If you feel sick, stay home.
If you develop symptoms, stay home.
If your symptoms rapidly progress, contact your physician.
Avoid gathering in groups with more than 10 people.
If you have an underlying condition, stay home and avoid other people.
Prevention: Best Basic Hygiene Practices
1. Wash your hands! This is common sense and should not be ignored. Most people will need to double or triple the number of hand washings per day. Some may need to learn to wash their hands. Wash hands before and after contact with others. Wash for 20 to 40 seconds while vigorously rubbing them together. This is a low cost method for preventing spread of the virus (as well as other pathogens). Warm soapy water is adequate and even preferable.
2. Wash your hands every time you enter the kitchen. Even if you just washed your hands two minutes before going to the kitchen, it is a good habit to wash your hands before you do anything in the kitchen.
3. Avoid touching your hair and face. If you frequently touch your hair and face, you may be transferring the virus to the most susceptible part of your body, making it more likely you will get the virus. The main routes of entry are the mouth, nose and eyes. Also cuts and other open wounds anywhere on the body can act as entry points.
4. Always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Droplets can travel up to 20 or more feet during an unprotected sneeze or cough. Use a disposable tissue or cough into your bent arm. It is not advised to cough into your hands. This makes it more likely you will spread the virus.
5. If you are going to a large gathering such as church and you are prone to coughing and sneezing, sit near the front. This way you won’t be coughing and sneezing on everyone in front of you.
6. If you are going to a large gathering such as church, prop open doors so people don’t have to touch them to go through them (if allowed by fire department codes).
7. Use a face mask when indicated. This protects you as well as others. As long as you are wearing a face mask wear eye glasses to protect your eyes. Change the face mask when it becomes moist or when you change settings.
8. Use gloves if dealing with body fluids, utensils and laundry of those with known exposures. Immediately dispose of gloves after use.
9. Minimize sharing food, drinks and basically all objects.
10. Minimize contact with casual friends such as shaking hands, hugging, kissing, touching, etc.
11. Avoid sharing poorly ventilated spaces with others.
12. For now, you may want to institute social distancing measures such as limiting contact and exposure to large crowds, minimize spending time in crowded public places, avoid places where sick people might be congregating (physician offices, pharmacies, hospitals), etc. When possible conduct business over the phone or use video conferencing. Work from home when possible.
13. Avoid panic and hype. It may be too late for this, but don’t spread fear and panic.
14. If you are a paranoid clean freak and basic germaphobe, wash your clothes. If you have been working in a hospital, working where you have close contact with the public, or even out shopping and have had exposure to large crowds, it is a good idea upon arriving home to immediately strip off your exterior clothes and toss them into the washing machine before you go into the rest of the house. Use detergent and the warmest temperature recommended.
15. Take a shower! After you have stripped off your clothes, head to the shower. If you have been exposed to people with unknown exposures, take a shower to ensure your hair, bare arms, and other exposed body areas are thoroughly clean.
16. Daily cleanse and disinfect your living areas including objects such as phones, tablets, computer keyboards, door knobs, toilet seats and handles, etc.
17. If you normally wash your dishes in the sink with soapy water, it is a good idea to wash them as usual and then sterilize them in the dishwasher (use a shorter cycle).
18. Good cleaning solutions include vinegar, dilute bleach (for hard surfaces), detergents, common disinfectants, etc.
19. Minimize time spent in public buildings with mechanical ventilation systems.
20. You may want to purchase HEPA air filters and machines that produce ozone to clean the air.
21. You may have a difficult time finding them now, but germicidal UV lamps are great for sterilizing. You must never look directly at a germicidal UV light or even be in the room at the same time the light is disinfecting your space, but if you have a lamp with a timer, screw the germicidal light bulb into your lamp and leave it in a room or area you want to disinfect. Remotely turn on the light and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. You may need to move it around the room several times to reach most of the commonly used surfaces. It will disinfect only the surfaces exposed to the light. If you are lucky enough to find one, be sure to follow the instructions.
