One thing that I’ve found infuriating about the coronavirus is the sheer number of shady characters trying to defraud the victims. Some sleazebags are trying to claim they have a vaccine. This is crap. Nobody does. Some reprobates are trying to hawk fake tests. There’s an easy way to avoid these two things, though. If your doctor doesn’t recommend something, don’t waste your time.
But another thing we’re seeing is shady supplements that are ostensibly miracle treatments for COVID-19. Now, as I wrote in a previous piece, there is value in getting the right vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system. But you don’t need supplements to do this. You can get all you need and then some from a proper diet. Besides, taking supplements is cheating. It’s too easy.
And if you do contract the Doom Of Mankind, the nutrients in supplements won’t help coronavirus go away any faster than those same nutrients in food. So just make sure you have the right kind of foods in the house, and know how to prepare them. But eating healthy only does so much good if you’re already down with the sickness. So what remedies actually do help if you have the virus?
I’ve identified a few things over the years that work for cold and flu and such. Usually by looking up things online when I was miserably ill. The power of Google is powerful indeed. And many of these things work for COVID-19. Most of these things are good for almost any disease.
Here are the symptoms, according to Johns Hopkins. The main ones are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some patients also have body aches, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Maybe that last one explains the run on toilet paper.
One thing to drink is tea. Various hot teas can clear your sinuses, warm up your insides (which can help with that dry cough), soothe some a sore throat, and provide essential antioxidants, which help your immune system. Green tea and black tea seem to both have these effects. And I know, green and black tea seems like the sort of thing people who shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s drink. It’s a bit bourgeois. But they work. They seem to take the sting out of any illness.
Of course, hot tea drinking isn’t so common in the United States. It went out of style when a bunch of beantowners threw some tea in the harbor. But there is another choice available. In the holy lands of the American South, we drink iced tea. And iced tea has the same antioxidant benefits as hot tea. And it may not have the sinus clearing effect of hot, steaming drinks, but if you’re running a fever over 100 (which is not uncommon with COVID-19) a nice, cold drink can help bring that down.
There are generally two types of iced tea. There is the unsweetened version that is often drunk by the heathens who occupy the dark, frozen wastelands north of the Mason-Dixon line. Then there is the sweetened, liquid, manna from heaven that we drink in the Bible Belt. And also Florida. Either of these will help with a disease, although only one will save your immortal soul.
And if you drink the drink named for golf legend Arnold Palmer (which is sweet iced tea plus lemonade), you’ll get a healthy dose of Vitamin C, in addition to the benefits of tea. Now some of this might sound fattening, but I never said you have to sweeten these things with sugar. Artificial, science engineered, space-age sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are fine. But screw that stevia stuff. It’s disgusting.
Another thing that can help with a sickness is the brown ambrosia of the gods, also known as coffee. This became very popular in America after we dumped the tea in the harbor. Samuel Adams himself said that patriots should drink coffee instead of tea. In order to show patriotism, we should drink something we import from Colombia instead of something we import from China. I guess that makes sense.
But the high octane fuel of office workers everywhere has all sorts of anti-disease benefits. It brings the steam, like hot tea, which can loosen up the nastiness in your sinuses. It can boost your energy (as if I had to tell anyone that), and also provide some antioxidants.
There’s a downside to these things, though. You know how doctors are always telling you to drink fluids when you’re sick? Tea and coffee tend to pull water out of your body. So they have benefits, but we should use these in moderation to avoid dehydration. And you’ll want some other fluids to stay hydrated.
Of course, you can always drink water to offset the tea and coffee. But that’s dull. Only pretentious exercise fanatics, fine arts majors (the successful ones, not the ones constantly drinking coffee at Starbucks), and general snobs drink water. Fortunately there are options for the normal people of the world.
Fruit juices can give you essential nutrients, help you rehydrate, and can soothe an irritated throat. Orange juice, the drink of choice among Florida men and women everywhere, can provide all of these benefits. Lemon and lime juices can be useful too, although they lack the vitamin C content of a proper orange drink. This only works for actual fruit juice. Orange soda and Sprite or 7-Up aren’t going to have the same effect.
And there is another citrus drink I failed to mention in my previous piece on micronutrients that help your immune system. Grapefruit juice has both vitamin A and C. Both are good for your immune system, and the juice can cool you down and sooth a sore throat as well as any other citrus drink. But there’s a problem.
Grapefruit is the worst. I’m convinced that grapefruit is a cruel prank played on the human race by elder gods of Lovecraftian origin who sought to toy with the puny humans of Earth. I can imagine the disgusted expression on the face of the first guy who ate a grapefruit, thinking he was getting an orange. I’m sure it would have made a great internet meme.
If fruit juice isn’t your thing, you can go with vegetable juice. There are store bought drinks which have all of the vitamins you need. And you can also make your own with a juicer, if you’re hard core. And some vegetable juices come in a spicy version that can clear your sinuses in a good way. In fact, spicy food in general is a good way to keep the sinuses clear. Maybe that’s why Mexico doesn’t have a huge coronavirus problem yet.
There are also two things that you totally should have learned about from your mother. Chicken soup and honey. Chicken soup will clear the sinuses, soothe the throat, and provide a variety of nutrients. Honey doesn’t have any real nutritional value. But it does soothe the throat. So add some to any of your drinks, and it’ll help.
There is one thing to avoid, though. Alcohol. I’ve written about how this can be a problem in the past. Many of the things I’ve mentioned are wonderful ingredients in extraordinary alcoholic beverages. And maybe you’re thinking that if you feel rotten anyway, a hangover won’t make you feel noticeably different. But intoxication weakens your immune system. So you should not use honey or hot tea to make hot toddies. You should not turn citrus drinks into mimosas or screwdrivers. You should not turn vegetable juice into a bloody Mary. And you should really not convert the sweetened manna that is iced tea into Long Island Iced Tea. Just don’t.
When we drink alcohol, we say “to your health!” But if you do it when you’re unhealthy, it produces side effects. Like longer sickness, or death. Don’t do death. It’s weird. Save that alcohol for a time when you actually feel like celebrating. Not when you feel like crap.
All of these are things that have helped me in the past. One thing to keep in mind is that none of these solves all of your problems, so it’s probably good to mix it up a bit. Have a little of each if you catch the virus. A cup or two of coffee in the morning, a cup or two of tea in the afternoon, chicken soup for lunch, and fruit and vegetable drinks throughout the day. And maybe some bottled water too, if you don’t mind looking like a snob.
But for God’s sake, avoid the creeps on the internet pimping their miracle supplements. Eat well, drink well, stay hydrated, and get some rest. The virus is hurting or killing people in poor health. If you’ve been taking care of yourself, you should make it. And these remedies I’ve mentioned won’t cure anything, but they may help shorten it and ease your suffering.
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