I want to start out by saying that my heart goes out to loved ones lost and for people experiencing hardships during this time. Many of us are not sure whether to freak out or stay calm. As a nurse, we are trained to not “freak out” during unfavorable conditions to say the least. Our job is to provide information and reassure the community. I don’t want to downplay this virus because it has become a Pandemic, it is very real and it is affecting the entire world in many ways. However, we all need to take a deep breath for a moment, stop listening to the media, stop google searching and……. Listen to YOUR doctors and your nurses. They have YOUR best interest at heart.
Having said that here is what we know and what We can DO to prepare in a calm-rational manner…
COVID-19 is a VIRUS and it can cause pneumonia. Pneumonia can be fatal for elderly and compromised individuals. Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs with fluid or purulent (pus) material in one or both lungs. For the most part, the body is capable of reversing the damage from inflammation and allowing the lungs to heal. However, inflammation can become too much that a “cytokine storm” can occur, which is the key mechanism for fatality. A cytokine storm is basically your immune system taking on more than it can handle.
The main symptoms of Covid-19 include some but is not limited to fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have symptoms, call your physician or local health department and they will instruct you further. Do not leave your house unless you need urgent medical attention.
We cant control the media and we cant control this virus. What we can control is how we react and what we do to protect our family during this time to prevent and treat any virus.
- Stop the panic-buying-frenzy. Trucks are still delivering, grocery stores are still open, and restaurants are still doing their part to help the community. Only buy what you need for the week. You all are acting like Floridians do when a hurricane comes except the difference is, you WONT be stranded without running water or electricity.
- Utilize food delivery services/curb side pick up. Help keep your favorite local restaurants in business.
- Check on your elderly neighbor
- Check on your child’s emotional well being. Here is how to start this conversation
- Stay off social media. You don’t need to check numbers daily. It does nothing to change the situation.
- We are trying to “social distance” to protect our elderly and immune compromised. Lets be responsible and help this cause. Every one in this country has a parent, grandparent, Aunt, Uncle, cousin, child, friend and/or neighbor that fits this criteria. Statistically speaking, most experience mild symptoms but that’s not the case for everyone. Respect others. This is Preschool 101.
- Lots of people still have to leave their homes when necessary but please stay home if you can and most definitely stay home if you are sick.
- Practice makes perfect: Wash your hands, Cough in your elbow, Hand sanitize (recipe here), Avoid touching your face, clean your phone, sanitize your home regularly.
People are out buying endless supplies of toilet paper and I am over here buying ALL the immune supplements and cold remedies.
Here are things I have considered (and why) to protect my family in the event they get any illness during this time….
- Elderberry is used for flu, colds and other ailments by boosting immunity and reducing inflammation. Here is a more in depth explanation and usage.
- Vitamin D3 is known to boost immunity. This is a major reason why the flu season subsides when the weather gets warmer. Not only does the heat kill most virus pathogens but people go outside more and get their Vitamin D. We are all a little Vitamin D deficient to some degree (unless you work outside everyday) and this can pose as a small risk factor for sepsis and inflammatory disorders. Here is more Vitamin D info.
- Zinc is required for normal white blood cell functioning and is known to increase cell production that can boost immunity and reduce inflammation. It also is known to impair the replication of RNA viruses such as influenza and covid-19. Here is more information on how zinc works and acts on the immune system.
- Vitamin A helps make antibodies, a barrier against pathogens. Here is more information on the benefits of Vitamin A.
- Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant and can help prevent oxidative damage minimizing the cytokine storms impact we mentioned above. Some studies suggest high dose of Vitamin C is beneficial during a virus. There’s much speculation on this treatment due to the lack of enough research but the benefit out weights the risk for me personally. Link to more Vitamin C benefits.
- Echinacea treats symptoms associated with cold and flu. It acts as an antimicrobial to viral pathogens. Here is more information for benefits and usage of Echinacea.
- Salt water rinse- If you experience a sore throat start salt water gargling. Here is why… A cold will sit in your throat and replicate. Ask yourself why do we usually start with a sore throat and then other symptoms proceed. Salt water is known to kill germs. Swish swish.
- Anti-pyretics- A fever is your body’s defense mechanism against an illness because it burns up the pathogen. Remember we said warm weather kills most viruses. I try to avoid giving my kids anything for fevers unless they are uncomfortable or their temperature goes above what their pediatrician recommends.
- Cough- If you start to experience a cough, be proactive and call your provider. Here is more information to my post regarding at home remedies for coughs.
- Hydration- Drink! Drink! Drink! This will help detox and flush all the bad out of your body. Salt baths are also beneficial to help with this process.
- Other- Rest, Decrease stress, Exercise, Balanced diet
- Face Mask..…. The only thing that will protect you from respiratory droplets is an N95. Our health care providers are in the front line of this mess. Save the mask for your health care providers.
We live in a highly developed, medically advanced country and we will get through this together. Stay home, stay calm, do your part and wash Yo hands!
Comment below what you use for colds and or/viral infections for your children?
*Disclaimer- Please seek health advice from your provider before trying any of the above mentioned supplements. Only you and your provider understand your child’s health history. These supplements are not considered cures for any ailments including influenza or Covid-19.