Health In The Time of Covid-19

Dr. Jessica Moore, ND

The World Health Organization has declared the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Locally reported data, from the BC Center for Disease Control on March 21th, has confirmed 424 cases in British Columbia, including 6 recovered and 10 deaths. We all must act thoughtfully and do what we can for ourselves and others. We have a shared responsibility to protect our vulnerable populations such as our elderly community members, immunocompromised folks, patients being treated for cancer and people with certain comorbidities. Those who are not sick can still act as a vector for transmission to others who are vulnerable. Protect your community by following the CDC guidelines, washing your hands, practicing appropriate social distancing and covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or a tissue when sneezing. Transmission is thought to be mainly through person-to-person contact by respiratory droplet when a person coughs or sneezes. Some research has also suggested that indirect transmission (surfaces, air) might be plausible.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus name stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”. This virus is novel (aka-new). Research, statistics and medical advisement from our leading experts in disease control are ongoing. Compared to other viruses like the common cold, flu, or even past SARS viruses, COVID19 is considered more severe or virulent. It spreads rapidly and is better at infecting or getting into cells. In some people, it can induce uncontrolled inflammation in the form of a cytokine storm. Cytokines are cell signalling molecules in the body that help to create a normal immune response to eliminate an infection. However, when this process is too robust and when the body is unable to maintain the inflammation with appropriate control, it can lead to severe complications. Having said all of this, it’s also important to keep anxiety low and to recognize that the majority of identified cases have been mild.

Did you know that hand soap can break down the lipid envelop that encases COVID-19? Washing with soap and water also mechanically moves it off of your hands or body. Our own BC provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry effectively stated: “Wash your hands like you’ve been chopping jalapenos and you need to change your contacts.”  Wash for 20 seconds, dry thoroughly and use a paper towel when touching faucets or doorknobs. Try to avoid touching your face. The CDC also recommends 70% isopropyl alcohol hand sanitizer.

Regarding social distancing, I prefer to think of this as physical distancing while maintaining social connection. Distancing is critical if we want to “flatten the curve” and ease the burden on our medical facilities for those who do need life-saving treatments, respirators etc.  For more information click here. However, as humans, we are not islands. Staying connected and lending our collective resilience in this time of pandemic is critical. We are all in this together. Meditate, stay connected, call, text and video chat.

You have autonomy over other areas of health and hygiene such as: sleep hygiene, food choices, stress management, hydration, activity/exercise, organizing your prescription refills and the entertainment/media content you choose to exposure yourself to. For your health and safety, please avoid starting new natural medicines or supplements prior to practitioner evaluation.

As a Naturopathic Doctor I cannot test for, diagnose or treat COVID-19.  I can however help you with your wellness plan! As I am exercising social distancing myself, I am excited to be able to offer secure telemedicine distance consultations. Getting through this time of uncertainty requires optimizing self-care. What health goals do you have currently? Are you needing to improve your digestion, sleep, stress management, hormone balance, energy, blood sugar control or nutrition? Are you needing to decrease inflammation or pain? Let’s build a plan or optimize your current plan! To schedule a consult contact Sage Clinic at 604 697 0397 or info@sageclinic.com. New patients and return patients are welcome to schedule.

If you have a cough, fever or shortness of breath call 811 for medical advisement in British Columbia, or contact the designated authority in your area.

 

*References are provided via links within the text.

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