Being Strategic about COVID-19

March 13th, 2020

Right now, the US has declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many people are growing concerned as it spreads closer to their local communities and hear about people needing to be hospitalized for severe cases.

Coronaviruses do not magically “jump through the air” and enter your body. Viruses cannot enter your body through intact skin.  Essentially, respiratory viruses enters from 4 openings in the body:  2 Eyes, 1 Nose, and 1 Mouth.  We need to make sure we are protecting these like a goalkeeper in a soccer game.  First, we need to learn to keep our hands away from our faces.  If you pick your nose, rub your eyes, adjust your eyeglasses, touch your chin, or scratch your face, please stop these right now.  You may want to consider wearing glasses (even if you don’t wear them normally) as it can prevent you from rubbing your eyes.  Wearing makeup also prevents you from touching your face. Use a headset to speak on the phone so your phone doesn’t brush up against your cheek.

How about wearing a mask?  If you do not have symptoms of cough, a mask is not likely to protect you in public.  Healthcare workers wear them because they are at high risk of getting coughed or sneezed on.  I was on the subway today and someone was wearing a mask and got a phone call, she proceeded to pull down the mask and have her conversation and replace it afterwards.  In essence, by wearing the mask, she touched her face twice.  Had she not worn a mask, she would not have had to touch her face.  Ironic that something she thought would protect her, actually increased her chances of getting sick!

Right now, we all need to be strengthening our immune system.  I tell people, imagine you are an Olympic athlete (how appropriate since this is the year of the Olympics!) and the big game is tomorrow.  I’m sure you wouldn’t be drinking martinis or eating McDonald’s the night before.  We should be extremely disciplined with our lifestyle.  Get adequate sleep, avoid alcohol, get regular exercise, get sun exposure (vitamin D can improve immune function, NOT vitamin C), eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid overly processed and fast foods, drink plenty of water (your urine should be clear and almost colorless), meditate, reduce stress, get fresh air when the weather is good, shower regularly, moisturize your face and nostrils with facial moisturizer every day, and make sure the humidity is correct in your home.  Ginger tea has been used in China to boost immune function.  It also is obvious we should not be smoking or vaping as these already negatively affect the lungs.  Most importantly, WASH YOUR HANDS!