By now, you've probably heard much about COVID-19, the coronavirus that's taken the world by storm. This highly contagious disease has halted global trade, prompted economic downturns, and locked down entire cities and countries.
While media outlets have covered the coronavirus's impact from nearly every angle, what does the coronavirus mean for the kratom world? Are newer kratom products still safe to consume? And will kratom become scarcer in the months to come?
We're here to answer all those questions and more, so let's take a look!
Although the general public and news outlets are referring to COVID-19 as the "coronavirus," COVID-19 is just one of many diseases caused by viruses in the coronavirus family. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that typically cause mammals and birds to become sick. They're named after the spiky, "crowned" appearance of their particles (corona means "crown" in Spanish).
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a single-strand RNA virus. It's highly contagious and commonly spreads from person-to-person through close contact. When people infected with COVID-19 cough, virus particles in their respiratory droplets can contaminate surfaces and infect others.
Symptoms of an active COVID-19 infection include cough, fever, fatigue, and difficulty breathing, although it can take between 2 and 14 days for symptoms to appear. Some COVID-19 cases can progress to pneumonia — an infection of the lungs — organ failure, or death.
The elderly and immune-compromised individuals are at the highest risk of contracting and dying from the disease. At this time, there's no vaccine or antiviral treatment available for COVID-19. Prevention techniques include frequent hand washing, social distancing, and avoiding touching one's face since the virus can enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth.
COVID-19 is one of many diseases caused by viruses in the coronavirus family
Highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets
Symptoms of infection include cough, fever, fatigue, and difficulty breathing
The elderly and immune-compromised individuals are at high risk of contracting COVID-19
No treatment or vaccine available
You can prevent COVID-19 infection through frequent hand washing, social distancing, and avoiding touching your face
Not likely. While there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia — the world's foremost kratom supplier — the virus can't spread that way.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), coronaviruses don't survive for very long on surfaces, including packaging and products. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also stated that there's no current evidence confirming the transmission of COVID-19 through shipped goods. As a result, the risk of you contracting COVID-19 from a kratom product you ordered is low.
That said, you should still exercise caution when buying kratom online. By ordering from a trusted kratom vendor, you can reduce your chances of receiving contaminated or compromised kratom products.
You're not likely to get COVID-19 from kratom
The virus doesn't spread effectively by mail or packaged products
In the wake of the coronavirus, some articles have touted the immune-boosting properties of kratom. However, you should be wary of these claims, and you shouldn't allow them to influence your kratom purchases.
In particular, some outlets have reported that kratom contains chloroquine. According to Chinese researchers, this anti-malarial drug has demonstrated effectiveness in treating COVID-19. However, these tests are preliminary, and there's no evidence that kratom contains chloroquine or that any of kratom's compounds are effective at preventing or treating COVID-19.
Remember: hand washing and social distancing are the most effective ways to prevent COVID-19 infection. At the moment, there aren't any shortcuts, and it doesn't seem likely that kratom will be one of them.
There's no evidence that kratom or any of kratom's compounds are effective at preventing or treating COVID-19
Some businesses and public services are shutting down to prevent COVID-19 infections. However, as of this writing, the majority of kratom vendors are still actively accepting and shipping orders.
Meanwhile, some kratom vendors are anticipating disruptions in their supply chains, but there hasn't been any major disturbance to speak of.
As of now, COVID-19 hasn't significantly impacted consumer access to kratom
Courier services could shut down, but it hasn't happened yet
No major disruptions to kratom supply chains
During this pandemic event, it's crucial to take as many precautions as you can. Be sure to frequently wash your hands and limit contact with others as much as possible. For more information about COVID-19 and how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe, visit the World Health Organization.