Coronavirus and food access for mobility challenge

This coronavirus flu pandemic is among the worst flu crises in the past 200 years. Able-body people are forced into quarantine lock downs at home, protective gear, social distancing, and closures of schools and businesses. USA was caught unaware. It was shocking. That includes access to supermarkets. It’s a hysterical situation. Imagine having motor and other disabilities. When those microbes flee and vaccines develop. Most people will gradually normalize. For many people with chronic disability challenges, many challenges that were once somewhat manageable are above and beyond possible.

Quarantines, social distancing, wearing (and finding) protective masks and gloves are large and bitter pills to swallow, even in this digital age. But compared to congestive flu, pneumonia symptoms and death, you deal with it.

When supplies run low, shopping online provides basics but if you have special, dietary needs or seek taste preferences, you may be out of luck. Most people can get to supermarkets and pharmacies that are better supplied and even wait on restrictive lines. People with visual, mobility, emotional, mentally, or otherwise impaired, those challenges are virtually impossible for adaptation.

The global lockdown and social distance is shocking to most people. This Coronavirus pandemic is impacting many lives. For the disabled and for those with chronic mobility challenges, this is even more devastating. Having myotonic muscular dystrophy, lack of accessibility is a permanent condition. Corona virus pandemic attacks the disabled and human civilization with greater than military impunity.

According to statistics gathered by the World Bank, One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities. Of course disabilities cover wide ranges and few have been addressed as seriously as coronavirus-19 over the past 4 months.

Confronting dilemmas of coronavirus and disabilities is that disabilities are chronic with no treatments or cures. Acute diseases are the diseases that affects an individual for short span of time. Chronic diseases are the diseases that persist for a long period of time. They develop over a time and does not appear suddenly. For example, Heart disease, kidney disease, neuro-muscular diseases, among others are chronic. Coronavirus is a flu and is acute.

Although acute, and seeming temporary, each year flu can possibly kill many. CDC estimates that influenza was associated with more than 48.8 million illnesses, more than 22.7 million medical visits, 959,000 hospitalizations, and 79,400 deaths during the 2017–2018 influenza season. The coronavirus-19 (SARS-Cov2) of 2020 far exceeds that. Will microbes eventually be the end of human civilization through repeated attacks from infectious microbes? Each year there is a flu season. Some are prevented with researched vaccines. Each year, though, people around the world die from flu diseases. They may be brief but deadly to some. Coronavirus has demonstrated death tolls around the world. And science research is slow in finding weapons.

In the USA, scientific research is usually neglected. Many studies are small, short, and not representative samples of the population. When we debate health care, thorough research usually isn’t factored.

Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are contagious by contact with air, boards, and other materials. Chronic disabilities are likely in genetic or in-utero. Chronic disabilities are not contagious, other than family blood lines.

Both coronavirus and disabilities can shorten lifespan, depending on severity. Living in a quarantine-like environment such as coronavirus restrictions isn’t unique for those with chronic mobile disabilities. Doing things is just more challenging.

People with chronic disabilities need to adapt to the environment. In New York, I don’t go to stores. I shop online or by phone. The store delivers. Under the coronavirus pandemic, shopping is even more challenging because traveling to stores may be extremely difficult. More online stores have established restrictive policies.

People with disabilities aren’t seniors although many seniors have congestive diseases that can confound or amplify coronavirus symptoms. While death might have been accelerated by coronavirus, there may have been others that suppressed the body’s immune system. Generally, proper nutrition is supportive but not medically accepted.

As an acute disease, Coronavirus and lockdowns restrict access to laundries, barbers, hair salons, nail spas and other personal services that people with disabilities make use of. Yes, people on lockdowns are coping with all these services closed.

COVID stress gets worse as lockdowns become longer. People are required to think out-of-the-box to take care of needs they’ve always taken for granted. They must adapt to new and harsher realities as cases and deaths grow higher each day. They must adapt as soldiers without legitimate authority through lockdowns and mandatory social distancing for an undetermined time. Thank heavens for Internet and unemployment!

But this coronavirus pandemic will pass. Human civilizations will normalize. Economies will surge and lives will become better with achievements and joy.

Yet, for people with chronic disabilities who use wheelchairs, walkers, braces and other accessories for different challenges, restrictions will remain with prayers for some ease with access to foods and services. Of course we’ve adapted to problems with maneuvering and travelling in a world full of obstacles. These challenges are permanent (or can get worse). I am motivated to confront my challenges although many days I succumb to failure. Then try to re-adapt. Thinking out-of-the-box and supportive relationships help.

In a world of bullets and bombs, human civilization must appreciate this coronavirus pandemic as evidence that science research against infectious microbes must not be suppressed. The bible talked about breaking swords and making plowshares. Science, responsible lifestyles, and mutual respect may make a better garden grow, amidst climate change and world pollution.

The endgame, as this coronavirus pandemic passes, is that no lessons were learned. Better, more infectious microbes will evolve and attack every few years. Human civilization and our future generations must learn the chronic war against these infectious microbes and furtherance of overall human wellness. Or face extinction like the Aztecs.

The Biblical Book of Isaiah sheds a utopic view of the world. The famous “swords to plowshares” quote (Isaiah 2:4) is but one of its famous proclamations:

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4).

This goes back nearly 3,000 years. Reference to this or essences appear in the Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran. What is the plowshare we need?

