Reframing Covid-19 and your immune system

“Are you worried about the panic surrounding Covid-19?” I am. As a health and learning coach, I don’t disagree with the messages about public health, but there’s an angle here that’s being overlooked.

Our immune system is a learning organisation. As everyone is likely to experience it, this virus can actually deliver a major upgrade to our immune systems. It is vital that our immune system is in the best condition it can be, to learn.  The primary function of our immune system is a complex structure that defends the body against an intruder.  It keeps a record of every germ it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy it more quickly if it enters the body again. When you have a flu virus, your immune system remembers it and protects you from getting the same virus again. Vaccination works in the same way. Our natural immune systems are doing a great job for millions of people who experience Covid-19 and they are learning all the while how to naturally develop immunity. A doctor on TV this morning, who has gone through Covid-19 herself, was praising her immune system, how it copes and has adjusted to support her healing.

Of course, we want people to adhere to medical advice. But we must be very careful not to terrorise and depress them – that will automatically suppress their natural immune system. The problem currently facing medics is that there is no vaccination available and little treatment. So our main ally against this virus is our immune system.

We need to take care of our immune systems; they are busy with this new invader. Here’s how to ensure it is as strong as possible.

  • Your immune system likes physical and mental exercise, healthy eating. Even if we are self-isolating there is much we can do to remain active with exercise programmes on the TV and Youtube, for example.
  • Your immune system is suppressed by toxins, such as alcohol, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Please do everything possible to improve the quality of the air you breathe.
  • Sneezing is an important part of the immune system. Sneezes protect your body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses. Don’t forget to use a tissue.
  • Vitamins and herbs such as Vitamin C and Echinacea support your immune system.
  • Consider how much anxiety is floating around, try to calm yourself, it might even rub off on others. For example, seek out fun TV, write down what you are grateful for, practice diaphragmatic breathing, consider a complementary technique such as EFT to release specific anxieties.
  • Have you ever noticed how you speak to yourself? Your subconscious doesn’t understand negatives. When in social distancing do you see that as being negative? Try reframing “I am at-risk” to think “I am protected” and notice any difference.

This is the first in a series about what we can all do individually and as a community to take responsibility for our own health, in these times of uncertainty. This will be followed by topics such as healthy breathing, reducing anxiety and how complementary therapies.

The author is Olive Hickmott, please register here to follow each blog at

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About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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