Saturday, February 29, 2020

February - we hardly knew ya!

February 2020 is just about in the history books but what's still making history is the Covid-19 coronavirus.

For those of you who are living under a rock, the pandemic started in China and was first reported by a Chinese physician on December 30 in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China (he was severely reprimanded by the government and later contracted the virus and died).

One thing you need to know about me before I go on is that I am a news junkie. I have a tab on my bookmarks bar just for news. I think I have around 12 news outlets bookmarked. So I've been following this fairly closely and just want to say - it is not a Democratic plot to make Trump look bad.

So some facts we know now. The virus is named SARS-CoV-2 and it causes the disease identified as Covid-19 (short for coronavirus disease 2019 since it began in December 2019). It was first declared a public health emergency on January 30 by the World Health Organization. They upgraded the threat of this virus to the highest level possible this week as new cases are being rapidly reported all over the world (in at least 57 countries), most notably in Italy, Iran and South Korea. (By the way, the WHO is based in Geneva, Switzerland and is not a subsidiary of the Democratic party in the U.S.)

The head of the WHO, Dr. Ghebreyesus, states that fear is the enemy and facts and reason will help us conquer this threat. I concur. (play on words there) So I thought I would share some facts.

The CDC recommended this week that people practice not touching their faces (especially mucous membranes - mouth, nose, eyes). If you didn't see @StevenatHome's twitter post upon reading this advice - here it is. Enjoy.

I've been paying attention to my hands contacting my face and it is hard, people! Old habits die hard so don't die because you refuse to try. Also the washing of hands WITH SOAP for at least 20 seconds - takes real effort and intentionality but can save your life.

I personally find calm in feeling prepared so practicing not touching my face, washing my hands more often and gathering up things that will boost my immune function (see picture above) make me feel better.

The CDC recommends NPI - non-pharmacologic interventions (since there is no vaccine or medication to address this threat). You can read their NPI guidelines here. I agree with everything they are saying. But I don't feel they emphasize one of the main points of preventing spread. For one thing, they recommend wearing a mask if you feel ill and are around people. Do everyone a favor and STAY HOME!

I just read that the outbreak in South Korea (3,150 total cases, 813 new cases reported Saturday, February 29) started at a huge church and the first case was a woman who became ill and continued to go to church functions.

I'm already thinking about how to decrease my interactions with people!

In our electronic society you can even get your groceries delivered so it is possible to stay home. I realize paycheck to paycheck workers may need those paychecks and that may be why China instituted temperature screening everywhere (including at a fast food restaurant where patrons were diverted to entering their orders into a kiosk and delivery persons had to provide the temperature of the person who prepared the food and the temperature of the delivery person).

I am thinking I will just eat food that I have cooked.

There is a lot still unknown about the virus, we know that persons exposed to someone who is ill from it will develop symptoms from 2-14 days later. The number of mild cases (with symptoms of a cold) is unknown. Some may feel like a flu syndrome is starting, get a dry cough and then recover.

Others may develop more severe symptoms (and those are more likely to have underlying chronic illness before contracting the virus). Severe symptoms include fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath (sign of respiratory compromise) and can progress to kidney and respiratory failure and death.

So if you or someone in your household has symptoms, quarantine them to a specific room. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces. Wear a mask while interacting with them. Stay home! If symptoms worsen go to a hospital wearing a mask and ask to be tested. The CDC is working on improving the test kits which were initially faulty and today (February 29) the FDA announced a new policy lifting  restrictions so that vendors can develop test kits and begin to use them more quickly while expediting approval of already validated kits.

SO - what to do if you begin to feel ill?

Immediately cut out all sugar and processed food and limit intake to medicinal teas, broth (preferably homemade bone broth from pastured animals or organic vegetables), and fruits and vegetables. Eat home made chicken soup (with pastured chicken). Take vitamins (vitamin D and C are especially helpful), use immune boosting herbal remedies and eat (or drink) mushrooms as they are naturally immune stimulating (see OM immune drink mix in the photo). Get plenty of rest and drink LOTS of filtered water.

Personally, I have increased my intake of vitamin D and C daily and am adding OM mushroom powder to my smoothies every day. You can purchase OM organic mushroom products through my Fullscript page or get it from Whole Foods or Sprouts. Shiitake mushrooms also boost your immune response. Liposomal curcumin, resveratrol and high EPA fish oil all help reduce inflammation.

Biocidin throat spray is also immune activating and can be found on my Fullscript. It also helps your body kill organisms in the upper respiratory area.

Regular exercise keeps your immune system tuned up but rigorous exercise (marathon training) can increase stress chemistry in the body and hinder immune response.

Excess stress itself blunts the immune response so meditation and doing activities to counteract stress are important. Do activities for enjoyment and try to laugh more - watch funny videos or SNL or your favorite comedian.

Getting adequate sleep is another way to improve immune function. Aim for 8 hours a night. The more your sleep pattern follows natural light and dark cycles, the better health your brain and immune system will have.

Well this got longer than anticipated but hopefully we can combat this threat with information, not IGNORE-ance (the strategy of ignoring something and hoping it will go away). May this little bit of information give you some ways to keep healthy and help increase your peace of mind.


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