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What's behind the Coronavirus: Facts & Recommendations

immune system virus
You’ve probably heard both ends of the spectrum by now…

One friend says, "The coronavirus is super over-hyped, everyone is over-reacting, and the normal flu kills thousands more people a year than this does. People need to calm down!"

Meanwhile your other friend is stock-piling supplies at home like the apocalypse is around the corner, and shares every statistician’s online post that says this virus will infect half of the global population.

We know that operating frantically out of a place of fear isn’t good for anyone. But governments and institutions wouldn’t be taking such extreme measures—shutting down borders and calling off huge economy-stimulating events—over something that was "just like the seasonal flu."

We’ve been receiving information and footage from our close friends and students in Asia that has caused us to take this situation seriously from the start.

Today we will share what we know about the novel COVID-19, or the coronavirus, followed by what we suggest doing about it! If you want to jump straight to sanitation recipes, immune-strengthening tips, traveling tips, and COVID-19 facts, check out Karen's brochure on this page (scroll down to page 2).

We have no intention of spreading fear, but believe it’s important to know where this could go if precautions are not taken seriously now, and to know the best ways to protect ourselves and our communities.

It may also help explain why universities, schools, companies, governments, sporting centers, concert halls, and others are making significant sacrifices to try to prevent transmission.  

1. The first thing to understand is…. We actually don’t have all the numbers.

In order for a person with the virus to count in the official number of those infected or in the death toll, they need to have had an official diagnosis. If a hospital is severely overburdened with patients or an area doesn’t have access to testing supply kits, then they don’t have a way to quantify the actual numbers.

What happened when patients in China passed away before receiving an official diagnosis? Or stayed at home and were sick without being confirmed? Or passed away from home? They weren’t counted in the data. The official numbers that China released were consistently 10-50 times smaller than the numbers that came from our friends who were living there.

Several hospitals around the world still lack COVID-19 testing supplies, so there’s no way to measure or report the actual rate of infection in those regions.

Because this virus often takes 2-14 days to show symptoms in people carrying the virus, infected people can infect others before they even know they’re sick! This has resulted in a lot of unintentional exposure and yet-to-be diagnosed cases.

The bottom linewe shouldn’t downplay something because the numbers aren’t "high enough" for our standards of seriousness, when the data we do have is inevitably lower than reality.

2. From the numbers that have been reported, we see why governments are taking measures so seriously. We support their preventative actions.

The death rate among confirmed cases in Italy recently jumped from 3.4% to 6.6% as of the past two days, March 11th and 12th. Of 15,113 confirmed cases, there have been 1,016 deaths. (So about 7 out of 100 people who were confirmed with the virus there died). The normal flu case-mortality rate is typically around 0.1% (So 1 in 1000 people who get it die). Saying it is "10x more deadly than the flu" is actually an understatement. For Italy (who has an older population), it’s 66x more deadly than the flu.

As of 9am on March 13th, 2020, among closed cases (75,384 people), 93% recovered (70,733 people) and 7% passed away (5,120 people). There have been 139,619 official cases total worldwide. 63,766 cases are still open, with 9% in critical condition. [Data drawn from]

According to available data, the death rate is the most severe among the elderly population and among those who have pre-existing health conditions like cancer, respiratory illness, and heart disease. The death rate for those under 50 who get the disease has been as low as 1% or less, and that rate increases gradually to 18% for those over 80 years old. Those with cancer, a respiratory disease, or heart disease have experienced a 7.8%, 8%, and 13.2% rate of death (respectively), according to a report from the Worldwide Health Organization. These numbers are subject to change as more data becomes available.

If you are someone with one of those conditions, or elderly, know that there is much you can do to take precautions and strengthen your body. We are HERE FOR YOU. See the suggestions section below, as well as the brochure on Karen's page here

We’ve heard stories of almost entire nursing homes passing away in China, so make sure to keep the elderly in your home and community particularly protected, away from people with a fever, breathing ventilated or fresh air, and as healthy as possible. We ALL need to take precautions seriously so we can protect the immuno-compromised in our community.

Though the death rate is worse among the elderly, mild and severe cases are still seen across every age group. Cases can range from very mild to extremely painful. The main symptoms are fever, dry cough, and fatigue.