Methodical microbial research will help human civilization span evolution better. Our economy must rely on research for our selves and future generations. This recent pandemic is far more destructive than bullets and bombs.. We must rethink and examine the prophets and create those plowshares to aid global civilizations on an ever-changing planet. Just because you can’t see the attack coming, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. That’s how coronavirus worked this time around.

While climate change and environment are important, generations are best served by research to help prevent pandemics and help the disabled meet challenges with greater dignity and understanding.

Rhinovirus hunting in season for common cold

It is rhinovirus season. Rhinovirus hunting is in season except you are the target. The Rhinovirus is one of several viruses that are the culprits behind annoying common colds. Rhinovirus has many subspecies and strains. It’s the variety of them that makes the body struggle against getting infected. When it attacks and your immune system is weak, you feel miserable.

A common cold may be a socially transmitted disease. You may get it from a handshake, a sneeze nearby, a shared surface area, among many other things. It is not weather related, necessarily.

How do you get a cold? Going out in cold weather or swimming in cold water isn’t what helps you catch cold, though many people believe so. You cold began when a cold-virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat.

A rhinovirus lands on and enters your body. Consider a virus an illegal alien that sneaks through the border patrol as it enters your body. The virus is a foreign germ and your body triggers defenses against it. This is the immune system. Your immune system sends white blood cells out to attack this germ. Unless you’ve encountered that exact strain of the virus before, the initial attack fails and your body sends in the infantry and paratroopers. Your nose and throat get inflamed. Histamine, mucus and phlegm form and you get runny nose, watery eyes, and congestion. With so much of your body’s energy directed at fighting the cold virus, you’re left feeling tired and miserable. You have a cold.

How do you fortify your immune system with stronger weapons? One approach is maintaining a healthy lifestyle to boost your immune system. That might include:

Don’t smoke.
Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
Exercise regularly.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Control your blood pressure.
Drink alcohol only in moderation.
Get adequate sleep.
Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.

Seems to make sense. Even if you do follow most or all these things, you may still get a viral cold. It’s common.

Chronic psychological stress may tax your immune system, according to an article in New England Journal of Medicine. When you have chronic stress, your hormones come from glands. These chemicals act as messengers that places your body on alert to defend itself. Chronic stress or people with chronic stress, barring allergy sensitivity, are likely to have more cold symptoms because stress makes it easier for a virus to enter.

An end product of the adrenals contribution to stress response is a class of chemicals called glucocorticoids (GC). Glucocorticoids are designed to help reduce body inflammation in small doses. It’s part of the fight or flight system essential to survival. Chronic stress releases glucocorticoids in large doses. GC interrupts inflammation by moving into cells and suppressing the proteins that go on to promote inflammation. GCs also affect your metabolism by causing cells in the liver to make more sugar. This may lead to too much sugar in the blood, and cause steroid induced diabetes mellitus. Glucocorticoids also affect food intake during the sleep-wake cycle. Your Cortisol levels, which vary naturally over a 24-hour period, peak in the body in the early-morning hours just before waking. This hormone helps produce a wake-up signal, turning on appetite and physical activity. Cortisol is a common partner with glucocorticoids.

It has been believed that enduring glucocorticoids in high-levels may (with other factors) lead to cancer. Cancer is sometimes seen as a virus. A recent study in the Journal of Immunology cites evidence about how the immune system kills healthy cells while attacking infections. The immune system also performs surveillance of tumor cells, and immune suppression has been reported to increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

Dealing with a virus and a compromised autoimmune system means no treatment. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to fight against bacterial germs that might be present in some colds. These drugs do not work against viruses. Too many repetitive prescriptions of antibiotics may cause antibiotic resistance as bacteria become immune to those drugs. This is a pressing problem at treating global bacterial infections.

Suprisingly, there is no cure for the common cold, but you can get relief from the symptoms. The United States National Institute of Health offers guidelines and most advise NOT seeing a doctor, unless symptoms last more than 5 days. It recommends using over-the-counter cold symptom relievers.

While the many strains of rhinovirus may result with a common cold any time of year, another nasty virus attacks seasonally. It called the influenza or flu virus and this has more severe symptoms. That’s why guards against influenza are strongly advised as vaccines. Vaccinating at the appropriate time may help your body fight off these aliens. There is no vaccine for the rhinovirus.

Of course, as we’ve seen with glucocorticoids and side effects as the body activates an immune system to aid and combat stress, a healthier immune system may be the best way to fight that rhinovirus from giving you a common cold. What can you do?

Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. The concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically because those pills may have ingredients that negatively influence the immune system.

Only a lifestyle choice may help boost immune regulation over time. Unfortunately, factors such as enduring stress may confound the benefits.

According to the Center of Disease Control, “Common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work. Each year in the United States, there are millions of cases of the common cold. Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more.” There is no vaccine. The cure remains an ominous ghost.

It amazes me how few people realize the virus relationship to the common cold. It astounds how doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics to relieve colds. It fascinates about how few are willing to adopt a lifestyle for immune enhancement.

There are many ways to control stress and its accompanying anxieties from being chronic. Exercise and diet are among them and are present in an immune protection lifestyle. Stress is integral to living but chronic stress may be fatal. Your goal must aim at suppressing chronic stress.

Some of the elements of the lifestyle to boost the immune system are attractive for overall wellness throughout a lifespan. Yet, every day and in every way a rhinovirus wants to find a host. Are you a willing candidate?