I’m linking to Dr John Campbell’s excellent video at the end of this post, but this information is so important, I want to provide a quick summary first.
When the immune system detects an invader – i.e. a virus or bacteria – it starts a cascade of important steps to fight that invader.
- It sends a signal to the brain to turn up the body’s thermostat. The reason for this is that all of the immune system’s ‘weapons’ work better and faster when the body temperature is higher. So we get a fever.
- At the same time, the immune system sends out all sorts of white blood cells to detect the invader, to warn other body cells that an invader is coming, to surround the invader and to ‘eat’ it.
- If we take drugs to reduce the fever, we’re hobbling our own immune systems and making them less efficient.
- So a temperature of about 39 degrees C or 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit is good. It will not do an adult any harm. [Children and fever will be covered in a later video].
What does all this mean in a practical sense?
First, it means we have to change our expectations. We will not be able to ‘soldier on’ because a good fever will probably make us feel lousy.
I say ‘probably’ because it’s been so long since I’ve had a fever, I can’t really remember what it feels like. And that brings me to the second point, the reason I can’t remember what a fever feels like is because I always took something to bring it down. That. Must. Change.
We must allow the fever to run its course because it’s actually helping us fight off the virus.
And this brings me to my final point. Modern technology will help us eventually. There will be a vaccine, eventually. There will be new anti-viral treatments, eventually. But for now we’re on our own.
The only weapon we have in the fight against Covid-19 is the immune system we were all born with. We have to help it help us. So if you’re an adult, and you get a fever, whether you think it’s Covid-19 or not, be brave and let the fever come. If you have access to things that help support the immune system, by all means, take them! But leave the fever reducing drugs in the cupboard.
“So suffer in silence, huh?”
No, drinking lots of fluids will help you feel better. Weak tea with lots of lemon and honey is delicious and good for you because the honey contains a mild antibiotic which may help stop secondary bacterial infections, and lemon juice contains vitamin C which is one of the things that help support the immune system.
Soup is good too. It’s easy to swallow, gentle on the stomach and contains nutrients that provide the energy the immune system needs to keep fighting.
Rest is also vital. While you’re sitting or lying in one place, your body isn’t wasting any precious energy that could be used by your immune system. Feel sick and exhausted? Don’t fight it. Your body actually knows what it’s doing.
And finally fresh air and sunshine. Just because you’re sick it doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up in a stuffy room with all the windows shut. Back in 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, health workers discovered that patients in well ventilated wards, or outside on cots in the sunshine, recovered better than patients in stuffy wards.
Bundle up, sit outside if you can, and let the sun shine on your face. That’s vitamin D you’re soaking up.
I know these are all old fashioned remedies. Some of you will think they’re rubbish, but right now, old fashioned is all we’ve got. Stay healthy.