While dealing with a pandemic, having access to proper medical care is vital and can mean the difference between life and death. For that reason, we at Bella's Apothecary believe that a compilation of practical resources can help those in disenfranchised communities to survive independent of immediate help from outside agencies.
This list is a work in progress so make sure to check back often. Together we can do a lot to help keep one another safe and healthy during a pandemic.
DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors. We do not diagnose medical issues or prescribe medications. The intention is to provide factual information about accessible ingredients that help manage symptoms of respiratory viruses in general. The COVID-19 strain is new and there is no known cure or treatment. The best we can do is manage the symptoms and boost our immune systems so that they my be strong enough to fight off the infection if you or a loved one are unfortunate enough to become infected with the virus. Everyone's body responds differently to various natural and prescription treatments so make sure to listen to your body, build support networks close by and keep yourself informed. People in Belize should be checking in with updates from the Ministry of Health by clicking here.
Signs & Symptoms of COVID-19
How Does It Spread?
Vulnerable Populations we should take special care of
While we have been told that the elderly & people with weakened immune systems at the most at risk, that doesn't consider those who are unhoused or far from home and unable to self-isolate. It is worth mentioning that people of any age can contract COVID-19 and can be used to spread the virus.
Basic Sanitation & Prevention Methods
Birthday song twice to keep time.
SANITATION - ALCOHOL-BASED HAND RUB
While washing your hands with soap and water is the best thing, we aren't always able to do so. In these situations, you can use n alcohol based hand sanitizer. Included below is one recipe that we use at Bella's Apothecary, but if you can't make this one exactly then make on that is at least 60% alcohol.
SIMPLEST VERSION: 2 cups of 95% Everclear or Red Top Rum with 1 cup of distilled water. *recipe modified from Herbalista.org
SANITATION - SURFACE DISINFECTION
PERSONAL PREVENTION -
Community Prevention in Shared Spaces
Per the WHO, there are certain times when wearing a mask might be recommended--
Public Health Links
Mutual Aid - Community Care Mutual Aid Groups are forming in communities around the world to provide support to our vulnerable populations, i.e. help with running errands, food delivery, medicine pick-up, etc.
Street Medicine - Serving the Unhoused
Herb Care Resources
Printables to distribute and post
The following recommendations are based on traditional applications for managing respiratory viruses in general. We make no claim regarding COVID19, as this viral strain is new and so unknown to us. All folks are different, with different needs and different ways that their bodies respond to illness and herbs. Please listen to your body and trust your experience. Hopefully you will have other support as well, from family and friends, from the medical community, and from our government.
Dealing with Stress and Anxiety
Herbal Prevention + Wellness
Basic suggestions we often use during the cold + flu season to stay healthy.
HOME CARE FOR MILD ILLNESS
AFTER THE ILLNESS - RECUPERATION + RECOVERY
Americans are so go-go-go, that we have forgotten the importance of the recovery phase, post illness. Please be gentle with yourself.
WHEN YOU’RE FEELING SICK…
First - maybe it’s just the flu or allergies?
How to tell the difference:
When do we need to go to a hospital? When do we escalate care?
Emergency Warning Signs per the CDC
“If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs: (This list is not all inclusive Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning)
SAFE PRACTICES FOR HERBALISTS
For more information on best practices:
Community ClinicsThese are difficult decisions and thought we would just share the decisions we’ve made thus far. This pandemic is revealing how torn the social and welfare fabric of our country is. Many, actually all of us, will suffer greatly due to this lack of public health policy, lack of universal healthcare, lack of housing, lack of food security, lack of so many things… maybe these events will teach us as a nation and a globe that health and happiness are not independent of others. They are collective pursuits. True healthcare is based on a foundation of mutual respect and mutual aid!
To close or not to close...
Distribution of Remedies
This modified work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License - original document by Herbalista.org
When Every Community Stands Alone - Surviving Together Through a Pandemic
Globally we see that healthcare systems have begun to feel the strain of an increase of patients and a decrease in the availability of medical supplies, facilities and staff, making the need for community mobilizations for mutual aid and medical solidarity an unfortunate necessity for each community suffering the consequences of an unprepared or inadequate government and medical infrastructure.
The Coronavirus pandemic is something that impacts all areas of life and is made harder by needing to fight against information suppression and supply shortages. We must work diligently to piece together quality information that allows us to adequately defend our communities, especially those most vulnerable. Arming people with life-saving information and resource building is the radical solidarity being built by others around the world and can happen in Cayo District.
Do not panic. Get organized.
Responding to Coronavirus
All natural disasters further marginalize groups that have been historically marginalized for generations. The stigma associated with such classist thinking only worsens the outcomes of public health. Now is the time that we need to ensure access to healthcare, clean water and basic sanitation & hygiene and these things need to be provided based on need, not ability to pay or other arbitrary barriers.
