top of page

COVID-19 Update

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

COVID-19 has arrived in all 50 states and many cities, including my current home in Austin, TX. There is no denying that adapting to a "new normal" every few days has been tiring and stressful. My first post on this topic was focused on calming the anxiety and panic that I was observing, as well as encouraging people to be prepared while staying grounded and focused on the wellness of the whole community and not just themselves. A short four weeks later and we are in a whole new reality with shelter-at-home orders and concerning news on every outlet.

Based on observing the virus as it moves around the world, and through our communities, my basic advice remains:

  • Don’t panic. Don’t hoard. Look out for friends, family, neighbors and strangers. Try not to disseminate unconfirmed misinformation. Try to help others stay calm.

  • BASIC health support activities (sleep, exercise, getting fresh air and sunlight, hand washing, healthy diet, low sugar, and anything you can do to keep anxiety low) are still the most important, and most powerful things you can do to protect your health.

  • Avoid taking high dose anti-inflammatory supplements or OTC medicines (like Ibuprofen or steroid creams/nose sprays, even fish oil). Normal dose of these things should be fine.

  • Avoid taking anti-viral* supplements or herbal formulas before you are actually ill, unless recommended by a qualified practitioner.

  • Vitamin C, Zinc, Astragalus and Mushrooms (in moderate, standard doses) are really the only supplements healthy individuals need beyond the basic health support activities listed above.

  • If you ended up with a lifetime supply of toilet paper (ahem), hand sanitizer, face masks, or anti-viral* herbs, be willing to share with others.

  • I still recommend the immune boosting and balancing supplements listed in my previous post Coronavirus Dos and Don'ts, though I do highly recommend that you consult with a practitioner when selecting from those lists.

*anti-viral supplements are herbs and nutrients that support the part of our immune system that fights viruses. These supplements do not kill viruses directly, nor do they prevent you from getting viruses.

Additional Recommendations

Now that the virus is active in most areas of the US, I also recommend the following:

Stay home as much as possible, even if your city has not issued "stay at home" orders.

Without access to population-wide testing and tracking, the only way to slow the spread is to limit the potential for spreading the disease to others. Sadly, the time for dancing and laughing with your friends in person is not now. However, you can still dance and laugh virtually with your friends (or you can have an 80's flashback and dance with yourself!)

Wear a face mask when going out in public.

The most effective masks are the N95 medical masks. Right now we are facing a worldwide, severe shortage of these masks. The ones that we do have need to be reserved for healthcare workers on the front lines in hospitals, working with seriously ill, infected patients. We need to protect our doctors, so that they can continue to care for us. We are still facing shortages of other types of manufactured masks as well. It has been suggested that people begin wearing homemade masks. While a homemade mask of cotton, flannel or other material is not nearly as effective as the N95, it will still help.

In general, masks are more helpful in catching respiratory droplets you may exhale and keeping any infections you may have from spreading to others. Masks also reduce the particulates that you inhale. While homemade masks are not ideal, and do not offer you full protection, they are better than no mask at all.

Here is a link to a website with several face mask patterns. Most mask patterns recommend cotton or flannel. I like the patterns that include a pocket where you could add an additional layer such as a strip of coffee filter, or paper towel. I also recommend the patterns that include a sleeve for pipe cleaners so that you can mold the top of the mask over your nose. Some are suggesting making masks out of HEPA filter vacuum cleaner bags. These may contain fiberglass, so I would not recommend vacuum bag masks at this time.

Consult with a trained Naturopathic doctor, Functional Medicine doctor, Integrative or Chinese medicine practitioner.

If you are in a high-risk group, feel that you may be getting ill, or just need some peace of mind, please consider having a consultation with a trained naturopathic doctor or acupuncturist so that they can help create a customized care plan for you and your family. Myself and my colleagues have years of training in not only the physiology and chemistry of the immune system, but also in the precise application of nutrients, herbs and other natural remedies to optimize and enhance the immune response. I am able to offer tele-health consultations for both local and remote clients and can set up home delivery of many herbs and supplements.

Limit the amount of time you spend reading, watching or listening to stories about coronavirus. Twitter feeds and Facebook posts are not always the best way to get factual information (though there are lots of health care providers and health organizations using social media to put out good information). Without a fair amount of training in health and science it can be tough to sort out the good information from the hype. It is PROVEN that going down the Facebook rabbit hole increases anxiety and stress hormones (not to mention the EMF radiation you are getting from your phone). Put the phone down, turn off the TV and radio. Go for a walk in this beautiful spring weather.

Get your information from trusted sources. Try to limit most of your coronavirus information updates (or at least where you get your facts) to these reliable sources:

World Health Organization (WHO)

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Texas Health and Human Services

Austin Local

If you feel sick

The symptoms for COVID-19 are:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing / sense of constriction or tightness in chest