Facing the Coronavirus – Taking on Responsibility

By Sunday October 4th, 2020October 31st, 2020No Comments

What can be done?

There are many options to face the Coronavirus pandemic. Most are evident from all what has been described in the former articles. Some measures, for example reducing toxic and immune-modulating substances in our environment will have no immediate effect. To improve the microbiome works a bit quicker, but a change of cleaning habits might be necessary as certain cleaning substances increase the risk for asthma and lung affections.[1] Yet this seems to be difficult now during the pandemic. A change of nutrition, however, will improve the microbiome rather quickly.

Many measures of hygiene with the intention to increase resilience need a little time. But they are the best way to prepare oneself for a Coronavirus infection. Of course, all this requires some effort. The reward is not only a better health, but a more fulfilled life in general. Yet, people tend to say, “I’d rather take a pill.’ This is a problematic approach to health.


Many drugs impede the immune system, antipyretics or immunosuppressive drugs[2] like Methotrexat[3], or the biological factors[4] make more prone for a severe course of the disease. For many other drugs we just could not imagine that it could influence the immune system, as seen with the stomach acid reducing Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI). Many of these drugs change the microbiome and this is how they impede the immune system. Every forth drug on the market influences the microbiome.[5] As a rule of thumb we might say that the more ‘effective’ a drug is, the more intensive are its side effects and the more drugs we take, the more our resilience decreases.

Now, it does not make too much sense to stop all drugs from one moment to the next out of fear of the coronavirus. Things are much more complicated. Just stopping drugs without a plan means to invite adventures. Most of these drugs were given for a certain reason and a functioning organ with drugs, for example the bronchi, is better than a bad functioning organ without a drug. Therefore, the medical community advises to continue a well calibrated therapy as it might be the best way to face an infection.[6] However, there is often much room to reduce certain drugs and/or to stop unnecessary therapies. To get off drugs often needs a plan and is, at times, time consuming. Yet people prefer to take one pill more for the better functioning of the immune system.

A pill for health

The only pill discussed in the official medical world for a better immune reaction against the Coronavirus is vitamin D. It had been observed that patients with a low vitamin D level tend to have a more severe course of Covid-19.[7] We also know that vitamin D has an immune-modulating effect and can lower inflammation. This effect might be of some importance for the severe developments of Covid-19, the so-called cytokine storm.[8]

One of the many problems with statistics is that we never know whether a relation is causal. Is a low Vitamin D level responsible for a severe course of Covid-19 or is it just an expression of a bad living style making more prone for a severe course. If the latter is the case, giving Vitamin D would just correct a blood value without any health benefit. There are a few studies that found that vitamin D supplementation was associated with fewer respiratory tract infections.[9] This is why a part of the medical world proposes to give Vitamin D.[10] The advice is “stay inside and take a drug”, just according to the belief of the current conventional medicine.

But the case of Vitamin D is controversially discussed. There are a lot of financial interest[11] and results are contradicting, without clear evidence.[12] As Vitamin D levels are low in Greece (many reasons might contribute to this fact) it is a problem many people face for themselves and for their children. My advice is, don’t take a pill, but take a low vitamin D level as an opportunity to improve your health conditions generally, e.g. by being more active outside. Then you can forget about things like Vitamin D reference values.

Except of vitamin D there are many other possibilities to improve the immune function, mainly with plant-based drugs. These have generally a broader spectrum of effect, work also for viral infections and are more suitable in terms of least side effects.

My favorite drug for the prevention of Covid-19 is Propolis. This substance has a strong immune modulating effect.[13] It is antioxidant[14] and has an antiviral effect.[15] It seems to suit perfectly for this pandemic.

Another often used plant is Echinacea which is able to reduce infections[16]. In my experience the effect of this plant had never been too convincing. But individual experience might be deceiving. Echinacea, according to the literature, improves the ability to fight infections. It might be an alternative to Propolis, especially in children who do not like the taste of Propolis.

Curcuma/Tumeric is another good choice in preparing for an infection with SarsCoV2. It has a strong antiviral activity. Therefore, it helps in facing an acute infection. But it might also play a key role in the prevention and treatment of chronic states as it reduces chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and thus improves many chronic diseases.[17]

For bronchial infections the classical Greek aromatic herbs like Sage, Thyme and Origan are very effective.[18] They are also available as a pill.

Not available as pill, but with a probably important health effect, is another local plant, the Cist (Cystus). It had been shown to be highly effective against flu in mice[19] but also in humans.[20]

My advice is to drink Cist tea and use Propolis as a preventive strategy to face a potential Coronavirus infection. But, of course, many other strategies might be equally effective. The choice is difficult and depends on the taste, the availability and on personal experience. Not everybody reacts the same to a plant.

The scientific problem with all these plants is that their effect is broader than that of drugs. Their mode of action it is not that specific. Therefore, the control of efficacy does not fit the current statistical tools.[21] Moreover, there is no money from the industry, from BIG PHARMA,[22] to do all the necessary research. There is no major interest from the official institutions, like universities, either. Although such plants might be more effective than many conventional drugs, cheaper and even with less side effects, they are not in line with the spirit of time (Zeitgeist).

 Increasing resilience

There are many means and strategies to increase robustness and resilience with natural methods. In a remarkable article in New York Times To Fight Covid-19, Don’t Neglect Immunity and Inflammation, [23] the author describes in simple terms how exercise, nutrition and good sleep reduce inherent inflammations and increase the ability of the immune system to fight infections. Even in a relative short time an effect might be seen.

The three pillars of health are a central part of any healthcare.

