I’m writing from quarantine in my home. I was notified 5 hours ago (it seems like a week!), but knew this was coming for a couple of days. I had a fever on Wed night and now I’m coughing—wouldn’t get my attention on a normal day, but in the midst of this pandemic, it’s a hard stop.
I can literally count on one hand the number of times I’ve called in sick during my medical career. It is against everything ingrained in our culture. It’s really hard to be sidelined when all of my colleagues are on the front lines and bracing for impact, but it’s the moral thing to do at this time. So, I’m reaching deep for patience. And thankful that I will be back in action about the time that our ICU’s are expecting big waves of patients.
I basically have a full clinic in my house, including IV fluids and monitors to check my vitals. I also have a full stockpile of supplements—but here’s what I’m actually doing.
1. Get enough sleep. Our immune systems require adequate sleep to function properly. We are hearing that healthcare workers on the frontlines are getting hit especially hard with the virus—likely because they are overworked, stressed and not resting enough.
2. Eat your fruits and veggies. I’ve been regularly doing smoothies (check the Prism Health IG and I’ll show you how I mix mine), and trying to eat veggies every chance I get. These provide vital phytonutrients that contribute to health and well-being, and we are going to need all cylinders firing for a while.
3. Stay hydrated. You know that nasty stuff you cough up? You want enough water so that can stay as thin as possible. If you get dehydrated, that turns into gooey, nasty stuff like glue or cement. It will stick in your lungs if it’s too thick to cough up, and contribute to breathing troubles. Drink lots of water. You can monitor this by making sure your urine isn’t too dark.
4. Don’t over-suppress your cough. I was up until 3am coughing last night. I try to avoid cough suppressants as much as possible, because that’s our body’s defense to getting stuff out of our lungs. However, you may need something at night so you can get sleep.
5. As far as vitamins, I don’t go too overboard. I have taken my Vitamin D 50,000 iu/day for three days. Yes, it’s a quick boost, and supported by data. Should be safe unless you know your level to run high. If you’re overly concerned, can do 10,000-15,000 iu/day for a week without any trouble. I also take Zinc 30 mg daily, Vitamin A, and N-acetyl cysteine (glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant)
6. Monitor your breathing. If you feel like you’re working hard to breathe or having trouble catching your breath, it’s time to call the ER. When you start breathing harder, your body uses 30% more oxygen to support those “accessory” muscles.
7. Its’ time to employ good hand washing, wiping down common surfaces, wash your clothes frequently, change your sheets, keep shared blankets clean, and don’t share silverware or glasses.
8. Look after your loved ones. Being of service is one of the best ways to raise your vibes and boost your immune system. Do what you can to help your community and we will all get thru this.
9. If you have a cough or fever STAY HOME. Period. Assume everyone is infected, and that you are as well and act accordingly. 25% of transmissions are from people who don’t have symptoms. This is what makes it so tricky to contain.