In the face of this growing threat, childcare facilities and schools are closing and this makes it very difficult for parents to make it to work. Poverty also causes people to come into work when they are sick because they can't afford to miss another payment or be late on the rent. Not being able to stay home to decrease the chances of spreading a highly contagious and deadly disease highlights a critical flaw in the economic system of many counties worldwide. This is how poverty makes it increasingly difficult to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities. These same communities would have difficulties accessing services if government offices and community organizations are closed. It then becomes our responsibility to step in to fill the need that will only get worse as the number of confirmed cases climbs and the steps to fight the spread of the infection intensifies.
It has become a common misconception that only the elderly are at risk of lethal side effects. Not only does Bella's Apothecary officially reject any abelist thinking surrounding the virus, analysts from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) noted that they assume the virus will infect about 50% of the world population; that 20% of the cases will be severe, and 1-3% of cases will result in deaths. In this article, these same analysts went onto state that death rations will be higher in countries that have poor healthcare systems. With majority of the worlds healthcare facilities being overwhelmed by the number of cases coming in, that could mean most of the global population.
Humans are social creatures, so the social isolation that comes with quarantine will impact those who already battle with mental health vulnerabilities. Making sure to offer peer support and emotional first aid to these members of our communities will be more important than ever before. Doing this will help ensure they have the strength to stay indoors while protecting themselves and others around them.
Reaching out to incarcerated friends and family is also imperative. Prisons tend to be breeding grounds for disease and also medical neglect. Checking in with family and advocating for them is our responsibility. Even if they have a debt to society, they are entitled to their health and lives and should still have those at the end of their sentencing. Several prisons in the United States have begun to release some prisoners in an effort to reduce overcrowding and decrease the chances of spreading the infection and that option should not be overlooked for those who can be released without additional threat to the general public.
Cayo District Mutual Aid
The COVID-19 virus has already shut down schools, child cares, places of work, cruise ships and airlines. That means that the most basic necessities that people need to be healthy, or stay alive, will be in short supply or be inaccessible altogether. Crimethinc said it best when they wrote "Rather than struggling to manage the increasingly drastic consequences of this social order on an individual basis, let's come together to confront them on our own terms. Together, we can resist and survive."
Using the tools that are available to us, we can create a list of people who need help and those who are offering it. Taking the time to create this list can make us operate efficiently as a community as the escalation of protective protocols increases with the number of confirmed cases. If you are available to do child care, cook or deliver meals, offer financial assistance, give resources or supplies or anything else we haven't thought of, let us know. This list is a living document that will grow with others participation.
Coronavirus: Precautions, Symptoms & Symptom Relief
There seems to be a vast amount of information about the Coronavirus circulating that is contributing to the spread of the virus. Bella's Apothecary is committed to providing quality information to the public so that each community can defend itself appropriately against the oncoming threat.
Protecting Yourself - Reasonable Protections in a Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization are both offering advice on how to protect yourself, but the truth is that none of us fully understand the virus and there is not a vaccine or treatment known to man at this time. For that reason we have to apply common sense when thinking of ways to keep ourselves safe and slow down the rate of infection so that our healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed to the point of failing while responding to the ever growing number of cases.
Here is the advice:
Symptoms & Symptom Relief
According to the Centers for Disease Control, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to serious illness and death and that the symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 - 14 days after initial exposure to the virus. This estimation is based off of the incubation period of the MERS-CoV virus. However, this Reuters article states that the Chinese Provincial Government says a 27 day incubation period could be possible.
The main reported symptoms for Coronavirus are fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC advises to seek immediate medical attention if you experience trouble breathing, pain in your chest, confusion, inability to arouse or bluish lips or face.
Other than that, the CDC advises that people with mils symptoms can recover at home. Make sure to contact your medical provider if you feel as if you are sick, make sure they have the resources to see you or that you qualify for testing. Make sure it is absolutely necessary to leave the house. Stay away from public areas and public transportation.
We don't know enough about the virus yet to claim it only impacts one demographic. Children with no preexisting conditions have tested positive for the virus, professional athletes, college age Spring Break party goers and more. There are NO TREATMENTS AVAILABLE, the strategy implemented is to manage the most severe symptoms while your immune system fights off the virus. You can use natural remedies to help fight off quite a few viruses, on recipe is Traditional Thieves Oil that you can read bout here. You can use Tylenol to manage fever and congestion but may also want to use a diffuser to put eucalyptus or camphor into the air to assist with opening nasal passage and assisting with a feeling of relaxation.
Other Helpful Links
Bella Eiko is a single mother of a 6 year old boy, freelance journalist, foodie & Civil Rights activist that is dedicated to building a better world by increasing communication & applying positive changes to her everyday life. This endeavor includes educating both herself as well as her son about sustainable living and healthy alternatives to everyday products using practical application.
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