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: COVID-19

Coronavirus: What You Need To Know and How You Should Prepare

What is Coronavirus (COVID/19)?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that causes illness  illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). COVID-19  is a new strain of of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

Though some people’s illnesses will be severe, the vast majority of COVID-19 illnesses are probably going to be relatively mild, even asymptomatic. A recent report from China looking at over 72,000 infected people shows 80% of cases are mild.

How is it spread? 

Early evidence suggests the coronavirus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets that float through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can either land on you; making you sick, or they can fall onto a surface and take up residency for some time.

Newer research suggests that COVID-19 may also spread through feces. For example: A person doesn’t wipe efficiently, traces of feces cling onto their hands. If they then touch a doorknob, the virus could be transmitted to someone else who might touch it later. 

How long can Coronavirus live on surfaces and does disinfecting work?

Coronavirus can live up to 9 days on most surfaces at room temperature. 

To disinfect surfaces, use a solution with 62-100% alcohol or low concentration bleach. 

If using wipes, wipe once and throw in trash so as to not spread onto another surface. 

Do masks work? 

Newer research suggests that a well-fitted surgical mask, in practice appears to provide good protection. According to an article from smartairfilters.com , even a cotton handkerchief would provide around 60% protection (vs 99% from a good N95 filter).

Note that this has to do with protecting the mask wearer.
As for protecting others, wearing a mask will help restrict your coughs (just like your  using your elbow would), but even wearing a N95 isn’t great protection for others from you if you are infected, because often they have a one-way valve that permits relatively unfiltered exhalation.

Things to remember

• Stock up on bottled water, canned goods, and other non perishables. 

• Stock up on any prescription or over the counter meds.

• Stock up on any items you may need in the event of a quarantine. 

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe

• Alcohol (at least 60%) 

• Aloe Vera Gel 

• Tea Tree and Lavender Oils 

1. Fill bottle 2/3 to 3/4 of the way with alcohol 

2. Add 10-15 drops of each essential oil 

3. Fill the remainder of the bottle with aloe vera gel 

Note: Hand washing with regular soap and water is always best for killing germs! 

Foods to help boost your immune system 

Boosting your immune system in conjunction with good hand-washing and disinfecting practices can aid in the prevention of coronavirus. 

• Ginger 

• Garlic 

• Broccoli 

• Watermelon 

• Sweet Potatoes 

• Elderberries 

• Acai Berries 

• Honey 

• Spinach 

• Turmeric 

• Oyster 

• Almonds 

• Mushrooms 

• Papaya 

• Oranges 

• Lemons 

• Limes 

• Grapefruit 

• Miso 

• Green Tea 

• Black Tea 

• Sunflower Seeds 

• Kiwi 

• Red Bell Peppers 

Other Immune Builders

  • Elderberries**
  • Echinacea
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Proper Rest
  • Exercise
  • Hydration

**Elderberry come in various forms (Berries on or off the vine, liquid, & capsules to name a few)

Take steps to protect yourself

• Shellfish 

• Stay at home when sick. 

• Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue (then throw away) or with elbow or upper arm.

• Wash hands often with soap and water (at least 20 seconds; sing the happy birthday song twice). 

• Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you don’t have soap and water accessible. 

• Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items such as phones, toys, tv remotes, computer keyboards, desks, door knobs. At least 3 times a day. Can use bleach water solution. 

• Try not to touch surfaces and objects that are used and shared often.

• Try to keep distance from people who are sick.

• Limit hand shaking, hugging and kissing.

• Wash hands before touching eyes, nose or mouth.

• Wash hands before and after eating and using the bathroom. 

• Wash your laundry with hot water.

• Most people don’t give bleach enough time to work its magic, though, so make a point to apply it, let it sit for a while, then wipe it clean. 

• Use liquid soap as opposed to a bar. 

• Dry your hands with paper towels, not cloth towels, to avoid spreading microorganisms around. 

Take steps to protect yourself

  • Put distance between yourself and other people whenever possible (min 6 ft). This is especially important for people who are at higher risk for getting sick including: 
    • Older adults
    • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
      • Heart disease
      • Diabetes
      • Lung disease
  • Avoid gathering in public places. Try to be at home as much as possible. 
  • Minimize social contact, and that means limiting all social engagements, including gatherings among friends.
Aisha Fields | AAPDEP Director

Growing produce in pots has many wonderful benefits

Growing vegetables and herbs in containers can be a very efficient way to add fresh healthy produce to your diet.  This technique can be done where there is not a lot of space for gardening and with people who might have difficulty accessing garden space.  You should start with a good size pot about 18-20 inches tall and wide, with drainage holes.  

Start after all chances of frost, pots can freeze easier than plants in the ground.  A potting mix should be used, over soil from your yard, the potting mix will be lighter and you can cut down on introducing weeds or disease to your soil.  Find a nice accessible location that gets at least 6 hours of sun a day.  Make sure you check the moisture in the pot and water accordingly.  

Potted plants can tend to dry out quickly.  Do not drown the plants but keep the soil evenly moist.  Give each plant enough space, even though they don’t have to meet the space requirements as if you were growing in the ground.  

It is a good idea to plant vegetables and herbs together, and do some research on what are good companion crops.   Growing plants in pots is a good way to practice low intense agriculture, efficiently use space, provides the gardener a healthy harvest, and the ability to improve their agricultural skills for even larger projects down the line.

Gardening indoors not as hard as it seems

Growing herbs is a great activity for beginner and longtime gardeners. Herbs can greatly improve the taste of food and for thousands of years African and other peoples have used herbs for their healing and health benefits.

The great thing about herbs is they can be grown inside, sometimes in the very kitchen that you cook in. All you need is a location that gets good sun, good soil, a container with good drainage and some of your favorite herbs.

Here are a few common herbs that are great for growing indoors:

  • Basil
  • Bay
  • Chive
  • Oregona
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Chervil

These can be started from seed or you can start from plants. Below are a few instructions to starting an indoor garden.. This is a great first step in taking control of our heath, food supply and eventually our self-determination.

Supplies You’ll Need to start a indoor herb garden:

  • Small to medium sized pot, depending how many herbs you would like to grow (medium depth is ideal, all materials work) *note: ensure that your pot either has drainage holes in the bottom, or create drainage with a layer of small pebbles or stones on the bottom
  • Soil (buy a mixture of potting soil from you local garden store, to ensure proper moisture retention) *note: do not use soil directly from the ground in pots, it dries out extremely fast and plants will not grow
  • Seeds/seedlings (choose a variety of your favorites) *note: some herbs tend to grow better from a seedling than from seed
  • Water

Steps to Plant Your Herb Garden in a Pot:

  1. Choose herbs that you and your family like the most.  A good basic variety could include parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, dill, mint, cilantro, etc.  Seeds are available at some grocery stores, garden stores, or through seed catalogs and online.
  2. Fill your pot with potting soil (and drainage if necessary) and moisten slightly with water.
  3. Plant seeds in your pot, according to package instructions for specific herbs.  Most will simply need to be pushed slightly into the soil and covered with a shallow layer of topsoil.  Water thoroughly.
  4. Place your pot somewhere warm and sunny inside, for the colder months, until frost passes outside.  Then place the pot outside in the warm sun, in late April or early May, depending on where you live and the weather.  Take extra care that the soil is kept moist enough during the first months while inside – not soaked, but not dried out either.

Pretty cool Herb Garden designs:

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