COVID-19

Opinion: The twin epidemics of coronavirus and fear brings the need for kindness

by Rob Hawley
co-owner of Taos Herb Company
Posted 3/26/20

There has been a huge surge in the sales of herbs and supplements associated with our community's concerns about the coronavirus and the resulting infection named COVID-19.

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COVID-19

Opinion: The twin epidemics of coronavirus and fear brings the need for kindness

Posted

There has been a huge surge in the sales of herbs and supplements associated with our community's concerns about the coronavirus and the resulting infection named COVID-19.

This novel virus - meaning a newly identified virus that is believed not to have infected humans previously - is infecting people at a greater rate than the flu viruses that are present in our world population. This presumably is because our immune systems have not "seen" it before and so we do not have the antibodies to protect us or partially protect us from common strains of the flu.

As there is no vaccine, many people are using whatever means they hear of in an effort to reduce the risk of becoming ill. It is important to know that none of the alternative remedies that are popular have been proven to cure or prevent the COVID-19 infection.

We, of the world of alternative medicine, do believe strongly that there are many things that can be done to help support our immune systems.

Alternative medicine does not view herbs and supplements as replacements to drug therapies but as part of an overall approach to maintain or improve our health and therefore reduce our risk of becoming ill or reduce the severity of an illness.

In this spirit we value the lifestyle choices we make as important as any herb or supplement that seems to be appropriate. These include being well fed with healthy food, being well rested, exercising and managing our stress. Stress increases the production of hormones in the body that inhibit the body's immune response. Also of course, good hygiene, including frequent hand-washing, covering coughs, keeping our hands off our faces and washing our hands after touching surfaces that we publicly share.

We have two epidemics.

We have the worldwide presence of the coronavirus as an epidemic but also have an epidemic of fear. This fear complicates the issue of the epidemic by putting panic into our community, resulting in the overwhelming of health care providers and stores and the hoarding of goods.

The workers in health care offices and retail stores are faced with a public that is increasingly impatient and demanding at a time when they are working frantically to address the increased demand. These people, too, are members of our community who are concerned with their own health and that of their children and families. It is important to remember that in this time there are limited amounts of the things we all need, and keep in mind the needs of the rest of our community when we shop for groceries and medicines.

Now more than ever, we need the medicine of kindness.

We live in a community where the most vulnerable people, the elderly and the immune-compromised, may be even more fearful than the rest of us, making them hesitant to grocery shop and pick up prescriptions, thus increasing their isolation. What we can all do to help us cope with our own fear is to help those around us in even greater need than ourselves.

If you have elderly, shut-in or chronically ill neighbors, check on them or call them to see if they need help. If you happen to have more than you need, share with your neighbors.

The coronavirus has resulted in a culture of fear but we can choose to cultivate a culture of kindness and care for our community.

Rob Hawley is co-owner of Taos Herb Company (taosherb.com).

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