The Novel Corona virus is showing no signs of stopping. In India, as of 4th April, 2902 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported. Sixty eight people have succumbed to it. Fortunately, the central and state governments have learnt from the mistakes of Italy and have taken unprecedented proactive steps in limiting the virus step. The whole country is under lockdown till 14th April. The fight against corona is on. But this time, the nature of the fight one has to put up is a bit different. You have to be fit and healthy and distance yourself from others to call yourself a corona fighter. And what better way to that than with yoga and Ayurveda?
Steps to keep the Corona Monster at Bay
According to the Washington Post, “The basic reproductive number (R0) of the virus causing Covid-19 is estimated to be 2.3, meaning that each person infected with the virus will spread it to 2.3 others, on average, over the course of their illness. This simulation shows a virus with an R0 of 2.3 in a completely susceptible population of 4,000 people, without any vaccinations, masks or quarantines.”
But how do we stop this chain of spreading? There are a few basic but effective steps that we can take to break the chain.
Suppose you touched a bus-handle which was previously touched by an infected person. If you touch your face before washing hands, then you run the risk of getting infected. When you wash your hands with soap, it melts the fatty outer layer of the virus that is attached to your hand and it dies. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers also work like this.
If you are a responsible citizen, you would not want to go out if you feel sick – particularly if you have a cough, sore throat, breathing problems, etc. This is how you can decrease the RO value of the virus.
As we said, the symptoms of corona virus will not be apparent for quite some time. During this time, the infected person can come into contact with thousands of people. The contagious disease will be transmitted at lightning speed. The only way to prevent this is a large-scale lock down.
Effects of the Pandemic and Its Resultant Lockdown
The effects of coronavirus pandemic, just like any war situation, are multi-dimensional. More than the eventuality, it is the panic that is weighing heavy on the mind and health of the common people. Below are some of the proven and well-observed effects of coronavirus pandemic.
1. Physical Discomfort- Symptoms & Eventuality
Those people who show symptoms are reporting a quite uneasy experience. At first, the virus affects the upper respiratory tract. One gets a sore throat, dryness in the mouth. If the Covid-19 disease is not controlled by then, it gradually goes on to affect the lungs, leading to acute breathing problems and ultimately pneumonia.
Thankfully, most people do not get severely affected by the virus. However, older people and people with underlying health conditions and challenged immune system can get extremely ill because of this virus. So, these people have to be extra careful.
2. Choked Healthcare System
Italy played down the Corona Virus fear and now they are paying the price. As of 4th April, there are 1,19,827 Corona cases and 14,681 deaths. Spain and the United States have recently surpassed Italy in the number of confirmed cases. Naturally, even for the developed nations like the US, treating this unprecedented number of patients will choke the healthcare system. There is a shortage of masks, ventilators and even doctors and nurses.
Now imagine- if this virus is not controlled in India, what the consequence will be? There will be a sheer disaster. The death rate will rise up exponentially as there will be no doctors and other frontline workers to attend to a large number of patients. Quite logically so, the centre is mulling extension of the lockdown, if not at a stretch, in phases, maybe.
3. Ruined Social Relationship
While the society is seemingly fighting the pandemic in a united manner, a lot of news is also coming in about doctors and nurses not being allowed to stay by the house owners, society people, etc. People are suspecting each other of having infections. This suspicion will continue even after the lockdown is lifted. The family whose member(s) have been infected by the virus will be hounded even after they are cured.
Racism is on the rise. Mongoloid people are being called names as many insensitive individuals are suspecting them to be the carrier of the virus from China. This has to stop immediately.
4. Psychological Effects
Sooner or later, lockdown is going to add fuel to the fire of low economic growth. People are already getting distressed mentally over the possibility of job loss. The businesses are getting affected.
People are trapped in their homes. Prolonged periods of not being able to go out will take a toll on their mental health. The disruption of usual routine can even break one down emotionally.
5. Deterioration of health
The sedentary lifestyle will invite a host of lifestyle diseases. Some will eat and sleep more. This will result in grogginess, depression, high BP, obesity, diabetes and what not!
