Honestly, don’t panic. That won’t help. It will weaken your defenses. The trickiest part right now, is that evidence recently emerged that the classic risk factors (contact with someone who was near the Wuhan province epicenter) may not explain the cases of infection. The good news: the disease is MOSTLY mild. MOST folks will not get particularly sick. Few die. The bad news: silent transmission is feasible, which means someone who is not showing any signs of respiratory distress or febrile illness MAY be a carrier, and contagious.
So, in the interconnected world of trains, planes, automobiles and shipping lanes — not to speak of new international trade policies rendering us less-cooperative — we have to take basic precautions, especially during travel. Wash your hands frequently with warm running water and soap as often as possible after being within 10 feet of a sneezing someone whose COVID-19 status you don’t know for sure. Think about the kids’ jingle “Happy Birthday to you, etc” and the time it would take to sing it all the way through, normal speed, twice. That’s how long you should take to wash your hands, getting the backs of your hands and between the fingers and under the nails also. Just do it. If you don’t have access to running water get a disinfectant that is at least 60% alcohol and wipe down frequently, especially after touching public surfaces like door handles and faucets. So, after washing your hands in a public restroom, use the paper towel or the edge of your sleeve to turn the faucet off. Do NOT touch your face, especially not around nose, mouth or eyes.
When travelling consider wearing a light mask. I like the triple silk ones from ICanBreathe.com. Some medical personnel say these don’t do much to protect against inhaling tiny viruses — that masks are more useful for folks who are contaminated and sneezing to help reduce spread of infected respiratory droplets. I’m still going to wear a light mask on the plane. If possible sanitize your tray back and the bathroom handles/faucets you will touch BEFORE touching them. Do NOT touch your face.
Most important, maintain your health: stay hydrated with clean water. Get enough sleep. Keep a positive attitude — look for the good! Choose an anti-inflammatory diet. Avoid junk food, especially sugary beverages. Here are some of my favorite anti-viral herbal medicines that are widely available in liquid or capsule form:
Blood type O: choose larch arabinogalactan (white larch bark, commercially available in powder form called ARA-6) or Lomatium (Osha) or a mushroom blend (I like the Fungii Perfecti brand), plus Licorice and Garlic.
Blood type A: good old Echinacea (stimulates white cell production) and Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis, helps to disinfect mucous membranes). Elderberry is good too.
Blood type B: All of the above works well, plus Licorice and Garlic.
Blood type AB: All of the above works well, plus green tea.
Many volatile (“essential”) oils have anti-viral properties and can be spritzed around your body, or diffused in your room. Usually these are safe for ingestion in very low doses. 2-3 drops in 1 cup warm water 2-3 times daily. This is strong medicine! Be aware that not everyone loves the scents, but they are not noxious like fake perfume chemicals — which can absolutely cause violent reactions in susceptible folks. Some of the most effective anti-viral volatile oils with specific indication for respiratory illness include Myrrh (Commiphora), Thyme, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Bergamot, Ginger, Hyssop and Sage.
FINAL IMPORTANT NOTE: our NATURAL anti-viral mechanism is FEVER. So yes, when your body is battling a viral infection, you will mount a fever (if you have the immune capacity to do so). This is a GOOD thing. DO NOT suppress your fever with Tylenol etc. Increase your fever by taking hot baths or if you are lucky enough to have a home sauna — sweat it out there.