What to do to stay healthy during quarantine...and after.



To start, for anyone under 40 who is healthy, the odds of a bad outcome with this virus are extremely low. They happen, so I am not trying to minimize the reality of a terrible disease, but am just saying statistically they are rare (eg https://www.statista.com/statistics/1105061/coronavirus-deaths-by-region-in-italy/). Nothing special to do for them—just eat well, get a little sunshine, exercise and sleep. But if you are a smoker, diabetic, significantly over-weight or immune compromised in some way, you should be especially careful.

What to do now while still healthy:

None of what I am going to share will replace the most important thing to do to keep yourself self—and that is to not expose yourself to the virus. Rather these are some things (most of which you already know—a gentle reminder then) of some things that might support your health if you were to contract the virus. If you are healthy when you contract it, you are likely to deal with it better.

Exercise—any exercise is good and will help to reduce stress hormones which affect your immune system—and of course will make you feel better. Including aerobic exercise now might be especially smart because having your lungs and heart in good shape may help to prevent two of the most lethal outcomes from the virus. Yoga is also good for stress. Vigourous walking is always good. (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm)

Limit alcohol intake --to one or two drinks a day (or less) and take a day or two off a week (https://www.insider.com/does-alcohol-weaken-the-immune-system). Excess drinking impairs the immune system at least temporarily.

Breathing exercises—learn the breathing exercises that JK Rowling’s physician taught her when she came down with the virus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwLzAdriec0&feature=youtu.be

Or try Pranayama breathing practices to reduce stress and keep your lungs in good shape—there are many Youtube videos (here are a few: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VwufJrUhic;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udLuhi5cktYhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-1kuahbLl4)

Sleep—lack of sleep does not help the immune system (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757 and you likely will sleep deeper without alcohol).

If you are having trouble sleeping or just want to explore another way to relax, try Yoga Nidra, it is a guided meditation done while lying down and can take anywhere from 10 to 45 mins—a great addition to an afternoon nap (https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/reflections-of-peace). You can find free versions on the internet.

Spend time outside:  It feels good and is great for you: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916162120.htm

Laugh: Cooking, dancing, laughing—anything that brings a lightness to the heart is actually good for your immune system: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

Supplements: None of these are going to magically prevent your getting the virus, but they might support your body in fighting it. Normally just eating well—whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, some nuts… is the best way to get your nutrients, but maybe we want to be extra careful now.

Vitamin C and Zinc: While the research is not totally supportive, some studies show that these two supplements do help shorten a bit the durations of colds—many of which are actually caused by coronaviruses (and so might help with this virus)—you don’t need crazy amounts, just 100 to 200mgs a day of C, anything more just ends up in your pee. Vitamin C also is a potent anti-oxidant (more about this below) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/cold-remedies/art-20046403.

Glutathione:  There is some research on this that also suggests it might effective in preventing and treating colds. Also, it is a very strong anti-oxidant (https://vitaliahealthcare.ca/blog/glutathione-support-for-the-flu-season/). A friend of ours is an investor in a local company that produces a liquid version of this which they claim is better absorbed than other versions-- they swear by it (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VRVNFJK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1); I just started taking this—it also has a little Vit C and Zinc so I am covered there as well.

Magnesium: Low levels can impair immune function and supposedly many people have low levels. It can also help you sleep (https://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/health/treat-flu-boost-energy-with-magnesium/). We use Calm (https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Vitality-Anti-Stress-Supplement-Raspberry/dp/B00BPUY3W0/ref=sr_1_5?crid=16M6T3X8K46JZ&dchild=1&keywords=calm+magnesium+powder&qid=1587737372&sprefix=calm%2Caps%2C164&sr=8-5)

Vitamin D: Most of us get plenty of this living in FL (since your body makes it when exposed to sunlight) and eating foods supplemented with it, but it would be good to have some around in case you have to quarantine for several weeks or are too sick to go out (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5949172/)

Mushrooms: There is also evidence that some mushrooms can help fight colds and flu (https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-immunologist-uses-fungi-to-fight-cold-and-flu); if taking as a supplement, I like these: https://www.amazon.com/DEFENSE-Comprehensive-Immune-Support-Count/dp/B00H4I5UB0/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1H1CKZR5ZO7PI&dchild=1&keywords=reishi%2Bmushroom&qid=1587737480&sprefix=resihi%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-6&th=1

Neti: I do Neti every day for my allergies—and there is some evidence that gargling with salt water (which I do after my neti) may help prevent catching colds and flu: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/gargling-with-salt-water-for-colds/

What if you catch the Virus—or think you have:

I am not an MD—so take this with a grain of salt and a large dose of common sense—and of course consult your healthcare provider.

