Hello Hilltop Family!
In order to to continue building your Innate-based mindset toolbox (one of your 5 Essentials of Health) and to help give you more peace of mind about the upcoming flu season, the next thing I want to remind you of is this: Not all germs that you are exposed to (get into/on or contaminate the body) lead to infection (successful invasion of the body by a pathogen). Instead, many germs remain where they first contact the body and become part of the resident microbiota (part of the microbiome that stays for life) or become part of the transient microbiota (part of the microbiome that remain only for a few hours, days, or months before disappearing). Both of which are protective to you from future infection by cold/flu viruses as well as other germs, even ones that are possibly more life-threatening. Those germs that do infect the body (because we live in the real world full of toxins and stresses), create immunological memory for future protection as well. So it's a win win scenario for you to be exposed to any germ really.
Notice I didn't mention germs causing disease here. That's because disease is an abnormal condition in the body... It is normal to get contaminated with germs because there are so many and they are all over in the world environment as they severely outnumber all other life on the planet, especially us humans. Therefore, as we are exposed to germs all the time, it is extremely hard NOT to come into contact with them, including and especially the cold and flu viruses as well as the SARS-COV2 viruses as these germs spread easily from human to human (remember viruses need living hosts to survive themselves) on top of being all over. Which is why it is important to wash your hands regularly (but not excessively or with antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer because this destroys the microbiome remember) to minimize the contamination that gets into your body from putting your hands near/in your mouth and nose or other entrances/exits to your insides because more contamination by a specific germ increases your risk of the possible negative consequences of that germ which we will talk about later here. To minimize the spread and increasing the contamination to others for this very same reason is why it's important to cover our coughs/and sneezes.
But that's all we can do externally... minimize. What's more important though is what you do to keep your immune system strong internally. Masks yes are a way to minimize increased contamination of pathogens to yourself as well as to others but you have to weigh the benefits of that (how effective is it at preventing the spread of the pathogen in question both in and out) verses the risks of wearing them (prevent carbon dioxide from escaping into the environment, increases contamination by this and other germs... both of which increase your risk of adverse health reactions).
It is also normal to get infected with pathogens. This, as we have discussed, is to produce immunity (protection against future germ infection) and furthermore, to ensure survival of the individual because a prepared immune system is a strong immune system that will live for a long time (just like a studied up you is a you that gets a better grade on that math tests so are more likely to pass the class). The reason we ever would want to prevent future infection of pathogens after already being infected is because it is an extra load if you would the body has to carry when the body is fighting off germs; it is something on top of the normal day to day things it does to keep you alive and functioning, an extra stress that "weakens" the body. No matter how much it is necessary to create immunity, this state makes the body more susceptible to dying if another threat becomes present (whether that's another germ or even something that is emotionally stressful). The body NEEDS to be prepared for anything and can't be "weak" at any moment so this memory creating process allows the body to be efficient when new or continuous threat(s) are present. But in order to create this kind of memory, the body HAS to get infected. You don't learn from what isn't there.
And sometimes, that infection to memory process comes with mild or moderate symptoms, which are normal too by the way... because we need to get rid of what is hurting us. If we didn't, we would dead for sure. I like to call it expressing health instead of being sick when symptomatic like this because it is part of your Innate Intelligence to eliminate what could take away from your health. More often than not however, you don't get any symptoms at all (called asymptomatic) when the body is infected with germs. This is part of your Innate Intelligence too and is NORMAL and therefore you are considered to be the HEALTHY. If we were to be alerted every single time a new germ individual was found in/on the body, I think we would go insane! So unless the body needs help in some way, you won't know about it. Yes I know it is scary that asymptomatic infected people can spread germs like the symptomatic infected people can but that's where YOUR proactive, 5 Essential self care work and minimizing contamination comes in.
What's not normal is having an immune system that is injured or weak to the point that it can't keep up with killing and eliminating pathogens in an efficient manner on top of its normal day to day things. This is the disease part. Sometimes then, depending on the person, this could mean...
Experiencing more moderate symptoms. Like having more intense or quality of life affecting symptoms as well as lingering symptoms (you know that cough you've had for several weeks).
A transition to another illness. For example, going from a common cold to bronchitis or pneumonia.
Experiencing severe symptoms that may require medical treatment (like antivirals/ antibiotics) or even hospitalization. Even though these people survive, they however may now have permanent or severe but reversible damage due to the pathogen itself or, more often than not, due to the medical interventions... which can cause future health struggles that may or may not be present for the rest of their life.
And sometimes, the pathogens are just way too much for the entire body to handle with its diminished Innate Intelligence (dysfunctional or suppressed immune system) that it causes the body to literally start shutting down and there is a possible chance of this leading to death.
Note: In someone who has other health problems or comorbidities, the efficiency of the pathogen killing/elimination processes by the body (Innate Intelligence) are deteriorated even more. Which makes all of these things I just listed even more of a possibility because the body is more dysfunctional and diseased (this is why more of the people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are dying with COVID vs just getting symptoms and surviving).
Of course, you can have a strong immune system and still die from pathogens overloading your body because sometimes the pathogen is just that badass with all sorts of offenses and defenses that are no match for even the strongest immune systems (FYI, SARS-COV2 is NOT one of these pathogens. It is the kind of germ that infects the host that is easy to infect, those with weaker immune systems, which makes it an opportunistic pathogen). But being constantly worried about those big bads is like being constantly worried that you are going to get hit by a car when you're taking a walk... yeah there's always the possibility, but how likely is it really?
With your health, YOU have the control. You can choose to avoid and minimize most life threatening conditions along with the annoying illnesses in the infectious disease world, not to mention chronic diseases as well. The point is to do your best with what you got, which is why I share this kind of information with you, and do your best with your 5 Essentials at all times, because there's really nothing you can do or control outside of that.
Reminder that the office will be closed Thursday and Friday (November 26 and 27) for the Thanksgiving holiday so I can spend time with my family.
We will resume normal hours on Monday.
I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends and know that I am grateful for you!! :)
In love and light,
*** any underlined and colored text indicates a clickable link to another health article or resource that may help you understand this article more or to help refresh your memory on some things***