How a Biohacker is Protecting Himself From Coronavirus
Tips, Tactics, and Biohacks, as well as the surprising power of keeping a level head.
COVID-19 is a strain of coronavirus that became quickly infamous for a high death toll in the Hubei province of China.
Since it showed up in late 2019, the world has gone into a panic, including quarantines, travel bans, and social lockdowns.
As an established biohacker, someone who uses science and biology to optimize his life, I have a plethora of tactics to protect myself from the virus.
However, you may be surprised to find out my biggest tactic is not a supplement. Instead, the biggest and by far most important thing I’m doing is keeping a level head.
You see, this virus, though it has killed many people, it is also statistically less extreme than people accredit it to be.
According to the Director of the World Health Organization, coronavirus total cases numbered 95,265 as of March 5th, with total deaths numbering 3281.
This means that the virus has a 3.5% mortality rate globally, however, these numbers are scewed higher by the death rates in Hubei province where the virus originated.
According to the statistics website worldometers.com, as of March 9th 2020, 80,000 of approximately 110,000 global cases have been in China, and 3,100 of the 3,800 total deaths have been in China.
Basically, the death rate in China has been 4% while in the rest of the world the death rate has been closer to 2%. To put things in perspective, the yearly flu virus kills about 1% of confirmed cases.
On top of all this is the fact that many people who have coronavirus are probably not reporting it. According to the world health organization, 80% of those who contract the virus recover without needing special treatment, and some experience the illness with no symptoms whatsoever.
Unreported cases scew statistics even further. Death rates are likely even lower when you consider the number of people who are infected but don’t report.
My point is that despite the apocalyptic news headlines, the odds are that if you get the virus you are going to be fine.
Still, fate favors the prepared, and certain populations like the elderly are at higher risk. Using the tools available will still help everyone through this time.
Bee Propolis is a material created by honey bees to protect their hive. It is also one of the oldest medicinal compounds.
Dating back as far as 3000 BC, propolis has been used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Assyrians, and a host of other cultures for treating all manner of malady.
Coronaviruses target the respiratory system, so I use a propolis throat spray to protect against this disease.
Many of the compounds in propolis are antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic, not to mention immune boosting.
The particular product I use is Bee Propolis Throat Spray by the company Beekeeper’s naturals. I have no affiliation with them but they have some of the best bee products on the market as well as being involved in conservation efforts for this all too important insect.
If you want to go beyond propolis, honey, royal jelly, and bee pollen all have medicinal properties. In particular, I like royal jelly for even more immune support as well as brain function, and bee pollen for allergies.
Oil of Oregano & Thieves
It seems like you can’t walk 5 steps without hearing about essential oils, but I for one am ecstatic about their popularity.
Plants offer hosts upon hosts of medicinal qualities, and I think they are a great alternative to many pharmaceuticals.
Two of my go to oils during flu season are Oil of Oregano and Thieves.
Oil of Oregano is one of the most popular antibiotic alternatives in the health and wellness space. As you can imagine, it has proven antibiotic, antiviral, and antiseptic qualities.
I use oil of oregano by drinking 2 to 4 drops in water, once a day for no more than 6 weeks if there is a bug going around.
If I feel like I am catching something or am already sick, I’ll do as much as 10 drops, twice a day for 5 days.
I don’t advise using oil of oregano all the time. Like an antibiotic from your doctor, overuse of this oil can probably damage your gut biome, but unlike a prescribed antibiotic, oil of oregano is much more gentle on your own gut flora while still killing the bad pathogens.
With the bee propolis protecting my throat, oil of oregano is for whatever makes it to the rest of my body.
You can get oil of oregano from many different sources, but the key is to find one labeled “high carvacrol.”
My favorite biohacker Ben Greenfield sells his own oil of oregano through his company Kion, and this is what I like. That said, many other brands have good product, such as Gaia herbs, Pacs, or Telia Oil.
Regarding the other oil I mentioned, Thieves oil brings with it a legendary story and one of the best ways to sterilize your home from bad pathogens.
As the tale goes, a group of thieves made themselves famous in France during the bubonic plague.
These men were known for thieving the bodies of the dead that lined the streets, while never getting sick themselves.
Considering this was happening during one of the most devastating plagues of human history, one which killed an estimated 60% of Europe’s population, the secret to their immunity was highly sought after.
The thieves were ultimately pardoned for revealing the secret to their success, a blend of herbs which they applied to their skin and clothes and consumed a few drops of every few hours.