Getting tested is getting easier and is probably a smart thing to do if you have symptoms—so you know if you need to isolate.

Have a plan: How would you isolate yourself—even from your family if you tested positive? Food, water, medicine, etc—how will you have access to all of these and still keep your family safe? Not easy, but worth considering. 

Having a pulse oximeter at home is probably the most important thing you can do.  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5949172/) It allows you to measure oxygen levels in your blood quickly and easily. If levels drop below 90% you should call your physician right away (normal is between 94 and 100%--maybe test yourself when healthy to get a baseline). Of course have thermometer too.

Fever fighters—Tylenol and Ibuprofen: Many physicians believe that fevers (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101130200.htm) actually help your body fight certain types of infections—although there is some disagreement about this. For me, I try not to take anything unless my fever is over 102 or 102.5 degrees—unless I really need to sleep. If you do have a fever over 102, there is some thinking that Tylenol might be safer than ibuprofen (ie Advil and Motrin) with this virus, although no one is sure (https://www.goodrx.com/blog/are-advil-motrin-tylenol-bad-for-coronavirus-symptoms/). I would suggest having both. Start with Tylenol if you need to, but if your fever gets really bad and is not being controlled by the Tylenol (too much is bad for your liver by the way), you can alternate every 4 hours between Tylenol and ibuprofen.

Anticoagulants: In addition to causing severe respiratory problems in some patients, blood clots are causing problems in a significant number of patients with COVID-19  (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/22/coronavirus-blood-clots/). Have some high quality fish oil on hand to help counter act this if you become symptomatic (not proven—just an idea). It has both anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties—maybe start with 2 a day if you have symptoms. Also, aspirin is an excellent blood thinner. Maybe start with a baby aspirin if you are feeling ill and go up to 2 regular tablets a day if symptoms worsen—consult your doctor.

Not too much time on your back: If breathing becomes challenged in the least, do not spend too much time on your back—better to sleep on your side or stomach and spend at least some time sitting up (and doing your breathing exercises—see the video JK Rowling’s shared).

Ginger Tea with honey: Ginger tea (especially with fresh ginger—but you might buy some capsules as well) is part of traditional Chinese medicine treatment for colds and flu and there is some research to back it up: https://www.healthline.com/health/ginger-for-sore-throat. Add some honey (for coughs) and fresh turmeric if you want. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties, is good for nausea, headaches, and will help clear sinuses temporarily.

Supplements: It seems that some of the patients that have severe outcomes do fine for a while and then very suddenly take a turn for the worse—some researchers (not all) think that inflammation-inducing cytokines are part of the problem (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/how-does-coronavirus-kill-clinicians-trace-ferocious-rampage-through-body-brain-toes#); antioxidants may provide some protection form this type of inflammatory response (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5075620/). I think this is why intravenous Vit C is being tested in some places for severely ill patients. Now might be a good time to take your Vit C, glutathione, Zinc, Vit D and mushrooms—for Zinc I like: https://www.amazon.com/Zicam-Remedy-RapidMelts-Dissolve-Tablets/dp/B072NHSHY3/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=zinc+lounges+zycam&qid=1587738669&sr=8-7

This virus is most threatening for the most vulnerable amongst us, the elderly, the sick, the poor, the imprisoned—if you are reading this you probably are not at high risk right now. We should do what we can to help, be generous to those who have less and who are at risk and hopefully we be grateful for what we have. If you are at home and being careful (and not working in a hospital, prison, meat-packing factory or grocery store) and you haven’t caught the virus yet, you are probably safe for the moment, at least for this round of the outbreak. Health care professionals are already getting better at treating the illness, even if we don’t have a cure yet. And most of us have learned to be more careful about physical distance, wearing masks, etc--most of us are going to come through this ok. There are reasons to be hopeful. And our business for the most part is doing ok. We are not anticipating any cuts at this point in staff.

But this virus is going to be around for a while. The government will have to reduce restrictions at some point in the next few weeks and the chance of 2nd or 3rd outbreak is highly probable. We are likely to be dealing with this virus at least for another year or two. Even Dr. Fauci says the virus will be here in the Fall--but probably it will be around even longer than that. Until we have a vaccine or some magically great treatment or until 60-70% of us contract it, we will be dealing with this virus, so probably it is good to be prepared for this. We won’t be quarantined all that time, but we will need to be mindful.

One of my favorite books is about Gratitude, I recommend it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N4EY9XI/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i9

Written by: David Eskra

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