Health officials project the virus will peak further down the road, with many estimates as far out as the fall of 2020. Experts explain that a later peak is a good thing, because if we take prevention measures seriously and keep it from exploding and peaking now, the healthcare system won’t be as overburdened at any given moment. If we don’t contain it now and it does peak rapidly, the hospitals won’t be able to take in everyone who needs care. This happened in China and is happening in Italy. If we can lessen the blow, the medical field can better handle those in critical care. (See "Flattening the Coronavirus Curve" by NYT/CDC).

Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipstich estimates the virus infecting 40-70% of the global population, and reaching at least half the US population before teetering off. These numbers are echoed by biostatisticians and experts around the world; Ira Longini estimates it reaching 2/3 of the global population, and Dr. Brian Monahan (the attending physician of Congress) estimates 70-150 million Americans contracting the virus (that’s about half of the US population). The CDC anticipates it lasting well through this season and into next year.

SO, the bottom line is that this is not a hoax or a seasonal flu virus, and is something we should be prepared to deal with.

IF we can contain the virus and prevent/slow down transmission, it will prevent hospitals from becoming over-burdened, schools and families from becoming infected all at once, and keep loved ones from passing away.


1. Classic first item on the list: Don’t enter "fear mode." While we know it’s serious, there is a ton we can do to prepare our bodies and homes for it, prevent it from spreading, and stay in a positive state of mind. Fear is harmful to the soul and body! Also, keep in mind that being prepared with household necessities is important, but overstocking our homes with several-month supplies of everything all at once may keep other families from having access to basic necessities like toilet paper (true story).

2. Read Karen's VIRAL PREP and COVID Handout available as a separate blog post. It speaks about a homeopathic Viral Prep Kit, and if you ordered a kit, this brochure will come with it. You don’t need to order a kit to access the information. This handout covers symptoms of COVID-19, ways to boost the immune system, recipes for home-made hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, and detailed tips for traveling! It’s a great document.

3. Consider refraining from social gatherings and unnecessary travel for a while. (Maybe the next email should be about games to play with the family, and how not to lose your mind from home!) Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, making contact with other people (like handshakes), and going to areas with lots of people close together.

4. Once exposed to the virus, your body may or may not get sick. Your immune system will learn how to develop antibodies for it, and the vast majority of those who get sick will recover – and not just those who are perfectly healthy now. If you are someone with a pre-existing condition, you still have a lot of power in this situation.

Therefore, it’s an essential time for EVERYONE to prioritize sleep, proper nutrition, consider immune system-educating methods like homeopathy, and take sanitation and distancing measures seriously. Your body could have two very different reactions to the same exposure based on its current state (sleep-deprived or not, lots of sugar in the bloodstream or not, stressed out or not, etc).

5. Soap, not hand sanitizer, does a far better job of breaking down the lipid barrier around viruses and getting them off your hands. That’s why hand-washing with soap for 20-30 seconds is being emphasized so much right now. Hand washing is far more effective than hand sanitizer! Wash your hands before eating (if you have to eat in the car, make sure you have wipes because steering wheels and cell phones are a great carrier for bacteria and viruses!), have everyone wash up as soon as they home, wash before touching your face or another person, and regularly disinfect your phone and items that travel around with you a lot.

6. Because the UV rays in sunlight kill viruses, someone is unlikely to contract the virus while walking outside in the sun—in the city or not. Sunlight is also very healthy for you.

7. Watch our (Karen and Amy’s) 1-hour presentation on Facebook (found on "Karen Urbanek & Karen's Holistic Health") that we gave last Friday on this very topic. Thank you to everyone who joined us in person that night-- we sure had a blast together!

8. Act in love and support. No matter where we live, we are on a team with those in our community. Now is a time for ultimate consideration and working together.
9. Get into a Hyperbaric Chamber!  They have a 100% success rate with COVID-19!

Thank you for joining us in these efforts! We do not wish to see what has taken place in other regions of the world take place here. If you have seen the footage of the over-crowded hospitals, the body bags, families being placed under quarantine, the state of those enduring this sickness, you can understand why we care so much to try and prevent it from spreading.

Let us know how we can help, and spread EMPOWERMENT, friends!

-Amy and Karen

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