The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is thought to have come from a bat. Where the bat got it from is uncertain. However, the virus is here for now and we humans must learn to live and protect ourselves from it.

Whether you like it or not, a virus wishes to reproduce itself at all costs, even at human or animal costs. As long as the virus can produce itself and stay alive, it is satisfied. The virus is not choosey.

The human body also wishes to reproduce and stay alive. To ensure this, it has developed, over millions of years, a system known as the immune system which is capable of making antibodies that can attack any foreign cell, including viruses and bacteria. Yes, our bodies also must survive and they will do anything to ward off diseases.

Since we do not yet have any antiviral medications or vaccines to cope with this virus at the present time, the alternative is to keep the virus from invading our bodies and to ensure a healthy immune system to fight this little devil and keep it from reproducing. Some suggestions:

-Remember the eyes and the nose is where the flu virus grows, therefore, keep your soiled hands away from your eyes and nose.

-In order to sanitize your hands, wash them for 20 seconds (count them!) with hot, sudsy water.

-Always have on hand a mild, bleach solution to wipe off any object that another person has touched, such as the steering wheel of your car, faucets in public places, gas nozzles when pumping your own gas, rails and doorknobs, belts on the escalator, and any other object that many hands have touched.

-For now, do not hug or give a kiss on the mug (face)! Forget shaking hands. If you must, use the fist or elbows as a sign of affection.

-Stop kissing babies with runny noses, even if the baby is your own.

-Watch out for viruses that are on dollar bills at the checkout counters.

-Stay out of crowds if possible, and use a mask if you’re feeling sick to protect others around you.

I hope that the above suggestions will be taken seriously, for they may help provide a barrier in keeping the virus from entering your body.

Most importantly, however, is keeping the immune system in top notch shape by adhering to the following:

-A healthy diet is our greatest defense.

-Vegetable such as, broccoli, cauliflower, citrus fruits and other fresh fruits contain ample amounts of vitamin C which are antiviral.

-Garlic contains vitamin A and C and should be included with meals.

-Carrots, spinach, mustard greens, kale, yellow and orange squash are loaded with vitamin A.

-Reducing fat in your diet will increase the production of mature, killer cells which attack viruses. Eat fewer processed foods and decrease your intake of fatty red meats.

-Vitamin B6 stimulates the immune system and can be found in plantain.

-All the multicolored vegetables have vitamins, minerals and other viral fighting nutrients.

-Eliminate white sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and other fructose-laden beverages. In other words, don’t be so piggy while drinking and eating the wrong foods which will suppress the immune system.

-Last but not least, depression also is an enemy to the immune system. Try to uplift yourself and those near and dear to you during this time.