Unfortunately, conventional medicine has become a kind of diseases management and healthcare is rarely on the agenda. This has many reasons. The main one is the obsession with drugs. Another reason is that consulting is often difficult and much more than to repeat guidelines. Although the guidelines for a healthy nutrition are simple, we have to understand the purpose of food in facing an infection like the coronavirus,[24] and diet should be adapted. The same is true for body exercise. Again, we have simple guidelines but what is best for a pensioner who works every day in his olives is no longer true for his wife who does not leave the kitchen. Although she might declare that she is busy all day long, she has little body exercise and a poverty of movements. Even less exercise might have her grandchild sitting all day long in front of a screen. They all need a different kind of activity, but, more important, first they must be interested in exercising. Strangely enough, body exercise is associated by most people (in Greece) with the gym. They say that they do not have the money and the time to go there. Even children from 10 years on leave their couches only to go to the gym, if they want to move. Similarly, people beyond 70, when I propose them to exercise a bit more, ask fearfully “Do I have to go to the gym?” Consequently, people could not exercise during quarantine as the gyms had been closed. Yet stairs are a wonderful tool to begin with or a bit of music to dance to. Even some stretching exercises might be a good start. The main problem is motivation. One has to go a little bit beyond the comfort zone in order to increase resilience.

Even with the third pillar, sleep, there are many problems. Although it is for free and it seems to be simple, it might take some time and a certain preparation, in order to be effective. Often people think they have more important things to do than sleeping. But sleep is the best therapy that ever existed. People pay a high price for the carelessness with their sleep hygiene e.g, TV or the tablet in the sleeping room or a coffee at 8 pm.

There are many other measures for improving health and to fight infections. The following three examples go back to the priest Sebastian Kneipp who dedicated his life to the health education of people.

 The increasing-temperature footbath is a wonderful means at the beginning of an infection, when one feels cold and uneasy. It improves the general mechanisms of the immune system, but also the local function (e.g. in the upper respiratory system which is the topic of the following article).

  • A good time to perform an increasing-temperature foot bath is in the evening before going to bed. Afterwards, many people feel rather tired.
  • You need a thermometer and a bucket where the feet enough room.
  • Immerse both legs in the bucket with warm water at about 33 degrees. Add slowly hot water (for about 20 minutes) to a maximum of 40 degrees.
  • Dry your feet.
  • Have a 20-minute rest in bed with elevated legs for relaxation.[25]

Whereas the increasing-temperature foot bath is good at the beginning of a cold, the Contrast Footbath is a simple measure to increase resilience in general. One might do it twice or three times a week.

  •  For the contrast foot baths you need two buckets. Fill one with cold water (it might be as cold as 18 degrees) and one with warm water (about 37 degrees).
  • Immerse your feet for 5 minutes in the warm water. Put your feet for 10 to 15 seconds into the cold water.
  • Repeat the procedure one time. That is, end with cold water.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly. Take care to rewarm the feet afterwards – for example, using warm socks, movement or a massage. [26]

To end the footbath with cold water leads to reactive hyperemia and an increased circulation.

There are even more simple methods. The classic brush massage boosts the circulation and strengthens the immune system. Although lately only used to fight cellulitis, it had been an important and very quick method to improve circulation, metabolism and mood.

A massage with a brush is done in slightly overlapping movements. The direction of the movement is always periphery towards the centre. We start with the right sole, move over the lower leg to the thigh. Then we do the same on the left side. We continue with the buttocks, first right then left. Next comes the right arm, starting with the palm, moving upwards, followed by the left arm. We finish with breast, belly, neck and back with a circular movement. The brush should be rather soft than hard. We even might use different brushes for different parts of the body. The brushing should provide an appropriate stimulus, but we should feel comfortable.

This basic technique is shown the video How To Dry Brush  goop.

Taking responsibility

Although stairs, a good bed to sleep, a bucket and water is all we need, there is a hesitation, a resistance of people to do such simple actions, and to invest just a few minutes into their health.

It had been said that the measures like staying at home, wearing a mask or the continuous remark “wash your hands” put us in the situation of little children, is a kind of infantilization. But this infantilization is not a new thing. It just became obvious during the Coronavirus pandemic that people have lost the ability to care appropriately for themselves – and for their children. This had been one of the important lessons for me during the first phase of Covid-19. Although people are afraid, they have no intention to do something about it. They prefer to wait for a drug or a vaccination in the hope that this will save them. People have become unfree, slaves of BIG PHARMA. It is time to stand up and to take responsibility for the own health again. It is easy. It only needs a brush to start with.

The other articles about the coronavirus pandemic are

  1. The Coronavirus and the Everyday Life in the Quarantine
  2. What does robustness mean in the time of the coronavirus?
  3. Fever and the Use of Antipyretics
  4. After the First Covid-19 Wave – What we have learned and what we have to learn
  5. Understanding Covid-19
  6. Covid-19 and the Battered Immune System


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[2] Shekerdemian LS, Mahmood NR, Wolfe KK, et al. Characteristics and Outcomes of Children With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection Admitted to US and Canadian Pediatric Intensive Care Units. JAMA Pediatr. Published online May 11, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1948

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[5] Maier, L., Pruteanu, M., Kuhn, M. et al. Extensive impact of non-antibiotic drugs on human gut bacteria. Nature 555, 623–628 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature25979

[6] https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/114152/Gut-eingestellte-chronisch-Kranke-gegen-COVID-19-am-besten-gewappnet?rt=f23e8819409328e465aafb35fff42d6c

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[9] Manson JE (2002): Does Vitamin D Protect Against COVID-19? – Medscape – May 11, 2020.


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[12] Nicky Broyd. NICE: ‘No Evidence’ to Support Vitamin D for COVID-19 – Medscape – Jun 29, 2020.


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[25] https://www.kneipp.com/us_en/kneipp-magazine/water-cures/foot-bath/

[26] https://www.kneipp.com/us_en/kneipp-magazine/water-cures/contrast-foot-bath/