The recipe for Thieves oil is listed in The Scientific American Encyclopedia of Formulas: partly based upon the 28th ed. of Scientific American cyclopedia of receipts, notes and queries as:
- 4 oz dried rosemary tops
- 4 oz dried sage
- 2 oz dried lavender
- 5 oz fresh rue
- 1 oz camphor dissolved in vinegar
- ¼ oz sliced garlic
- 1 dr bruised cloves
- 1 gallon strongly distilled wine vinegar
“Digest for 7 or 8 days, with occasional agitation: pour off liquor: press out the remainder, and filter the mixed liquids.”
Fear not, thieves oil is sold pre-blended by many companies. Now, I personally do not consume thieves. I try not to consume more than one or two antibacterial/antiviral compounds at a time.
What I do is wipe down surfaces with Thieves and diffuse it into the air of my house.
I get my Thieves oil on Amazon from the company Young Living. I have a bottle of the oil for diffusing in an oil diffuser, and a bottle of their Thieves oil surface cleaner. Every day I diffuse a drop of the oil in the most trafficked areas of my house.
Strict High-Quality Sleep Schedule
People underestimate the power of sleep, but I’ve made it a point to protect my sleep like it’s the most important thing in the world for my health.
Why such emphasis? Well, because it might just be the most important thing for health!
Sleep is the only time our brain cleans itself, and is also when a host of other body-maintenance processes occur.
The effect of poor sleep is so profound that even as little as one hour past your bed time can render your brain quality equal to that of someone who is legally drunk, and continued deprivation compounds the negative health effects exponentially.
This includes your immune system. Prolonged sleep depriviation leads to an increase of pro-inlammatory cytokines as well as increasing immunodeficiency. It is a strong regulator of your immune processes, and poor sleep makes you more susceptible to catching an illness upon exposure.
With the coronavirus making it’s rounds, I’ve made it a special point to sleep regular and consistent hours at any cost.
In my findings, the ideal sleep schedule is to fall asleep as close to 10pm or earlier as possible. Sleep at least 8 hours, and maintain the same sleep schedule every night.
There are tons of factors that play into quality sleep, but by far the most important thing is consistency. Research on shift workers has found that while it is helpful to sleep according to your circadian rhythm, if you have to sleep weird hours, it is better to be consistent.
Constantly changing your sleep patterns contributes to early mortality and disease, not to mention poor immune function and brain issues.
The general rule I adhere to is to go to sleep within an hour of the same time each night, ideally before 10pm, and to wake up strictly at the same time each morning. I got this from the book The Power of When, written by a psychologist who specializes in addressing difficult sleep disorders.
Movement is one of the centerpoints of health and wellness, and I’m not just talking about working out.
Although regular workouts offer many healthy benefits, more important is regular movement.
Research by NASA has found that stagnation, such as sitting at an office desk all day, creates health problems that cannot be solved with a one hour workout once per day.
Furthermore, overtraining in the gym often results in dropped immune function. I have experienced many occasions of catching the flu towards the end of a difficult training program, and this is common observation by top coaches as well.
When the risk is coronavirus, I think it is important to be extra vigilant of your recovery and avoiding overtraining if you train at the gym.
Furthermore, gym-goer or otherwise, I recommend that everyone pick up a regular, healing movement practice.
The main point is to move throughout the day. According to Dr. Joan Vernikos of NASA, you can entirely combat the effects of sitting by standing up from your chair every 15 to 30 minutes.
You don’t even have to do anything else, the change in posture alone is all that is needed to break the cycle of stagnation and get the body’s systems working towards healing.
While at work, set a timer on your phone and stand up every half hour.
Separately, I recommend taking on a morning movement practice such as foam rolling, yoga, or, my current favorite, Qigong.
15 minutes to an hour of low intensity, functional movement in the morning is my favorite way to prime the day, and I also believe it protects our health.
Qigong is my current practice, and it is backed by legitimate scientific research for improving multiple health markers.
Qigong combines multiple modalities to achieve this end, including tuning the nervous system, meditation, intent, foot reflexology, and breathing.
A 12 minute session of Qigong dropped my resting heart rate to 54 bpm, the lowest I’ve ever recorded it since dealing with adrenal problems 3 years ago.
As we’ll get to later in this article, I think Qigong also heals by focusing your intent on healing. All the movements are described to correlate with energy pathways in the body where life force (Qi) flows.
Qigong movements open these pathways so Qi can flow through your nerves and organs in a healthy matter. Good Qi is associated with health, vibrance, and happiness well poor Qi is associated with disease.
I don’t know if the Qigong movements actually work on any of these pathways in a direct way, but I do think that the belief that they do has a positive benefit on your health.
