Protocol 1: The SARS-CoV-2 Threat to Your Immune System and How to Protect Yourself from Infection
Before you can appreciate the protocols needed to substantially reduce your chances of getting infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus ("severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2"), or the COVID-19 diseases it can cause ("coronavirus disease 2019"), it’s helpful to understand how your immune system works normally, and how this virus can completely disrupt it.
There are three lessons in Protocol 1:
- Lesson 1 covers how your immune system is supposed to work, and typically does with most viral infections.
- Lesson 2 covers how SARS-CoV-2 can dismantle normal immune function that for the healthy may just result in mild symptoms, but for the vulnerable can lead to hospitalization, even death.
- Lesson 3 covers six preventative measures you can routinely do to help keep you from getting infected.
The intent behind Protocol 1 is to give you a sense of how damaging a SARS-CoV-2 infection can be (Lessons 1 and 2), thereby providing sufficient incentives to do the preventative measures outlined in Lesson 3.
When viruses enter our bodies, they find a cell and inject it with their genetic material. This allows them to take control of the cell and multiply.
To battle this, the body's immune system must destroy infected cells. When the body first encounters a new viral infection, it deploys T cells, which find and kill infected cells. If the infection continues, the body then deploys B cells, which create antibodies that can better attack infected cells.
Even after the infection has passed, antibodies remain in the body to help the body fight off future infection. How long these antibodies last in the body varies, ranging from days to a lifetime.
Any virus that can make people sick has at least one good trick for evading the immune system. For SARS-CoV-2 the trick is early stealth. This virus can delay the launch of the innate immune system, and inhibit the production of interferons—those molecules that initially block, or “interfere” with viral replication.
This delay creates a brief time window in which the virus can replicate unnoticed before the immune system recognizes it as a foreign pathogen alarm and kicks into action.
Those delays can cascade; meaning, if the innate branch of the immune system is slow to mobilize, the adaptive branch will also lag. What then can wind up happening is that the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.
The result of this immune system cascade is that the normal, initial inflammatory phase is overstimulated. This is dangerous if it leads to hyperinflammation because it can damage critical organs. The lungs, the heart and other organs can't withstand a severe inflammatory response for too long.
During this pandemic, the best thing you can do is to not test your immune system against this virus.
Don’t get infected!
We’re going to cover the six ways you can avoid getting infected with SARS-CoV-2, and thereby potentially suffer through any Covid-driven disease
No matter how young and healthy you are, take the precautions needed to avoid getting infected.
We’re going to cover the six ways you can avoid getting infected with SARS-CoV-2, and thereby potentially suffer through any Covid-driven disease:
- Wash your hands
- Don’t touch your face
- Wear the right face mask
- Keep your distance
- Ventilate your environment
- Use a nasal spray inhaler