managing virus panic, add Guaifenisen


Humans are a funny lot. I saw a post on Facebook that was pretty hilarious, but also true. It said,

CDC — Coronavirus could be a thing. Please wash your hands and stop touching your face. People — I’m going to buy ALL OF THOSE MASKS! CDC — The masks don’t actually prevent you from catching the virus. Just wash your hands and stop touching your face. People — I’m not going to eat Chinese food. CDC — Wait…What? No. That’s not….Look. Wash your hands and keep some sanitizer around for when you can’t…. People — *rubbing eyes, scratching nose* CDC — STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE People — I’m not drinking that Corona beer either… CDC — ??????? ______________________________________

In that same vein, there is a line from the movie Men in Black that has stuck in my mind.

“Kay : A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it”

This is an age of instant information, a small percentage of which is likely correct. When a seeming crisis looms, panic, rumors, irrational fear, and generalized hostility grow like mushrooms.

Bizarre prejudices spring up, like harboring dark fears about Chinese neighbors who haven’t been back to that place in 3 decades, or not drinking beer, for God’s sake. But as the wise man said,

“It takes all kinds to make a world.”

In these perilous times it’s good to have a varied arsenal of tools. Nobody knows what it will do next, viruses are living entities that morph and mutate in unpredictable ways.

Stephen King’s “The Stand” is a primer on what can happen when a bug creates shifting antigens that change to adapt to what humans throw at it to kill it. And what also happens when people are sick and afraid. God does win in the end. It’s very dark and profane, and not for everyone. It’s lessons are pretty clear though.

My own toolbox starts with a regular and disciplined spiritual practice, consisting of prayer, meditation, chanting, service, and teaching. I also do physical practices of breath work, yoga, and qi-gong to boost immunity and strengthen foundational energy. I trace and write Tao Calligraphy for myself and others every day. Whatever your practice is, keep doing it.

In the flood of advice on how to protect ourselves, I have not heard mention of a product that could be beneficial to most of us, good old guaifenisen. This is a humble and pretty affordable compound that simply helps to liquify mucus and keep things flowing. Costco has it, or did last week. Products are being bought up, and that might be one of them. If you want to spend a lot more money, buy Mucinex, which is basically the same thing.

When I was a working singer, and singing in a semi-professional choir, I remember a talk that was given by one of the members of the group who also happened to be a doctor. He said that he and his family took Guaifenisen every day throughout colds and flu season, with no ill effects, and also no colds and flu. He recommended that we all do the same to stay happy healthy singers, and because we were in such close contact with each other throughout the concert season. It seemed to work for me with no side effects that I was aware of, and I do still actually take it in fall and winter, though I’m singing in smaller venues now. It also helps keeps the singing mechanism hydrated.

Now this has an ick factor, but the premise is that when mucus gets thick and doesn’t move, it sits there in your sinuses and lungs, stagnates, and allows unpleasant things to happen. Keep it moving is the plan. If it ends up in your stomach all the better, not much can survive the acids there. Worth a try!

I saw a FB post today from an old friend who simply cannot pull out of the negative-nellie mindset. It went something like,

“Why does everything go wrong? Why can’t I catch a break? Everything bad happens to me! I guess I was born to fail.”

Yikes girlfriend! If you believe in the Universe, and that it gives back to us what we send to it, you can see that it’s an unending circle of wrong thinking and unhappy events that come from this mindset.

The point of that story is that if we are afraid, and talk about dis bad bug out loud and in our heads continuously, what are we attracting to ourselves? If we have placed ourselves to be a light here, and serve others with our gifts and training, we are well positioned to stay healthy and strong.

People tend to think, in the framework of the great human disconnect,

“Oh, it will wipe out a bunch of people over in India maybe, but it won’t come here.”

Like it was an earthquake or something. But we are seeing that the ramifications of a world-wide bug touch everyone, even if we don’t get sick.

In the meantime, don’t worry, be happy! Sing, do your God work, whatever that looks like, take your Guaifenisen. Drink water. Keep it moving. Eat and drink well, exercise, enjoy your family and your animals, try not to listen to the news too much.

Wash your hands, and stop touching your face. hahahaha.

Kristin Strachan

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