Coronavirus Update


We wanted to discuss the current situation with the Coronavirus – Covid-19.


First off: there is no reason to panic!  

Even in China where the majority of cases have occurred, there is only 1 case for every 85,000 residents that live there. On another positive note, in 80% or more of those cases, symptoms have remained relatively minor, like a bad cold.  

And unlike China, the US now has advanced warning and can take measures to reduce the likelihood or severity of occurrences here in the states.  


A History of Coronaviruses


Coronaviruses, first documented in the 1960’s, are a family of viruses which, most of the time, cause symptoms similar to a bad cold. Those affected experience moderate upper respiratory problems such as a runny nose and sore throat. 

Unfortunately they can also be potentially deadly, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which occurred in the early 2000’s infecting over 8,000 people and killing over 800, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), first found in Saudi Arabia in 2012, with 2,500 infected and over 800 deaths.  


The latest coronavirus, COVID-19 (2019-CoV) was first identified in Wuhan China last year.  While the death rate is far less than SARS (10%) and MERS (30%), COVID-19 has spread much more than those two, nearing 90,000 documented infected people around the globe, and so the death rate of over 2% has meant that nearly 3,000 people have already died worldwide.    


While there are only several handfuls of cases in the US, including 1 in Wisconsin, there is little doubt that the virus will continue to spread, which has already caused many to curtail travel plans and will undoubtedly continue to cause disruptions in the economic sector and our daily lives.  


What Is Winter Ridge Doing?

  • We keep a supply of disinfectant wipes at the front of our store, and disinfectant liquid throughout the store–we will continue to do so, and add locations as necessary. 
  • Our restrooms are cleaned regularly, and stocked with cleansing hand soap. 
  • Each register is regularly cleaned and sanitized with disinfectant cleaner. 
  • As always, our employees will continue to frequently wash their hands with hot water and soap, and we will continue to make sure that deli tables and other frequently touched areas of the store will be washed and disinfected to help avoid the spread of germs.    


What can you do to safeguard yourself?


The spreading of the virus occurs by direct contact with infected individuals, or touching or coming in contact with droplets from sneezes and coughs.  While there are no cures or vaccines for the COVID-19, there are several steps one can take to try to avoid the virus and also strengthen your immune system to make sure that if you do contract the virus you increase the odds of recovering:


  • Avoid Air Travel to Infected Regions


  • Wash Your Hands – Frequent hand washing, even with just soap and warm water, is important for protecting against all infectious diseases, and using hand sanitizers and disinfectants can reduce viral spread by over 85%.  
  • Disinfect surfaces – Coronaviruses can persist on surfaces for up to 9 days!  Make sure you disinfect surfaces in your home, especially if you think someone might be infected.
  • Strengthen Immunity – Unfortunately those folks who are older and/or are immune compromised have a much higher rate of death from all viruses, and so doing what you can to strengthen your immune system is vital.




Strategies to Boost your Immune System


Exercise, stress relief, a balanced diet and certain supplements are all effective ways to boost your immune system:

  • Exercise – Regular exercise mobilizes T cells, a type of white blood cells which guard the body against infection.  However, continuous rigorous workouts can actually weaken the immune system, so moderation is key.  
  • Sleep – A solid 7-8 hours is needed to avoid reducing the activities of T cells in your body.
  • Less Stress – Stress can release the hormone cortisol, which negatively affects T cell reproduction.  Try yoga, meditation or deep breathing each day to reduce your stress levels.
  • Moderate Alcohol intake – while moderate consumption of alcohol can positively affect overall health, excess intake (more than 2 drinks/day) can negatively affect the immune system.
  • Stop smoking – Smoking impairs the immune system, and you have a significantly higher chance of being seriously affected by virus infections.
  • Healthier Diet – Vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts are loaded with nutrients essential to immune health.   A diet rich in colorful food typically will be higher in valuable vitamins. These foods all can help you strengthen your immune system:


Red Bell Peppers








Green Tea




Sunflower Seeds

  • Herbs, Vitamins and Supplements – While the hope is you can get many needed nutrients from your diet, supplementing can help improve your immune system.  Here are just a few things you may want to include in your daily regime:
  • Echinacea, Elderberry & Zinc
  • Vitamins A, B6, C, D & E all help strengthen your immune system, and especially Vitamin C, which you can get from citrus fruits, spinach and strawberries.  And although it’s cold here now, consider getting outside during sunny days to help your body produce more Vitamin D. Even just 15 minutes in the sunlight will help!
  • Mushrooms and mushroom supplements – rich in essential nutrients and very good for your immune system.  


We all hope that the spread of Covid-19 is curtailed as soon as possible. 

Until then! Don’t panic. 

We will continue to provide a clean, safe shopping experience–and aid in keeping you and your loved ones happy, healthy, and immune boosted. 


We’ll see you in the aisles! 

Your friends at Winter Ridge Natural Foods


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