It’s a virulent world

Chit Juan

Chit Juan

As we try to live a healthier lifestyle and eat good food, there is no escaping that there are so many mutations of various virus that continue to plague our world. It may be caused by increasing populations and movement of living things (man included), or the increasing discoveries of different drugs as we discover new diseases—not a very pretty topic but something we cannot avoid.

The sensitivity of some people to dirt, germs and the propensity to be infected has led to the growth of demand for insect repellants, hand sanitizers and instant alcogels, besides anti-bacterial soaps, lotions and similar products.

But is that being overly-reactive to the rise in cases of virus infections? A friend who is a doctor thinks not. In fact, he says, “this is the way we should be,” careful and almost over diligent in staying clean, being clean, eating clean and making sure our environment is.

The statistics are staggering: one in a room of 30 people will most likely have TB bacteria. One in 100 has drug-resistant TB. OMG. A plane carries 200 to 300 people on long-haul flights. That means we are breathing the same air for 11 to 15 hours. The HIV virus, my doctor-friend says, will die as soon as air hits it. But not measles or hepatitis or influenza. If someone has measles and coughs in a room, six out of 10 people are likely to get the virus. So be careful.

What to do to prevent infections?

Cough on your sleeve. As soon as bacteria touches your shirt or tissue, its stays there. I see people coughing in wild abandon, not caring for people around them.

Simply cough on your own clothing if you do not have a choice.

Avoid crowds. Easier said than done, but if you see the numbers of how infections spread, you may be better off staying in open areas like a beach or a garden or by the bay.

Eat well, sleep well. Our immunity builds up when our bodies are nourished well. Not just with food, but with sleep and rest. Sleep less, and we open ourselves to lower immunity towards infections. Not eating well also spells the same results.

Be positive. So many people fall victim to sickness because they are severely stressed. They have elevated readings of blood pressure, are wont to overeating and generally lower their immunity when they are stressed.

Take your vitamins. I remember going on a Vitamin C therapy three years ago and I had fewer bouts with a cold or flu. A multivitamin won’t hurt. Vitamin C is also a natural immunity builder.

Know your medicines and keep a record. How many of us go to the doctor and do not even understand what medicines we are taking and what their names are? It is important for us to know what the doctor gives, how we react to it and how long we have taken it. The next doctor’s appointment may be with yet another doctor or specialist who will ask you when you last took antibiotics, asthma medicines, etc. It’s good to know what we take and how it made us feel.

Drink lots of water. Make it a habit to always drink water, more than soda or juice.

Good, clean water is our cheapest natural vitamin to ward off cough, cold and sore throat. They say we should drink water upon waking, and water before we sleep and some eight glasses while we are awake. Add more if you drink coffee or tea, because they are diuretics that can remove much water from your system.

Break your day. A power nap of even 15 to 20 minutes refreshes us and makes us ready to face more challenges for the rest of the day.

And lastly, have some form of physical exercise. Whether it is walking in the mall, climbing stairs or doing a bit of yoga, any physical movement for about 30 minutes a day spells the difference in maintaining our health.

Meanwhile, learn to dodge the virus. Stay away from crowds. Breathe in some fresh air. And stay healthy.

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Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , Podium and Centris QC malls. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., two non-profits close to her heart. She often speaks to corporates and NGOs on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and coffee.

You can follow her on or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at


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