Quarantine seems to be a good strategy right now to slow down the rate of the new Corona infections. We keep a social distance which reduces the risk of infecting others. But what will happen after quarantine? There is a main connection which we tend to forget in most of the discussions. To be aware of this can help you to stay healthy even after we go back to a more normal life step by step.
Politicians had to decide on the strategies to put in place with little knowledge on how this virus would spread.
Due to this missing information, quarantine was probably the best decision to make at the time. Nobody was able to foresee how infections and the disease would develop and how many people will be admitted to hospital. Looking back in a few months, nobody wants to be responsible for a catastrophe. Social distancing under these circumstances seems to be the right way to avoid too many new infections and to take the pressure off the hospitals.
Later we will have to learn, which of these strategies was appropriate and how to be prepared for coming pandemics, using the newly gained knowledge.
What happens after quarantine?
Step by step in the following weeks the quarantine will be lifted, rules will change and become less strict. But the virus is still around, so we might expect more new infections and more people will get sick . Infected people with little or no symptoms will spread the virus even further. But we can’t stay in quarantine until end of 2020. Towards autumn the next seasonal flu is waiting already, even if the interest of media in any flu-pandemic is nearly non-existent. What are we missing here?
Surprise: We have an immune system.
Our body is made to deal with viruses, bacteria and fungi. That’s its job. If our immune-system is strong, we are prepared for different kinds of infections even after quarantine.
But unfortunately, most of us probably have a weakened immune system. Our lifestyle causes low level chronic-inflammation where our immune system is busy all the time, for instance in our joints, brain or gut. But this means, it might overlook viruses or bacteria in our system. The most influential lifestyle aspects to weaken our immune system are stress, sugar, sleep-deprivation, nutrient-deficiency, obesity and chronic-diseases.
Read more about health: Improve your Life with the 5 Pillars of Health.
Even after quarantine the risk is high, that Covid-19 or any other infection will be more serious, if our immune-system is weak. Overweight people are at the highest risk to be admitted to hospital, when being infected with the Corona-Virus. They are even more at risk than older people or patients with lung- or coronary artery disease. That’s the result of some new studies with people who were admitted to hospital with a Covid-19 infection [2, 3].
Our priority should be to strengthen our health and immune-system NOW. That’s what we tend to forget. We can prepare now to be strong and bulletproof after quarantine, instead of waiting for a magic pill or vaccination to solve the problem for us.
What you can do now
Prioritise the choice of your nutrients from real natural foods. Sweets, fast food and convenience food do not contain enough of phyto-chemicals, vitamins and fibre. The consumption of these foods even weakens our immune-system.
Our body urgently needs plenty of plant nutrients, healthy fats and quality protein to be resilient. Three important steps I want to present in the next couple of sections in this article.
Test your Vitamin D level
About half of the population is deficient in Vitamin D, which in reality is a hormone and not a vitamin. This deficiency weakens our immune-system and we are more likely to get sick. Vitamin D activates more than 250 enzymes in our body. It helps to reduce inflammation which is chronically present in most of the “modern” lifestyle-diseases, like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, cardio-vascular disease and joint pain.
Sun can help your immune system
Sun can help to promote your vitamin D level, but this ability depends on where you are living. In warmer climate zones it can be enough to expose face, hands and arms to the sun for about 20 minutes each day (without sunglasses and SPF). But in most parts of Europe the sun is (at this time of year) still too low below the horizon to increase our Vitamin D level (it needs to be 42 degrees above the horizon or higher). Especially in spring and fall the sun doesn’t have enough power in some areas of the world . In addition, it is even possible that you are exposed to sun with enough intensity, but your body is not able to convert it into Vitamin D.
As a rule of thumb you can say: If your shadow is longer than your height the sun is still too low to promote Vitamin D production. If your shadow is shorter than your height, the sun can help to raise your Vitamin D level .
A good level of Vitamin D in your blood is about 70-80 ng/ml, which is in the normal-high range . If you want to add a supplement you should prefer the combination of Vitamin D3 and K2 to optimize the effect on your health.
Avoid depletion of Vitamin C
More often than we think, we don’t have enough Vitamin C in our nutrition. Insulin-resistance might be one culprit to increase the lack of Vitamin C even further . We miss Vitamin C, not enough to get sick from scurvy, but the lack is still serious enough to be vulnerable for infections like pneumonia . These infections on the other hand increase our need for Vitamin C. The vitamin is water soluble and we can’t save it. If we don’t consistently consume it with our foods, a deficiency can build up in just a couple of weeks .
