healed himself of a chronic degenerative disease by watching comedies and laughing hours each day.
As Joyce Meyer said, “I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.” Joyce is 100% right. Let’s all work on our immune system this week. A little bit of laughter and 15 minutes of sunshine a day should not be hard for a great dad like you. Just copy your children!
Yours for a Healthy Immune System,
PS: Two weeks ago, when I first mentioned the Coronavirus, I mentioned the importance of prayer as a proven way to increase our natural and spiritual health. It would seem the pandemic is having a revitalizing effect on people’s ability to pray. This story from an Italian doctor, Julian Urban, who hasn’t eaten for days because he is treating coronavirus victims, will bring tears to your eyes. I am certainly praying more than I have before. Join us if you dare.