Coronavirus: One Virus, Many Discourses on How to Boost Immune System

Coronavirus: One Virus, Many Discourses on How to Boost Immune System

In the absence of verified vaccines and drugs against Coronavirus, a global pandemic that has infected million of people and killed thousands in the last few months, many discourses have emerged on how to protect the body system against the virus. From medical professionals to academic scholars, people and governments need to be careful on management of the disease.

They have warned and still counselling that people need to be cautious of what they are consuming as defenders against the disease. Governments have been equally chided to intensify efforts on containment of the virus and development of vaccines and drugs as soon as possible. To achieve quick development of the right vaccines and drugs, academic researchers and medical practitioners need support of the governments, businesses and private individuals.

Apart from suggesting that chloroquine can cure the virus, experts have also hinted that Vitamin C and Black Seed Oil could be used to boost immune system against the virus. While making reference to a number of sources, the Physicians of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service and the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine recommend “consumption of Vitamin C: 3,000 milligrams (or more) daily, in divided doses, Vitamin D3: 2,000 International Units daily. (Start with 5,000 IU/day for two weeks, then reduce to 2,000) Magnesium: 400 mg daily (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form) Zinc: 20 mg daily Selenium: 100 mcg (micrograms) daily.”

A team of researchers in Algerian Universities, in their latest study, notes that “Nigelledine docked into 6LU7 active site gives energy complex about – 6.29734373 Kcal/mol which is close to the energy score given by chloroquine (-6.2930522 Kcal/mol) and better than energy score given by hydroxychloroquine (-5.57386112 Kcal/mol) and favipiravir (-4.23310471 kcal/mol). Docking into 2GTB active site showed that ?- Hederin gives energy score about-6.50204802 kcal/mol which is better energy score given by chloroquine (-6.20844936 kcal/mol), hydroxychloroquine (- 5.51465893 kcal/mol)) and favipiravir (-4.12183571kcal/mol).” According to them, “Nigellidine and ?- Hederin appeared to have the best potential to act as COVID-19 treatment.”

In what many described as a political voice to the possible treatment and immune boosting, Engineer Seyi Makinde, Oyo State Governor said he recovered from the virus having consumed black seed oil and honey, including Vitamin C and Carrot. This information increased public interest about black seed oil, honey, Vitamin C and Carrot from April 6, 2020 to April 12, 2020.

Exhibit 1: Seyi Makinde and Immune System

Source: Google Trends, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

During the same month, NOI Poll, a national polling company, found that 72% of sampled 1000 Nigerians aged 18 above who use mobile phone believe that they are not immune against Covid-19 [see Exhibit 2]. Looking at the data across regions, similar result occurred. A significant number of them indicate not immune against the virus [see Exhibit 2]. Considering below and above 500,000 internet subscriptions per month in a state one would expect a significant knowledge seeking about how to boost immune system against the virus. It’s disheartening to know that the interest was much about Coronavirus outbreak in the country than understanding specific needs and issues on boosting immunity against the virus [see Exhibit 3].

Like other professionals and people working on containment of the virus, our analyst asks one of Knowcovid-19’s co-founders, Abdulhakeem Abdulkareem, about how people are using the Internet during this pandemic. Abdulhakeem notes thus:

The coronavirus epidemic has increased people’s presence on Social Media. However, what we noticed is that they use it to reduce boredom. We noticed an increase in the use of TikTok, a social media app where people make a series of videos to create fun and make themselves happy. Poster challenge on WhatsApp, #DontRush challenge, #SomethingNewChallenge, among others are also some of the things that have been trending on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. However, similar cannot be said about what people are doing to learn more about the pandemic.

Know COVID-19 had an online hangout on Instagram on 16 April 2020 where two public health enthusiasts were invited to speak on the coronavirus and our body immune system. Dr Abdulmussawir Alli-Oluwafuyi of the University of Ilorin emphasised the need to practice personal hygiene and obey all warnings from constituted authorities regarding preventive measures against the virus. He noted that people should ensure to use a face mask, if they can, when going out and maintain social distancing.

Mr Toyyib Abdulkareem of the World Health Organisation, in his contribution, emphasised on the need for the youths to feel the heat and let the frustration out. He maintained that it is normal for them to react to the boredom or frustration caused by the lockdown. He, however, noted that while they practice social distancing, they should not practice emotional distancing –call your friends, your family, and your parents.

The takeaway from the online session is that the best way to prevent and protect against the virus is by limiting our exposure to people and places where it can be contracted. This is the most important immunity against the virus – not getting exposed to it. Therefore, I will encourage people to stay at home and stay safe.

My advice to people is to use the period to improve their personal and mental hygiene. learn more, read more and understand your life better. People should pay more attention to their growth and personal development. They should engage in things that make them happy and find joy in the process of growth and development.

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