*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the East Coast Current.

What a crazy year we’ve had so far. 2020 has given us the worst pandemic in over 100 years, and the resulting quarantine/shutdown has created a global economic crisis. It’s truly a scary time, in which a lot of people are suffering in many different ways. This article is, in no way, shape, or form, meant to undermine the severity of the situation. I’d simply like to address the issue from one point of view on one particular issue – immunity. 

Bacteria and the Human Body

We live in a world full of microorganisms – some good, some bad. In fact, the human body is made up of trillions of cells, and it’s estimated that we have 10 times more microbial bacteria in our bodies. This is both good and bad. Microbial bacteria are necessary and symbiotic to human life on a cellular level; however, they are susceptible to attack by other bad bacteria, and other pathogens. 

David Pride, associate director of microbiology at University of California San Diego, says, “More intriguing, perhaps, is that bacteria are not the most abundant microbes that live in and on our bodies. That award goes to viruses. Viruses may inhabit all surfaces both inside and outside of the body. Everywhere researchers have looked in the human body, viruses have been found. Viruses in the blood? Check. Viruses on the skin? Check. Viruses in the lungs? Check. Viruses in the urine? Check. And so on. 

To put it simply, when it comes to where viruses live in the human body, figuring out where they don’t live is a far better question than asking where they do. It may seem counterintuitive, but harming our bacteria can be harmful to our health. For example, when our healthy bacterial communities are disturbed by antibiotic use, other microbial bad guys, also called pathogens, take advantage of the opportunity to invade our body and make us sick. Thus, in a number of human conditions, our healthy bacteria play important roles in preventing pathogen intrusion. Here’s where viruses come in. They’ve already figured out how to kill bacteria. It’s all they live for.” (Source:

The Human Immune System

Here’s my take…The best way to fight a virus or pathogen is to strengthen your immune system. Introducing hand sanitizer and other disinfectants affects the good microbiome in your body, thus creating an imbalance on a subcellular level. Don’t even get me started on how wearing a mask reduces your oxygen intake and recycles waste products like carbon dioxide and bad bacteria back into your lungs and bloodstream. Plus, most of the masks that people are wearing are the equivalent of installing a chain-link fence to keep mosquitoes out of your yard. 

Now that we’ve established that viruses are everywhere, and trying to avoid them is virtually impossible, let’s discuss some positives. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to naturally strengthen your immune system and fend off or defeat a viral attack. 

Sunshine! Yes, we are fortunate enough to live in the Sunshine State, and Volusia County is just south of the “Vitamin D Latitude,” meaning we are able to get enough year-round sunshine to naturally produce adequate Vitamin D in our bodies. The problem is that most of us don’t get outside enough. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel in May 2018, “Research from the University of Florida recommends 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times a week to meet vitamin D requirements. For optimal absorption, the sun needs to directly hit the skin on the face, arms, back or legs without sunscreen blocking the rays.” 

So, don’t go to the beach once in a blue moon and lay out for hours, roasting yourself to a bright red. That’s bad. Take a 15 minute walk on a sunny day, at least three or four days a week. Leave the hat at home and wear a tank top, bikini or go shirtless. Vitamin D production in the body creates so many health benefits that the list is too long to include. 

To be clear, small doses of sun are a very good thing. In fact, despite all the conflicting “discoveries/facts” during the current pandemic, one of the things that almost all scientists and health professionals agreed on is that direct sun exposure rapidly kills the COVID-19 virus cell. 

To be clear, small doses of sun are a very good thing. In fact, despite all the conflicting “discoveries/facts” during the current pandemic, one of the things that almost all scientists and health professionals agreed on is that direct sun exposure rapidly kills the COVID-19 virus cell. 

On another note, I’ve been taking elderberry extract, a natural supplement from a plant that grows all over the U.S., and most of North and South America, for years. This abundant natural resource has strong anti-viral properties and has been used throughout history by our ancient ancestors to promote health and protect from viral attacks. Elderberry (pictured below) can be consumed in a variety of ways such as a tincture dropper in a glass of water, a spoonful of syrup, a capsule or the raw berries themselves. It’s also very affordable, compared to other supplements (and medicines). Visit your local health food store and pick up some today. 

Hey, couch potato, get up and MOVE! Let’s talk about movement for a minute. The human body was built to be in motion. We are ambulatory creatures who used to walk, run and roam the earth in search of food and water. Now, food is a phone call or short walk to the fridge away. 

When the human body is subjected to a sedentary lifestyle, the lymphatic system (our septic system and home to the majority of our white blood cells) goes stagnant. So when the quarantine began and we were ordered to “shelter in place,” most of us reached for the remote and the popcorn and beer; thus beginning a weeks-long binge watching session on Netflix. This is the exact opposite thing we should do to prepare ourselves to potentially battle a wicked bad virus. 

If you’re not comfortable leaving your house for a walk/run, then do some planks, yoga or other home-based exercises. Jumping jacks are the perfect thing to do during a commercial break. Do whatever you can to incorporate some movement into your day. 

Look, if you are elderly, have serious underlying health issues, or are immune-compromised, then maybe quarantining makes sense for you. Otherwise, the rest of you healthy folks should get some sun, fresh air, exercise, healthy food and natural supplements to strengthen your immune system and be prepared for a virus attack. 

Sean Donovan Author biography

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