22. Less is best (repeat this 100 times) when it comes to things that collect dust. Too many knick knacks and crowded furniture make it hard to dust and keep a clean environment. Minimize things that crowd your living spaces and enjoy a cleaner and safer home environment!
23. Ensure appropriate ventilation. When possible, keep windows open and bring in fresh air.
24. You may want to increase the frequency of washing bed linens.
25. If you suspect you have been exposed to the virus, self-quarantine and seek medical advice. This protects yourself as well as others and improves the utilization of scarce resources.
26. If you actually come down with respiratory symptoms, self-quarantine and seek medical advice. It is likely you will only experience mild to moderate symptoms. Voluntary isolation may help curb the spread of the virus. If you are a confirmed or probable case, isolate yourself at home and stay in touch with your local healthcare providers regarding your needs. When symptoms indicate, check into the hospital for medical management.
27. School age and children in daycare facilities are considered to be one of the main drivers spreading respiratory viruses in the community. It is not yet known whether this is the case with SARS-Covid-2. If this is consistent with other viruses and children do not exhibit overt symptoms of infection, they may more easily spread the virus without appearing to be the primary vector or virus spreader.
28. Traveling facilitates the spread of the virus from infected areas / person to uninfected areas / persons. Minimize traveling when possible.
29. I recommend carrying a small spray bottle (not plastic) that holds around four ounces of liquid. Add 10 drops of iodine or two tablespoons of 10 ppm colloidal silver and fill up the rest with distilled water. Spray this on shopping carts, on your face, on your hands to protect against the virus.
30. If you have long hair, keep it contained. This will lessen the chance for the virus to find a landing place in your hair.
31. Avoid exercising indoors in places such as public gyms, work-related work-out rooms, etc.
32. I suppose I should mention a bidet (look it up) could be a good way to begin to use less toilet paper. Bidets are widely used across Europe but most Americans have never heard of one.
33. Might not be a bad idea to keep a thermal scanner in your medicine chest. This is a way to monitor your family for slight body temperature increases seen in those who may have the virus but are asymptomatic.
Let's Talk About Immunity and SARS-Covid 2 (AKA Covid-19 which refers to the cluster of symptoms associated with the virus)
SARS-Covid 2, stands for the second Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome we have seen since 2002, when this particular corona virus first appeared. Covid-19 refers to the manifestation of symptoms such as lung disease, acute heart failure, severe shortness of breath (SOB), chest pain, mental confusion, etc. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic. In this country we have seen pockets of acute morbidity (symptoms) and mortality (death) but we have not seen wide-scale effects outside of what would be the course of a normal flu season. We are told this virus will get worse in the near future.
Complicating the epidemiological picture is the contagious period may be as long as 37 days. All things considered, many of the monitoring parameters indicate this virus has potential to cause widespread morbidity and mortality. We have not faced such a potential threat in our lifetime (unless you were alive in 1918 and experienced the Spanish flu). Experts expected the numbers of those diagnosed with the virus to double every six to ten days, but in reality the initial numbers have doubled in about half that time - 3 days. Hopefully this is due to expanded testing availability.
Because we benefit from liberty and freedom in this country and participate in an open society that allows complete freedom to travel, large scale prevention without drastic measures is not possible. There are no mechanisms in place to enforce a self-quarantine. As we have already seen, many people advised to self-quarantine, have continued to go to work, attend meetings, visit stores, frequent local eateries, etc. Outside of the early required quarantine of those coming into this country and known to have the virus, local authorities are not going to “lock” you inside your home for 14 days or place you in a quarantine facility. It is unlikely this country will seek to enforce required quarantines. However, canceling public events is a step toward minimizing transmission. Only time will tell if these steps were necessary and effective.
While large scale prevention is difficult and comes with a high economic price, small scale prevention is possible for families and communities. This means it is important to take reasonable and intelligent steps to limit the impact of the virus in our families and communities. It is prevention on this scale as well as other factors, that will ultimately determine the outcome. This is why our expert leaders recommend working from home, homeschooling, distance learning, ensuring a 6 foot buffer zone (this is ideal but not always practical), etc.