At a minimum, I suggest doing this 12 minute Qigong sequence focused on the 5 elements. This routine is easy, and is focused on optimizing the power of each of the 5 chinese elements in your body. Each element corresponds to an organ pathway, including the immune system and blood.
For a deep dive, I strongly recommend the book: The Way of Qigong, by Kenneth S. Cohen. It covers the entirety of Qigong and will introduce you to a phenomenal healing practice. You don’t need to be a reader to get into Qigong though.
All you need to do is hop on youtube and search it. Start by searching “Basic Qigong Routine” or something to that end, and when you find a teacher you enjoy, just follow
Even if it’s not Qigong, move your body. You can do yoga, walk your dogs, or just stretch.
I do 15 minutes of foam rolling and mobility work every morning, and that alone is a great way to move your body.
If you’re here at The Ready State, then I’m sure you’re already using the mobility services and the app, but if not, definitely begin doing so. Or you could take the voracious learner’s approach like I did and read Dr. Starrett’s How To Become A Supple Leopard.
Either way, you’re in the right place for learning body maintenance.
At the beginning of this article, I made a special point to emphasize that the coronavirus is mild for most people.
The media makes a pretty penny on feelings of panic, guilt, and worry, but these feelings may be worse for your health than the virus.
Our mind is inextricably linked to our body, and the more I have delved, the more I believe that our perspectives and thoughts are the most important thing for not just our health but for our overall lives.
I believe our thoughts have a deep effect on our lives. How we identify ourselves influences us to become that person.
For a phenomenal and mind blowing book on the subject, I strongly recommend Psycho-cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Malts.
Malts found that our mind shapes itself based upon our self-image, and that our self-image is created by our goals, aims, and experiences.
Through visualization of desired outcomes, we can shape ourselves into exactly the kind of people we want to be.
With the data I mentioned earlier, I believe that the most important thing for your health is to have a self-image of being a healthy and resilient person.
In order to protect myself both from the literal coronavirus, and also from the panic and negative emotions being promoted on the news, I remind myself to keep perspective.
Every morning I spend 5 minutes in a visualization exercise where I see myself as a healthy, resilient, empowered version of myself.
To perform this exercise yourself, start by sitting comfortably.
- Take 5 to 10 slow, deep breaths through your nose with a 5 count inhale and a 5 count exhale.
- After these breaths, allow yourself to breathe how you want to and let your thoughts dissipate into your relaxation.
- When you feel like it, visualize yourself sitting in a theater with a large blank projection screen.
- See your ideal self living out their life on the screen. Include as much detail as you can. Make a point to see yourself as healthy, confident, and resilient.
- Often I will experience my mind ascribing negative thoughts to my image. These are usually thoughts I have in the real world. If I’ve been feeling lazy recently, or low energy, I may see my imagined self that way. When these thoughts appear, simply laugh quietly to yourself at your worries mind, and let them go.
- After several minutes visualizing, allow the image to fade except for you and the imagined you standing face to face in a room.
- See your ideal self begin to turn into light which absorbs into you. You are this version of yourself. They are a part of you. Now, with this new and improved self image, open your eyes and continue with your day.
The COVID-19 coronavirus is probably the hottest topic in the world right now.
Though for many, the likelihood of being harmed directly by the virus is low, for others it is a high risk and we should take it seriously yet retain perspective.
As a biohacker, I am using a specific set of tools to protect myself.
Bee propolis is a great natural pharmaceutical, and a good propolis throat spray is my weapon of choice against respiratory diseases like coronavirus.
Beyond that, I take small amounts of the antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial oil of oregano and I sterilize my house by diffusing the legendary Thieves oil which saved lives during the bubonic plague.
Health and immunity is not just about supplements, however.
Sleep, movement, and mindset are all major components of health.
With sleep being a primary director of immune function, and until the coronavirus epidemic dies down, I will maintain a strict and consisten 8 hours a night sleep schedule.
To avoid the negatives of stagnation, I make sure to move my body regularly throughout the day, and I partake in the ancient healing art of Qigong every morning at sunrise.
Out of all these methods though, I believe that perspective and mindset is actually the most important. Research shows that the thoughts in your head directly influence your health.
To avoid the inflammatory effects of worry, I maintain perspective that the coronavirus is no more deadly than the flu virus, and I remember that panic sells news articles but doesn’t make us better equipped to fight off infection.
Furthermore, I reap the benefits of positive thinking by visualizing myself as healthy, resilient, and empowered primarily via a visualization practice I perform each morning before starting my day.
In short, fate favors the prepared but not the fearful. Here are some great tools to stay healthy during this time, but remember to enjoy your life and not worry too much.
As ever, I am so grateful for your interest, and I wish you a happy and healthy life!