Immunity is the ability of the body to resist disease or infection or the state of in-susceptibility to disease. There are two branches of immunity that we will be considering; natural or artificial immunity. We’ll dwell on the natural immunity, since it is vital in the current state of emergency.

Natural immunity is simply the body’s ability to resist disease and infection  by producing its own antibodies or white blood cells  that help the body to fight against infection and diseases, when a foreign organism enters into the body, due to its different DNA the body is able to recognize it  and the white blood cells engulf them or the body expels them through involuntary means like sneezing, coughing or sometimes even vomiting. In some cases the body is able to memorize and store the ‘disease DNA’ (antigen) so it makes and keeps extra White blood cells to kill the particular disease if it enters the body again giving you specific immunity. This explains why when one gets chicken pox(a type of bacterial infection) once he/she does not get it again.There are things you can do to boost immunity, most of which we are abreast with like eating lots of fruits and vegetables. They contain vitamins which help to boost the immune system, exercising, proper rest and sleep,drinking warm water more frequently and quitting negative lifestyles like smoking and drinking.
There are other factors that lower your immunity to some extent too, like genetic disorders like sickle cell, age ( babies, children and the aged) as well as immune-compromising diseases like HIV/AIDS or treatment forms such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. So  people  with such conditions should also make it a point to practice habits that boost immunity( primary prevention). Now that we have got our immune system covered, lets move on to pathogens.
Pathogens are disease causing organisms,which means they are living things unlike substances like dust that causes you to sneeze. There is a difference between the coughing and sneezing that occurs when one is exposed to dust or irritants like strong perfume and the one that occurs when one comes into contact with TB, cold and corona. these disease causing organisms come in different forms, like protozoa, bacteria and viruses. For the sake of the corona virus we will consider the virus. A virus has special adaption qualities that makes it a very dangerous pathogen if not the most dangerous pathogen.
 A virus has the ability to
  • Be non- alive outside a host (another organism it can infect, like humans, animals and even trees in some cases)
As soon as it enters its host it begins to grow, multiply and cause infections or disease. That’s how come the virus can stay on surfaces for a long time without dying. It crystallizes into a non living thing or goes dormant when it is not in an organism it can infect. And they multiply fast.
  • It can disguise itself to look like the the host cells. So it has high resistance (ability to survive) in a host body.
  This makes the WBC confused in their attack and may begin to fight against their own cells. That is what basically happens in HIV/AIDS.  So it is common to find that they are not able to produce specific antibodies for future purposes, that is why we catch cold over and over.
  • Good news is it can also resolve by itself, most viruses are self limiting.
This explains why our cold stops after some time whether we take drugs or not. But this comes with a condition; if your immune system was strong to begin with. So your chances of surviving corona, measles, mumps, HIV depend on whether you have a strong immune system to begin with. That’s why one is advised to adhere to treatment when taking anti-retroviral medication ( they help boost the immune system when one gets HIV/AIDS). However I can safely say that most viruses have no cure, most of them rely on immune boosters to strengthen the WBC.
All pathogens have an infectious dose, that means a level which causes the disease to occur.So coming into contact with a virus does not mean you will get the disease or a severe form of the disease. There is hope, forget about focusing on bad news and do your part. Eat properly, this is no time to be skipping meals, drinking chilled water( it helps the virus to multiply), drinking and smoking. Also there are chances a vaccine can be developed,if there is a vaccine for other viral infections like measles and mumps then we can hope for the best. In the meantime lets adhere to precautionary measures like
  • No handshakes, avoiding crowded places,
  • Proper hand-washing, and alcohol hand rub (use of hand- sanitizers). Proper hand washing has a few steps, you can use the image below as a guide. Remember to use soap and clean running water. And scrub your palms, finger tips and the web of your fingers properly.
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  • Coughing and sneezing into single use disposable tissues, do yourself a favor and discard it immediately into a dustbin to prevent re-infection.
  • Do warm salt water gurgles, the virus stays in the nasal and buccal cavity for a few days before descending to the lungs.
  • Do steam inhalations, some hot water not boiling about 75 celsius you can add a crop of mint or menthol and breathe in the steam , it will work more if you cover yourself with a blanket. the heat will kill the virus in your nasal cavity and mouth as you breathe in through your mouth and nostrils.
  • Self quarantine yourself if you see the signs and symptoms ( dry cough with or without chest pain, sneezing, runny nose, headache and general malaise.)
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eat hot food and drink warm water.
If other viral infections can be managed to a point where the host survive then COVID 19 can also be managed till the antibodies overcome it. It is also worth noting that COVID 19 comes from the same family as cold though it is the most virulent form. So the presence of COVID 19 does not mean people will no longer have colds and coughs, if some one coughs or sneezes it does not mean that he/she has COVID 19.  Stay safe.

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