Both viral and bacterial pneumonia are most dangerous when they are transmittable by air — meaning through the air. We’ve all seen the cartoons of people spewing germs when they cough or sneeze and the germs being transmitted via tiny, invisible drops of water (and whatever else) coming out of our mouths.
Sixty years ago we were taught to put our hands over our mouths when coughing or sneezing, which helps cuts down on transmission of germs via the air, but when you think about it, doesn’t help much because you then turn right around and start handling fruit at the produce counter and opening car doors with hands that are now absolutely covered with germs. Right?
So what is the actual correct way to avoid both problems? Sneeze or cough into your shoulder. Just lift your arm a little and sneeze or cough into the corner of your shoulder above your armpit. Doing so will cut transmission contact both through the air and via hand contact.
Advanced studies have been done on this method and it really does work — and not only does it help you protect others, it helps you protect yourself from re-infection or “double loading” pathogens.
Of course, when you get home, you will be stuck with a germ laden jacket, but if you wear leather or cloth or better still, a raincoat that you can wash or wipe off with disinfectant solution, that is less of a problem than you might imagine.
Door handles and toilet knobs and tanks and sinks and keyboards and chair backs and countertops are all obvious places where viruses and bacteria like to hide and they should be cleaned appropriately and then given a once-over where appropriate with some of the vinegar-salt-essential oil solution I mentioned recently. This process not only gets rid of germs outright, but leaves a protective coating on everything to kill germs that land on surfaces afterward.
Don’t forget your pet’s bowls! Animals can suffer from viruses and bacterial infections just like people, so do your due diligence for your animals, too. Wash their food and water bowls morning and night during any outbreak and spray/rinse them with the organic essential oil spray or with dilute vinegar solution. A drop or two of essential oil of lavendar, rose, or marjoram applied to your pet’s collar or directly to the fur on their back has a calming effect and makes them sleep more soundly. Maybe it would help you insomniacs, too?
One study I read claimed that doing nothing beyond wiping down kitchen counters with vinegar solution killed germs for six (6) days afterward. You don’t have to overdo the vinegar solution, either — just a teaspoon in a cup of water will have the desired anti-microbial effect.
As I pointed out, a lot of germs get passed from the produce section at the grocery store. People in America like to handle and examine their onions and potatoes, bananas, and apples as if we were buying a horse. As a result, much produce that we buy may be covered with germs as well as pesticides and herbicides and plain old dirt.
So if you have been following along you will see why it is important during an outbreak of ugly illnesses to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly and repack them in clean bags or containers. There are many fruit and vegetable washing solutions on the market and available for this purpose, but you can make your own at home with a couple drops of liquid Castille soap, a drop or two of oregano oil, water, and vinegar. Rinse everything—especially green leafy vegetables— in dilute vinegar water, and you will be amazed how long your properly cleaned and re-packed produce will last.
I am giving this information to combat microbes via simple means in general. Some people are getting freaked out by the corona virus, but the truth is that we live in a sea of microbes that are just as dangerous as any naturally occurring SARS virus. Bacterial pneumonia is just as bad or worse than viral pneumonia and you can die from it just as quick.
A SARS-type viral illness is often combined with a bacterial based secondary infection, especially if you pick up one or both at a hospital or hotel, which quickly become “distribution centers” for illnesses of either kind.
One of my personal favorite all-time cheap and very effective cleaning helps in the kitchen and bathroom is food grade hydrogen peroxide, which you can find in the dairy section of many health food stores and private pharmacies. It’s harmless to pets and people, cheap, can be taken internally, applied to wounds, and kills both virus and bacteria. What’s not to like?
Hydrogen peroxide is mildly bleaching and an organic solvent, so it comes in handy in the laundry room, too, but you don’t need “food grade” stuff for that. Just plain old off-the-shelf Hydrogen Peroxide from Walmart will keep white and color-fast linens sparkling and germ-free. Add a quarter cup to the wash water in either one or both cycles.
Finish your laundry with a “dryer ball” — a softball-sized wool ball available at many outlets like The Container Store or health food stores — or a piece of felt or flannel dabbed with a drop or two of germ-fighting essential oil added to the dryer.
I like a combo of orange and spice or cedar wood or balsam fir and spice, but you could do lemon or cloves, eucalyptus, wintergreen, oregano (add a drop or two of marjoram to avoid smelling like a pizza), tea tree oil, or any of the other germ-fighting essential oils that please you. Not only is your laundry sanitary, it smells good, and is less attractive to moths.
There are many books on the subject of essential oils and some of the best are, not coincidentally, published by the companies that produce essential oils.
Look for and use pure food grade essential oils, not “aromatherapy” grade oils. The actual oils are more expensive, but very potent, and last a long time. You never know what you are getting with aromatherapy oils, which may smell good and suit their purpose, but don’t necessarily kill germs.
If you are on a budget, just limit yourself to one or two oils that you use regularly, or in the case of citrus oil, make your own as I suggested, by boiling orange or lemon peels after you have extracted the juice for other purposes.
Since many of the worst diseases are transmitted by liquid particulates and dust, it makes sense to invest in a high quality air purifier using HEPA filters if you can afford it. Or, you can do what I do, and dot your house with Spider Plants. These plants, sometimes called “Mother Plants” are unimaginably effective clean air processors.
Not only do they clean the air of germs, they sequester heavy metals and dangerous indoor gases and give back oxygen. They are among the easiest houseplants to grow, and they produce an endless supply of new plants to replace those that have gone senile and also to share with friends and neighbors.
I have a rolling metal rack of the kind you often see in garages and pantries, festooned with Spider Plants. This is like a miniature wall of plants that is mobile, so it can be moved from room to room. All year long, it silently cleans the air in my house and gives back oxygen. Maintenance is very minimal and if you have any gardening ability at all, this Poor Man’s alternative to fancy filters and electronic gadgets may be just the ticket for you, too.
When they get dusty, I give them a shower.
Speaking for myself, it is comforting and cheering to be surrounded by living things — plants and animals, especially in the depths of winter. The simple act of taking care of them, reminds us to take care of ourselves and of each other. I have neighbors that love to come to my house and beg a cup of tea and just sit in a sunny window among the green leaves—forget about me.
They come to bask in my indoor nature spa and sit among my plants, breathing the clean oxygenated air. And then they wonder why they always “feel better” when they come to my house? Well,now you know.
My point in sharing all this is that by adopting a fairly simple regimen, you can help insure your own health and the health of the people around you. You can ditch expensive chemical cleaners for most purposes and achieve better results for less money. So, why not do it? It just makes sense. Common sense and the other kind of cents, too.
To get you started on a pathway out of servitude to Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Proctor and Gamble and all the other dubious players, let me suggest a small, inexpensive, get-started guidebook: “Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda” by Shea Zukowski. This is a basic recipe book/primer on the use of natural cleansers that are cheap and available to everyone.
Give it all some thought. Your health, your outlook, your free will and your good name are all among the most precious things you will ever possess in this life. Isn’t it worth thinking about how to maximize and exercise them?