From what we know about most viruses, they seem to dissipate in the summer. Fortunately, summer is coming and with summer we go outside and play! It is anticipated the higher temperatures and humidity, in combination with extended periods of sun exposure, may slow the spread of the virus. However, information about this virus is fluid and it may be unique in ways we don’t yet understand. What we know will likely change and expand as we learn more about this particular SARS-Covid-2.
Prevention and attaining passive immunity (i.e., exposure with no obvious symptoms or exposure with mild symptoms) is ideal. Exposure causes you to develop antibodies, a type of immunity, to the virus. This protects you against future exposures to the same virus. At least this is a typical and usual outcome which may or may not hold true for this virus.
The body's immune system develops over the first 25 years of life. Health habits during the development of your immune system may determine your long term health. If you are frequently outdoors, eat a diet high in protective factors, and get adequate rest, you have increased your chances of extending good health for years.
Many chronic conditions take 20 or more years to show up as bothersome symptoms or outright health issues. If you start abusing your body during your 20's, you may begin to experience issues in your 40's and 50's. But, as we know, many factors converge to determine our health.
Attitude, positivity, activity, intellectual stimulation, creativity, meaningful connections with others, job security and enjoyment, etc., are important factors for extending physical and mental health. Some people defy the odds of living to be a 100 years old by smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, not sleeping enough, drinking too much beer, etc. While some may reach 100 years of age while defying the odds, they may have unknowingly sacrificed other aspects related to health and wellness such as quality of life, intellectual achievements, happiness, strong connections with loved ones, personal and professional fulfillment, spiritual development, etc.
Many factors combine to determine our immunity. I have assembled advice for those interested in small scale non-pharmaceutical prevention. It is not necessarily comprehensive in nature. There is just too much information to present on a web page such as this without the ability to go into great detail. It is sufficient to help you assemble a family plan. The “prevention advice” is classified into “Best Basic Hygiene Practices (see the sidebar),” “Best Nutritional Practices (below),” “Best Supplement and Orthomolecular Practices (below)” and “Best Lifestyle Practices (below).”
This is my disclaimer: I am not a physician. But as a functional and integrative clinician, I use the best knowledge I have in the areas of my specialty which include: nutrition, neuroscience, basic sciences, orthomolecular approaches, and natural approaches to achieving and / or restoring wellness. I make no claims as to the applied efficacy of these therapies. I mostly list therapies I have used with clients for decades and I believe are universal enough to be effective with most people. I have NOT listed therapies that involve even a small degree of risk (which I would only use on an individual counseling basis and with full disclosure) - which is why you will not see all possible therapies listed here. I give you enough information to take solid steps in the case you may not have access to medical care. I strongly urge you to self-quarantine and immediately seek medical care if you suspect you have the Covid-19 virus.
This rest of this page is almost all preventive practices (except for the vitamin C stuff and the Vitamin D hammer). If you actually have the virus, it requires more aggressive measures, which are best discussed with your health care provider or a knowledgeable and educated clinician (please avoid advice from people with no medical background). I recently taught a class and one of the participants spoke up and recommended a little known herbal remedy. I did not immediately remember the issues with this remedy but I did recommend caution - to his dismay. When I looked up the herb, it had a number of red flag issues. As previously stated, there are no known major issues with the items on this list.
Prevention: Best Nutritional Practices
1. Eat raw food at every meal, especially at the beginning of the meal.
2. Eat foods that boost nitric oxide production. These include beets, leafy greens, herbs, citrus fruits, rhubarb, celery, nuts, seeds, watermelon, freshly juiced apples (drink immediately), garlic, dark chocolate, pomegranate. Exercise boosts it as well.
3. For anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan or limits consumption of animal products, be sure you consume adequate protein to maintain a robust immune system - 46 grams for females and 56 grams for males.
4. Avoid fast food.
5. Patronize restaurants with an open kitchen, so their sanitary habits can be observed. Eat only food-made-to-order that is well-cooked.