Citrus fruits like Lime, Lemon and Orange, Kiwi, Bell-Peppers, Sauerkraut, leafy Greens and Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C. You can even choose a supplement to enhance your supply with Vitamin C. Make sure you choose a natural Vitamin C supplement from Citrus fruit or Acerola-Cherry to support your immune system. Artificial Vitamin C from Ascorbic-Acid is often derived from Corn, which doesn’t even contain Vitamin C. It misses some components of natural Vitamin C . One should consume at least 200 mg of natural Vitamin C each day .
Use zinc to boost your immune system
Zinc helps boosting our immune system and supports it to react to pathogens like a virus . Our white blood cells usually contain a high amount of zinc which they need for our immune system to work. People with chronic inflammation have cells that do not contain enough zinc; this decreases the ability of the immune system to work properly . Zinc helps with fever, protects our lungs, decreases inflammation, reduces the duration of infections and the risk of falling sick again soon . A deficiency in zinc is connected to a lower number of lymphocytes which are the “soldiers” of our immune system .
The highest risk of being deficient in zinc are pregnant and breast-feeding women, athletes, vegans, people who use laxatives or diuretics on a consistent base and the ones who drink too much alcohol .
Where do we get zinc from?
Zinc is part of many different foods but often the bio-availability is not very good. Especially in plants, when zinc is bound to phytates and oxalates, we can’t use it very efficiently. But luckily, there are some exceptions. First and foremost zinc is part of animal protein like grass-fed beef or pasture raised chicken, but even fish, seafood and oysters are also a good source. Please avoid meat from industrial live-stock farming, the meat is of poor quality and full of hormones and antibiotics. This is not high-quality nutrition for your body and your immune system Avocado is a plant-food where zinc is not bound to the “defence-mechanism” of the plant and has a good bio-availability .
Even if we choose supplements with zinc we often are only able to use about 50-60% of the zinc it contains. This is the reason why it is often better to choose the real foods with zinc instead of spending money for zinc-supplements .
Strengthen your immune system now
Sooner or later the lock down and quarantine will be end and we will return to a life with less social distance. It’s our personal choice to be prepared and to create a strong and stable immune system with the best resilience possible. Increasing the consumptions of the nutrients, as mentioned above, is for sure one part of the puzzle. This even might mean to include some high quality supplements. But don’t think this is an easy fix where you can just pop in some pills. Health is our responsibility and much more complex. Daily movement, exposure to nature and sun, reduction of sugar, managing your stress, gratitude, sleep, social connection and purpose are basic pillars of health and happiness. Start wherever you think it is easiest for you right now. How about a walk today or tomorrow and a big salad for lunch?
If you start preparing now, then you are ready when you get in touch with people after quarantine, play sports and meet your friends and family again!
Ressources and further Reading:
 Dr. Ben Lynch – Instagram Live; 19.4.2020: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_IXzXbg3Xp/
 Study of New York University Grossman School of Medicine with 4103 patients infected with Covid-19: https ://www.zdnet. com/article/nyu-scientists-largest-u-s-study-of-covid-19-finds-obesity-the-single-biggest-factor-in-new-york-critical-cases/
 Study with 13.381 patients by Dr. Jennifer Lighter of New York University Langone Health; https ://www.rep-am. com/local/localnews/2020/04/13/obesity-appears-to-be-a-major-covid-19-risk-factor-research-says/
 Vitamin D3: Dr. David Perlmutter (2013): Delightful Vitamin D.
 Vitamin C: Dr. Eric Berg (2020): Immune benefits of Vitamin C.
 Zinc: Dr. Eric Berg (2020): Are Ventilators for COVID-19 Doing More Harm than Good?
 Vitamin D3: Dr. Nicolai Worm for Fitbook: https://www.fitbook.de/health/sonne-vitamin-d-produktion
 Vitamin C: Dr. Eric Berg (2018): Vitamin C, an important factor in cardio vascular health.
 Zinc: Dr. Eric Berg (2020): Different Ways Zinc Influences the Coronavirus.
 Zinc: Dr. Ken D. Berry (2020): 7 ZINC Rich Foods (Bio-Available Zinc 2020)
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