Some advice about viruses from my 89 year old Mum

Mum as a baby in 1931

Some advice about Viruses from my 89 year old Mum

It’s a strange time we live in with the Covid-19 virus reshaping our world before our very eyes.

I’d just finished reading about China’s Covid-19 mortality rates and it’s very worrying for anyone with elderly loved ones. For over 80-year olds the mortality rate (based on 72,314 Chinese cases) was 14.8%. When you have an 89-year-old mother that’s enough to stop you in your tracks! The stats are worst for men, and worse again if you have one of many pre-existing conditions.

Thinking that we don’t have community spread in New Zealand (yet) and mums a tough old bird, the risk is still low. Then the news announcer tells me that there has been a case recorded at Logan Park High School in Dunedin, just down the road from Mum! The risk has just increased and it’s time to phone her.

Mum has not had an easy life. An only child born in Liverpool UK, from the age of 6 she became a very lonely and unhappy WW2 child evacuee. She only saw her parents once in three years. Married at 18 and then with two kids in tow she emigrated with my Father to 1954 South Otago, New Zealand. Before long she found herself with three kids under the age of five living in the small ex post office in the coastal settlement of Kaka Point. With a husband always away at work and no running water it’s hard to imagine now.

Things must have got better as she had five more kids to make a total of eight, (I’m number eight). As a child I remember that she was always in and out of hospital having different parts of her anatomy surgically removed, or so it seemed to me. I guess having eight kids would wear anyone out.

She answers the phone…

Me: Hi Mum, Glenn here. Just checking in to see if you’re OK?

Mum: Hello dear, yes I’m fine thanks, apart from breaking my toe …. (we talk about her broken toe…).

Me: So, Mum, you are taking the Kiwi Superfoods Blackcurrant Skin Extract capsules I sent you aren’t you? There’s loads of research that demonstrate their anti-viral effects, (note: there is NO research on the impact of blackcurrants on Covid-19 however see the link at the bottom of the blog for research papers on their impact on other flu-like viruses).

Mum: Yes, dear I take one capsule every day.

Me: Why not two Mum, you’re meant to take two capsules a day!

Mum: Just trying to make them last longer dear.

Me: Mum I’ll send you some more, please take two a day.

Mum: That’s nice of you dear, we used to make blackcurrant jam you know… that was meant to keep away colds and flu…

Me: Now Mum, this Covid-19 virus is serious business so you really will have to keep away from people and keep washing your hands.

Mum: Yes, dear I know, if I have to go out I’ll just do what the Ward Nurses used to do before they went on duty. (Note: she did not mention which decade she was referring to… some-time in the last 80 years!) The nurses told me that before they went on duty in the Wards that they always rubbed Savlon on their hands and up their noses!  (Note: Savlon is an antiseptic cream commonly found in many NZ homes).

Me: Up their noses Mum?

Mum: Yes, up their noses, they use to swear by it to stop them catching whatever their patients had!

Me: How about you just don’t go out for a while Mum, until all this has blown over. You let us know whatever you need and we’ll organise getting it to you…

So, there you have it! My Mums advice on helping to keep viruses at bay! It does sound uncomfortable … but then so does Covid-19. As I said to my mother, don’t rely on this, just don’t go out especially if you're vulnerable!

I’m about to send some more Kiwi Superfoods Blackcurrant Skin Extract to Mum, and a few other elderly rellies who I also hope will take it. If you’d like your own or want to get some for a vulnerable loved one you can get it here

As promised, here’s a link to a document entitled  Blackcurrants – Anti-viral, Anti-inflammatory, Immunity Review of recent literature

Take care of yourselves everyone. Note: The image is of Mum as a child with 'Spot' the dog.

By Glenn Hughes

Co-Founder Kiwi Superfoods