6. Avoid buffets where saliva droplets from talking, coughing or sneezing could land on prepared food. If you still plan to have potlucks, assign several people to take precautions and prepare and serve the food. Avoid food service not performed by people without a food handlers certificate. Otherwise they are not educated on basic food safety requirements.
7. Sanitize raw foods by soaking them in a dilute solution of either bleach (1:10 ratio of bleach to water) or baking soda and vinegar, around two or three tablespoons of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar for every two to three gallons of water. I do this when I juice carrots, apples, pears, ginger, celery, etc. This should deactivate the virus if droplets are on produce.
8. Again, for the germaphobes, you may also use a dilute bleach solution to spray and sanitize packaged foods. This may seem extreme, but with current information, it is possible the virus could survive for a couple of hours, maybe even days on outer food packaging.
9. Eat citrus fruit and fresh juices (unless advised against it by your physician). The high acidity in citrus fruit may help inhibit growth of harmful bacteria and viruses in your digestive tract.
10. Foods with known anti-viral potential (limited listing): raw garlic, ginger, lemon juice, onions, bananas, freshly juiced apples (drink immediately), pomegranate (fresh), etc.
11. Herbs with known anti-viral potential (limited listing): echinacea, St. John’s wort, oregano, licorice root, astragulus, rosemary, sage, holy basil, peppermint, ginseng, etc.
12. Consider aiming for the most recent fluid recommendations which are significantly higher than the previous recommendation of 64 ounces per day: 95 ounces per day for females and 125 ounces per day for males. One cup contains eight ounces. This turns out to be 12 8-ounce glasses for females and 16 8-ounce glasses for males. (Personally I consider the newer recommendations to be somewhat excessive but have not yet looked at supportive source data used to make these recommendations.)
Prevention: Best Supplement and Orthomolecular Practices
1. When it comes to supplements, vitamin C should be at the top of the list. It is critical to keep an adequate supply of vitamin C (aka, ascorbic acid) on hand. There are several ways to receive ascorbic acid. These include orally, nasally, intravenously (IV), through a fine aerosol delivered by a nebulizer to the lungs, or by a diffuser via the nose and mouth (let's just stop with these modes for now.) There are two forms of vitamin C powder: ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate. Personally, I prefer ascorbic acid but some people tolerate sodium ascorbate better because it is less acidic. I almost always recommend people use ascorbic acid but either will work. If using sodium ascorbate, it is important to understand it will increase your intake of sodium. If you are sensitive to sodium you should use ascorbic acid.
A. As a daily preventive measure I recommend taking 3 grams twice per day. If you are really skeptical, take a total of 2 or 3 grams once per day.
B. If you are ill or have symptoms, I recommend taking 2 to 3 grams every 30 minutes until bowel tolerance is reached. Bowel tolerance means the vitamin C begins to cause a rumble in your stomach. If you reach diarrhea, you have gone past bowel tolerance. You may experience loose bowels. This will not hurt you and in fact, may be a beneficial effect. Once you reach bowel tolerance, you can take up to the last dose before you reached bowel tolerance on a daily basis. It is best to break up the doses into 2 to 3 gram doses spaced at least 2 hours apart.
C. If you want to prevent the virus from taking up residence in the back of your throat (which occurs the first few days after infection and before the virus moves into the lungs), gargle with a vitamin C mouthwash, Epsom salts or colloidal silver. For vitamin C, I recommend using 1 teaspoon of powder to 1 cup of warm water. Gargle for several minutes and then spit out or swallow. If using Epsom salts, dissolve 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts in 1 cup of warm water; gargle for several minutes and then spit out. If using colloidal silver, take 1 or 2 tablespoons of 10 ppm colloidal silver, gargle for several minutes and spit out or swallow.
D. You may diffuse ascorbic acid using an essential oil diffuser. Use the same ratio of ascorbic acid to water used for nebulizing. Add a few drops of orange oil or grapefruit oil to scent the air with additional virus fighting molecules. Do not confuse the use of a diffuser with a nebulizer!
