I wanted to break from the format of this blog to put out some simple advice related to the current coronavirus event.
The information related to nCoV-2019 is patchy and confusing. Suffice to say, major cities in China are facing major disruptions due to infection. The Chinese response seems to indicate a much greater impact than the official numbers predict.
I have a feeling this will be more than a blip. This outbreak has the potential to disrupt the status quo for a large number of people, beyond what we've seen with SARS and Ebola.
8 Simple ways to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak.
1. Optimize your health with good nutrition, clean water, & regular exercise.
2. Enhance your immune system by challenging your body with regular exposure to controlled levels of stress. Try adding daily cold showers and deep breathing sessions (hyperventilation) to your healthy routine. These two simple practices have been shown to enhance immune function and increase mental resilience. Fasting has also been shown to improve gut health which in turn promotes a healthy immune response. Daily supplementation with echinacea, Vitamin C,
2. Optimize your spirit/mind with meditation, prayer, family & community. Focus your intention/thoughts/prayers on staying healthy and grateful. Use your imagination to picture yourself in the healthiest state of being at all times. Visualize your immune system healing your body. These simple techniques will enhance your functioning and provide insight and strength for the days ahead.
3. Prevent illness for yourself and family.
Keep your hands away from your face at all times. The virus enters through mucus membranes such as eye, nose and mouth.
If this becomes a pandemic illness and people near your home begin coming down with the illness, assume that it is contagious in your area. Simple changes in your routine can prevent unnecessary exposure.
a. Stay home and discourage visitors from coming to your house.
b. Avoid unnecessary trips to crowded places. Stay off buses, trains, planes or away from crowded spaces.
c. If you must go out, cover your eyes (wraparound glasses), your face (a mask), and your hands (nitrile gloves) and wash your hands with warm soapy water when you get home.
d. Be aware that topical hand sanitizers don't work as well for viruses.
4. Treat minor illnesses at home with clean foods, bone broth, vitamins, herbs, and essential oils. Early initiation of Vitamin C (gluten/corn free) 6-8K mg/day therapy can reduce symptoms and speed recovery in common colds. Other useful supplements include B Complex, echinacea, zinc, vitamin D3, and turmeric. Useful essential oils include tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, and oregano oil.
5. Prepare for disruption in routines. Stores, businesses & logistics may all be affected by a large scale health problem. Expect help and material supplies to be in short supply. Assume that hospitals, clinics, and their medical staff will be busy taking care of the sick.
6. Stockpile 8-12 weeks of affordable and easy to prepare food, clean water, fuel, home remedies, toiletries, and heat source material in case of disruptions in basic services, utilities, grocery, & healthcare. Keep a reasonable number of supplements and essential oils on hand in case anyone in the house begins to show signs of infection.
7. Stay active and remain calm. Fear is the enemy. Focus on creative solutions for the challenges you face. Stockpile books, games, puzzles, and toys to keep yourself entertained when things get slow. Creative distractions will create community, bolster morale and challenge the mind.
8. If you get sick:
Increase your use of vitamins. Try to boost your vitamin C use up to 12-14 Grams per day. Isolate yourself from others and if you develop shortness of breath you must arrange for medical care either with your doctor, a clinic or the ER.
Matthew H. Evenhouse, MD is a board-certified Emergency Physician, published author, private pilot and international educator.