Lessons Learned About Immunity in a Post-COVID World

Just as in the early 2000s, due to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we learned about security in a whole new way, Americans are now learning about another object of focus: immunity. Webster defines immunity as “a condition of being able to resist a particular disease especially through preventing the development of a pathogenic microorganism or by counteracting the effects of its products.”

Whereas once we learned that we must alter the way we think about airports, a new generation is learning, as a result of another great tragedy, to reexamine the way we look at grocery stores, hair salons, movie theaters–and our own bodies.

That last part is essential: “our own bodies.” While some countries were able to immediately isolate the infected and drastically slow the spread of the coronavirus within their borders, many others were not able to act as quickly, possibly costing thousands of lives of patients who did not have strong immune systems. We call those people “immunocompromised.” And, while we hope another pandemic of this magnitude does not visit us again in our lifetimes, having experienced this pandemic, we should take caution and do what we can to protect ourselves in the future.

The following suggestions are just that–suggestions. Obviously it is always recommended to turn to a licensed physician–who is informed by organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention–for up-to-date, verified information. In addition, the day may come when a pandemic arrives that will be able to override the strongest of immunities. However, the wise among us will do what we can to fortify and protect ourselves against as many health-related eventualities as possible.

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Diet & Exercise

A large part of building up immunity is giving focus to diet and exercise. We’ve already published a number of articles on the subject, including this excellent one: Five Immune Boosting Tips. It’s just that we can’t help but say it enough. You’re probably familiar with the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Look at how many New Year’s resolutions to eat better and go to the gym are quickly broken. It’s even an in-joke in the fitness industry. While it’s true that the recent pandemic may bring diet and exercise into sharper focus than a New Year’s resolution, human nature still reigns supreme. After a full day at work, your subconscious gives you the urge to pick up food on the way home, sit on the couch, and binge-watch TV until 10 or 11 at night, and then sleep until the last possible moment before going to work again in the morning. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for working out or eating right.

If this is the situation you find yourself in, relax. This is the situation most people find themselves in. As a result, there are smartphone apps and in-person programs designed to help you overcome the natural desire to follow the path of least resistance. This means that there’s a really good chance you’re going to find one that works for you. Don’t give up on yourself; keep looking!

Speaking of Unwinding…

One of the major ways people in our time choose to unwind involves alcohol. Maybe it’s beer, maybe it’s wine; cocktails are fashionable and liquor gets you drunk quicker. But we all know that too much alcohol takes its toll on the human immune system. Many doctors like to tell their patients as a deterrent from overindulgence: “You know, we sterilize our instruments in alcohol.” For this reason, many people are seeking alternative ways to decompress from the stresses of work. Some of the most popular alternatives include cannabis, CBD, and kratom. One note of caution: If you decide to buy kratom or cannabis, it doesn’t hurt to look for the highest quality products available on the market.

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In closing, these are just a few of the ways that we can work on improving our immunity to be better prepared in the event that another health crisis arises. The important lesson is to take steps in the right direction and not become overwhelmed.

Dick Benson

InnoVision Health Media reports on health content that is supported by our editorial advisory board and content published in our group of peer reviewed medical journals.

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