E. If you want to nebulize ascorbic acid, you will need to dissolve ascorbic acid powder into DISTILLED water using a ratio of 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder to 1 cup of distilled water. YOU MUST USE DISTILLED WATER ONLY. THIS AEROSOL IS GOING INTO YOUR LUNGS. Be sure your hands are utensils are clean when you prepare this solution.
F. It is possible to snort sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid. This will not be pleasant but will almost immediately resolve sinus issues. I have never snorted anything and have shied away from using this method but if you are miserable from sinus issues, snorting ascorbic acid is a good option for you.
G. If you are really sick and require hospitalization, ask your physician if s/he will prescribe an ascorbic acid IV. It is recommended 100 grams be given every 8 hours until symptoms resolve or up to 24 hours. Your physician will modify timing and rates for optimal dosing. One should also take oral vitamin C while getting IV vitamin C and continue taking it after IV therapy is completed. Take about 2 to 3 grams 2 or 3 times per day (more frequently is also ok).
2. Vitamin D Hammer. A vitamin D hammer is used when you are symptomatic and not as a preventive measure. When symptoms first appear, you may want to consider using a vitamin D hammer. This type of hammer is found in your medicine cabinet and not the garage. It is documented in the medical literature and should be considered. There are two approaches to the vitamin D hammer. It is important to carefully follow this protocol and not exceed what is recommended. If you want to do a one-time therapy, take 50,000 IU of vitamin D3. If you want to do the hammer over three days, take 10,000 IUs Vitamin D3 once per day for three consecutive days. Vitamin K2 should not be combined with vitamin D3 for this therapy.
3. Selenium is an amazing virus preventive. Take 200 mcg of selenium during virus transmission season / period. You could also eat 2 to 3 Brazil nuts per day to get an equivalent amount of selenium. When virus transmission season is over, you can drop down to 100 mcg of selenium or 1 to 2 Brazil nuts per day.
4. N-acetyl cysteine or NAC helps the body make its premier antioxidant – glutathione! Take 600 mg NAC twice per day to significantly lower your risk of getting a virus.
5. It’s also a good idea to have some elderberry syrup on hand. If you don’t have it or it is not available, don’t stress out. The approaches mentioned above should be readily available and adequate, but elderberry syrup does address biofilms. Viruses help form biofilms. Biofilms contribute to virus and / or bacterial colonies becoming resistant to pharmaceutical therapies. These colonies become enclosed in biofilms, which make them a little more impervious to treatment. Elderberry syrup is both antimicrobial and anti-viral (works against specific gram positive and gram negative bacteria and against influenza viruses).
6. 10 ppm Colloidal (or nano) Silver. Take up to 10 drops to a tablespoon of colloidal silver per day during critical viral transmission periods. Be sure to only use glass containers.
7. Charcoal and Bentonite Clay for GI disturbances.
8. Zinc and Zinc Lozenges. It is not really known how effective zinc lozenges are against viral and bacterial colonies in the back of the throat but it won’t hurt to suck on a zinc-containing lozenge.
9. Grapefruit seed extract.
10. There are many more vitamin, mineral, herbal and other types of therapies that are known to effectively target the virus or its ability to multiply. Just because something does not appear on this list does not mean it lacks efficacy. There are many other therapies that could have made this list but the ones on this list are major players in combating viral infections. If you have additional questions contact your local healthcare provider for additional guidance.
Prevention: Best Lifestyle Practices
1. Spend as much time as possible outdoors. This ensures you get fresh air and sunlight exposure. Both are great for keeping your system in good working order.
2. Take Epsom salt baths / soaks. Place 1 cup Epsom salts in your warm bath water and soak on both sides for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows your body to absorb sulfur and magnesium.
3. Plan some form of daily exercise and activity. If you have an active hobby such as gardening, plan to spend some time doing this hobby every day.
4. If you have a near or far infrared sauna, spend some time in the sauna at least two to three times per week.
5. Hot and cold contrast hydrotherapy with sugar scrub to demarginate white blood cells.
6. Hot and cold fomentations to the upper body.
7. Aim for an early bedtime and make sure you get at least 5 90-minute sleep cycles, which is 7.5 hours of sleep.