A glossary of terms relating to Pandemics and the current COVID19 situation.
When referencing a disease, a pandemic refers to a global spread. The World Health Organization classifies a pandemic as 2 or more epidemics appearing within the same WHO regions.
A widespread occurrence of an infectious disease which occurs within a community. Epidemics are typically classified on the state or country levels.
High-risk individuals are those who are more likely to catch a disease, condition, or injury. These individuals are more likely to face complications associated with the illness as well. During pandemics, high-risk individuals should exercise extreme caution. Relatives of high-risk individuals should remain vigilant and track any changes in mood, behavior, and health.
The period of time between exposure and onset of clinical symptoms.
Length of time at which an infected individual is infectious to others.
Period between exposure and ability to transmit to others.
Recovery from acute illnesses are classified as an absence of symptoms for 24 hours without the use of medication.
Proportion of detected cases of a given disease that die as a result of it. Calculating the CFR is highly reliant on accurate data from the community. During an epidemic, it is important that all confirmed cases and their outcome after treatment be recorded. This allows for healthcare providers to understand the nature of the disease and work appropriately to prepare in case of a pandemic, since CFR is primarily used in understanding risk.
Proportion of overall infections that die as a result of it. FRI is similar to CFR, but the rate is adjusted to include asymptomatic and undiagnosed cases – where CFR accounts for only confirmed cases.
Measure of the number of deaths in a specific population, scaled to the size of that population per unit of time.
Denotes a temporary increase in mortality rate in a given population due to environmental phenomena (which may include heat wave, natural disasters, war, famine, and pandemics).
Coronavirus are a family of zootonic (transmitted from animals to people) that are wrapped in a lipid (fat) layer. These viruses make up a variety of different illnesses that range from mild to severe.
A highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a recent strain of coronavirus (discovered 2019). The name comes from "Corona Virus Disease Discovered in 2019".
Symptoms include: fever; fatigue; dry, sharp cough, body pain; headache; sore throat; diarrhea; vomiting; nausea; difficulty breathing; pain in chest.
Viruses need a living host to multiply, mutate, and spread. Most viruses enter the body through mucus membranes, like our eyes, nose, mouth, etc. When a virus enters the body, our immune system response kicks in.
The immune system is comprised of mucous membranes, tonsils, adenoids, lymphatic vessels, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, appendix, and Peyer’s patch.
Within the immune system, there are 5 major types of white blood cells (or Leukocytes), that serve various functions to help fight pathogens, allergens, and parasites.
As soon as a foreign entity (virus, allergen, etc) enters our body, our immune system triggers an innate immune response. The innate immune response is a non-specific defense mechanism that comes into play as soon as the body detects something is off. The first responders of the immune system are Neutrophils, who consume the intruder and kill them – in this case, the pathogen will be a virus.
In some cases, the Neutrophil is unsuccessful in consuming and eliminating the virus; this could be because the structure of the virus makes it stronger or that the body is immunocompromised. When this happens, the virus attaches to living cells where it mutates and spreads. It is at this point where we start to experience symptoms and feel “sick”. Each virus and each strain will produce a different set of symptoms.
The immune system then strengthens its response by triggering the system into an adaptive immune response. Adaptive immunity involves Lymphocytes, cells that target and destroy the virus, and Monocytes, cells that consume and eliminate the virus. This response can be strengthened externally through the use of medications, supplementation, and various lifestyle practices. This response can be weakened using immunosuppressants, or if the body has other underlying health conditions.
A virus spreads when it effectively enters the mucous membranes. This can be through close contact, from touching items containing live viruses, or exchanging fluids with someone who is unwell.
For this reason, during a pandemic, it is advised to sanitize surfaces and keep a safe distance (approx. 3 – 6 feet) from other individuals. If a strain of a virus cannot spread, it cannot survive.
Organizations like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will have up to date and accurate health and safety guidelines during a pandemic.
This is important for limiting the spread of the virus, protecting yourself and your community.
For COVID19, these are the guidelines.
One of the most effective ways to support your immune system is to keep your body in a constant rhythm. Routines also allow for us to have a sense of regularity, which can greatly improve mental health. Pandemics bring about a lot of change, so it is important that you adapt your routine so that it is comfortable for you.
Routines help your body regulate all it’s major functions and can keep you healthier for longer. The following are some key elements to incorporate into your daily routine:
During a pandemic, it is important to live within the limits of what is available. There will be times where resources, like food, may be scarce. Eat what you can acquire and what is comfortable for you but be mindful as to how you eat it.
Following healthy eating habits can increase your absorption rate, allowing your body to utilize nutrients more effectively. Good digestion also helps the body function more efficiently and can support the immune system.
Mental health imbalances can reduce immune functioning. During a pandemic, we experience situational anxiety and depression related to the constant changes and uncertainties related to the pandemic.
Consult your mental health professional, engage in healthy coping mechanisms, continue shadow work, and/or include more mindfulness exercises in your day to day routine.
Choosing a Medical Modality
During the time of a pandemic, we must remember to put the wellness of the community over our personal beliefs. It is paramount that, if you feel unwell, you visit an allopathic doctor so that they can record and track your progress. Allopathic doctors send this date to governing organizations so that the appropriate data can be used to prepare for the evolution of the epidemic.
Once you visit an allopathic doctor, you are then able to choose any modality you see fit. Regardless of modality, it would be most beneficial to be open and honest with your healthcare providers about the different treatments you are incorporating.
A responsible Complimentary or Alternative Medical Practitioner will typically offer to treat you only after confirming that you have made an attempt to receive allopathic treatment.
For a modality like Ayurveda, you typically have the option to do the treatment on its own or complementary to other modalities.
A pandemic will not end without the cooperation of the community.
As COVID19 is a new disease, we cannot gurantee that Ayurveda can treat it. However, out of the COVID cases we have seen over the past month, we have seen significant improvement in quality of life and a quicker recovery rate. Results will vary, as with all Ayurveda treatments, on the client's constitution, availability of materials, and various other factors.
If you suspect you have COVID19 but have been turned away from a testing sight, have recieved little to know guidance from an allopathic doctor, or are looking for alternative relief from your symptoms, please contact Anupanas. As part of our duty to our community, we will not be charging for any COVID19 related wellness plans. Please note, all consultations will be conducted over the phone.