It never fails – once a crisis passes, time goes to work to ease anxiety, soothe fears and suppress memories.
Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Our bodies cannot easily sustain the high-stress levels we feel when there is a crisis.
But this is easier to manage when the event or situation causing the crisis has a clear end date.
It isn’t so easy to deal with when the threat is ongoing and our stresses turn cumulative.
The continual news coverage about COVID-19, the new (novel) coronavirus, and its spread here in Canada, can put your immune system and your whole body and mind into a state of constant stress. This can also be dangerous for your health!
The best way to guard against the virus is to turn your worries into action. As a heating, air conditioning and ventilation expert with more than 100 years of combined expertise managing indoor environments, we can tell you that this is not our first pandemic and it likely won’t be our last.
We can also pass along what we have learned over the decades about simple, smart steps to take right now to safeguard your health and your family.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) 101: What You Must Know
“Coronavirus” is the name given to a virus that has a halo or “crown” appearance under a microscope.
Coronaviruses are actually a very common family of different viruses, some of which affect both animals and humans and some of which affect only animals or only humans.
The common cold is one example of a coronavirus!
Some of these viruses are much more dangerous than others because they can cause SARS (serious acute respiratory syndrome) and secondary infections. The SARS outbreak that occurred here in Canada is closely related to the current coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the name of the set of symptoms that can (but does not always) occur after a person becomes infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. After transmission, the victim can infect others immediately. Symptoms, if they appear, may take up to 14 days to manifest.
There is currently no vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and no specific treatment, save quarantine and supportive care.
Commonly reported symptoms include dry cough, shortness of breath, pneumonia and flu-like symptoms with fever. Secondary respiratory or kidney infection is the cause of most fatalities.
The elderly and anyone who has compromised immune function are most at risk. Children appear to be at the least risk for developing the more severe symptoms associated with COVID-19.
As of time of publication, more than 100 cases have been confirmed in Canada, 59 of which are here in Ontario. Canada Health maintains an updated case report you may want to bookmark.
Simple Steps to Safeguard Your Health
Because people are so anxious about catching the virus, new myths are circulated daily.
It is important not to get caught up in these myths – do your own fact-checking!
The more stress you feel, the less effective your immune system will be in fighting off any infection.
It is much smarter to take that anxious energy and put it to work – give it a job to do. Having lived through the SARS pandemic in 2003 here in Canada, this is what we recommend as the very best way to keep you and your family safe:
1. Eat healthily
Avoid sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Drink pure water. Load up on garlic, onions, turmeric and black pepper, ginger, lemon and citrus, spinach and blueberries.
These foods are known immune boosters. Some contain plentiful vitamin C and other antioxidants that can fight against cell damage.
The more hydrated you are, the more easily your body will be able to transmit toxins out of your body.
2. Get plenty of sleep
This is not the time to skimp on sleep! When you get less than seven or eight hours of high-quality sleep per night, you automatically put your immune system on the defensive.
Now is a great time to redo your bedroom to make it very conducive to sleeping, with low light, a cool temperature, comfortable bedding and no electronic devices.
3. Change those furnace filters regularly!
Changing your furnace filter isn’t going to stop coronavirus germs (unless you have a HEPA filter, which provides a much higher – if not total – level of protection).
What it will do is prevent other toxins from invading your lungs to lower your immunity against COVID-19.
So now more than ever, you want to keep your furnace and its filter squeaky clean.
4. Use a humidifier to maintain proper humidity levels
There is a reason cold and flu season happens during the winter. The air is at its driest and the body cannot make enough mucus to trap germs and transport them out of the body.
Knowing that the new coronavirus is related to cold and flu coronaviruses means that some of the same precautions apply, one of those being giving your dried-out respiratory tissues some extra added moisture to replenish internal mucous supplies.
Both whole-home and portable humidifiers can help here.
5. Install extra in-home air-quality filters and purifiers
The other links between cold and flu season and winter are the short days and lack of natural sunlight.
The sun’s ultraviolet light is the most powerful air purifier on earth. It can destroy viral and bacterial matter with a single light beam.
We are working closely with our sister company, Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, to support our customers who want to bring protective HEPA filtration systems and ultraviolet air purifiers into their homes and workplaces.
Get in Touch
Right now, upgrade your in-home HVAC system when you order a new furnace and get a FREE air conditioner.
Save 10 percent on duct cleaning and $50 on whole-home humidifier installation.
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616.