During the lockdown period, many commodities will be hard to find. This will lead many people to eat less. This is particularly concerning since low nutrition means low immunity.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
How Ayurveda & Yoga Can Make Your Body Self-Sufficient to Fight COVID-19
Before answering that question, let us introduce to the term ‘herd immunity.’ Herd immunity is when there is no vaccine against any particular virus, the best bet to destroy the virus is for the peoples’ body to develop immunity against the virus itself. If 60% of the population gains the immunity to fight the virus, the virus will ultimately lose the battle.
Ayurveda to Boost Immunity
The ancient medical practices in India always advocated holistic treatment. According to Ayurvedic scriptures, the focus should be on making the body powerful enough to fight off germs. Here is how Ayurveda can help you to ward off viruses- crowned (Corona) or bare-headed.
1. The Extraordinary Health Benefits Of Chyawanprash
One of the main ingredients of Chyawanprash is Amla. Amla is replete with Vitamin C. Vitamin C has been proven to improve the immune functions of the body. In fact, in China, there is an ongoing trial going on to see if high doses of Vitamin C can actually cure Corona Virus.
Do not think Vitamin C as a magic supplement that can cure COVID-19. What Vitamin C can do is it can enhance your immunity. As a result the chance of you catching the virus decreases. Even if you catch the virus, your body will be in a good position to fight it.
Tulsi is particularly useful for upper respiratory tract infection. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of Tulsi have prompted researchers to write scores of scholarly articles on it.
3. Guduchi Or Giloy
This wonder herb is known to improve the immune system and digestion and acts as a great antioxidant.
This easily available spice is proving to be a great virus killer. In fact, Science Daily, a reputed science website, published its efficacy against viruses. A recent The Economic Times news reported that the export of the Indian turmeric to the USA and Europe has shot up suddenly because of its medicinal value gaining renewed importance in the light of corona virus outbreak.
5. Ashwagandha To Calm Your Nerves
In these testing times, it is natural to panic. However, panic will not do us any good. So to calm yourself, you can take Ashwagandha. The herm relaxes your nerves and soothes your mind. You will feel refreshed.
Kesar prevents the multiplication of viruses in our body. Taking Kesar every day can boost your immune system and make your white blood cells work more efficiently.
There are many other Ayurvedic herbs that you can benefit from to make your body powerful enough to fight viruses all by itself. However, let us reiterate – Ayurveda is not magic. To let Ayurveda work properly, you have to use it on a consistent basis. You have to make positive lifestyle changes. You must eat well and adhere to the guidelines prescribed by the ancient gurus.
To educate yourself further on Ayurveda’s effect on the human immune system, click here.
How Yoga & Pranayama Can Help Boost the Immunity
In conjunction with Ayurvedic medicines, if you practise yoga and pranayama, it will bring you great health benefits.
Due to coronavirus infection, one can experience breathing problems. This can happen because of the alveoli – the unit of the respiratory system getting clogged with mucus. The practice of Pranayama or Vedic breathing techniques can help unclog the alveoli and make them bigger thereby giving relief from the distress.
Even if someone is not affected, practising of Pranayama daily can help improve his respiratory tract condition.
The purpose of Yoga is to make your body more powerful by working on various organs of your body. The Bridge Pose will make your chest bigger thereby helping you breathe freely. The Garudasana will enhance the blood flow detoxifying your body. The Bhujangasana will help you remain calm in this atmosphere of panic.
A reputed website – Psychology Today reveals that Yoga has great inflammation suppression power and it boosts the immune system as well. There are many more asanas like Gomukhasana, Paschimottanasana that go a long way to support your body in its fight against viruses. But more than anything else, yoga helps you to stay positive by balancing your body, mind and soul.
Even after this coronavirus pandemic subsides, in future, many other pandemics may crop up. Our body is naturally well equipped to fight against viruses and other microbes. Just that, an unhealthy lifestyle and stress blunts this great power of the body. Ayurveda and Yoga can help it regain its natural virus-killing power. So, compose yourself. Apart from finding peace in the social security system, start practising Yoga and Ayurveda and be prepared to wade through any troubled waters in the days to come.