Updated: Aug 15
We're going to break from regularly scheduled programming to discuss the current situation. I have gone back and forth about doing this for a very long time, because it doesn't seem to fit with my purpose. But when I reviewed the many clients I have seen in the past 10 years (approx 1350), it became clear to me that in community health, many of you are dealing with collective anxiety, depression, ptsd, and trauma.
It's my calling as a nurse to ease all of those. It's not in my scope of practice to diagnose people or tell them what medication to take. Nurses do a lot of education, about 50% of my job is educating. We explain disease process, discuss nutrition, wellness and how to keep yourself healthy, and other ways to prevent disease.
I'm in a unique position because I see some people who do not want to see a traditional practitioner, and many who would never consider going to one. My calling when I started this path was to reach people in the community who needed help. I needed a lot of help when I was in the middle of healing touch classes. My father had just completed suicide and I wanted something to make me feel better.
Healing Touch and Reiki were those things. When I started doing treatments on myself, I began to feel better. There isn't much that makes you feel good when you have had that kind of experience. Now I find myself attracting many clients who have tried everything, and have not found the answers yet. That is where alternative medicine and holistic nursing come in.
I was very frustrated in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, because there isn't much that energy treatments can do to heal or eliminate a new virus. Yes we can raise the vibration of the body, but as humans, we need to allow our immune systems time to learn this new type of virus and develop immunity to it. Energy treatments can assist the immune system, but they must work together with other types of treatment to have the most effect.
Coronaviruses cause the common cold. There are four mild strains that cause colds, and three novel strains that have caused epidemics/pandemics, SARS, MERS, and Covid-19. A virus becomes epidemic and then pandemic not solely based on the number of people who get sick, but also how infectious it is and how fast it spreads. It's also taken into consideration how sick people get.
Covid is novel because the human immune system has never seen it before. Humans have been exposed to different versions of the flu since the year 1500. According to the CDC, flu viruses have two subtypes, H and N. There are many combinations of these two. There is more on types of flu here. There is more on animal flus here. The CDC is the most accurate and accessible site for information in the US. (I promise I won't send you to read research papers.)
Coronaviruses are more robust viruses and have a higher infection rate than the flu, according to what epidemiologists and researchers are observing right now. In traditional flu treatment, it is best to catch symptoms early and treat them in the first 1-3 days. With covid, it is thought that the incubation period is between 5 and 14 days, which makes it hard to catch symptoms that early.
Thankfully, there are several treatments out there right now for covid-19. Remember, I am not giving advice or prescribing here. I am providing you information about what is available, and what to look out for. I see a lot of anxiety in the community and even some paranoia in my veteran clients about government response to the pandemic, and I'd like to be able to relieve some of that.
WHO Solidarity clinical trial is here. CDC information for two of those treatments is here. China used medication, and a Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment that contains licorice root, in their hospitals (consult a TCM practitioner/acupuncturist for specifics). Remdesivir is being used in clinical trials in Taiwan. More information on the approval of HCQ for clinical trials by the FDA is here. Homeopathic and Ayurvedic treatment guidance from India is here, consult your favorite homeopath or Ayurvedic practitioner for more details.
A few warnings- HCQ is contra-indicated in patients with existing heart issues or who are diabetic and taking the drug Metformin, they cannot be mixed. The Z-pack that often accompanies it can also cause cardiac issues. There have been some treatment recommendations that say that NSAIDS should be avoided, but according to the FDA, we do not have proof of that. That recommendation may simply be related to the recommendation to avoid fever reducers, to allow the body to eliminate fever naturally.
One of the newer treatments just approved by the FDA is convalescent plasma, which means treating covid-19 patients with plasma from patients who have recovered from the disease and have antibodies. Plasma is the watery part of the blood, and is separated from recovered patients in a blood bank, and then infused in the hospital.
If you have symptoms, please call your doctor to discuss them before attempting to visit an urgent care or emergency room. Any time we are dealing with a new contagious disease, we have to take more precautions than we normally would. Wash your hands, wear a mask (this is even more important if you have symptoms), social distance at least 6 feet, and stay home. Follow the information you get from local government.
One of the most discouraging aspects of this new virus is the amount of fear people are displaying. We do know quite a bit about this virus and how it spreads. We also know more and more every day about how to treat it, based on what doctors are observing directly from their patients. Fear tends to make us breathe less. Less oxygen to the lungs actually prevents part of our immune system from working.
We have a whole network of tiny parts in our respiratory tract designed to move mucus up and out of our bodies. Holding our breath allows mucus to sit there. Stagnant mucus is a breeding ground for opportunistic bacteria and viruses. So, please drink plenty of water to keep these secretions liquid, move around and exercise to move the mucus out, and don't forget to breathe!
Please remember, medical advice should come directly from your doctor. Many political organizations (and politicians) have ideas about what medical treatments to use, but it is absolutely up to your doctor to prescribe the correct treatment for you. Physicians' largest responsibility is to give their patients compassionate and accurate care.
Fear can harm your health, as can inappropriate advice about what medication you should take. Trust in the information you get from your physician, from objective sources, from reading the science directly, and please remember that viruses have no borders and do not consider who you voted for or what your beliefs are when they invade your system.
Our highest privilege is to care for the community. We love you, stay well.
Image courtesy of the CDC
HCQ was recalled as a treatment by both the WHO Solidarity study and the CDC/FDA due to its known side effect profile. It has worked as prophylaxis, but doesn't always shorten the course of the virus. There is some debate about whether a vaccine can obtain an EUA when there is an approved drug with an EUA. I'm not an expert, and I don't prescribe medication, so contact your doctor for more details.
Herd immunity does not happen in a vacuum. The virulence of any illness decreases when it infects more people, in theory. In practice, however, this is not always true. For example, SARS simply disappeared after infecting a few thousand people, but there are viruses out there like pertussis that have not lost any virulence, despite being around for years, and those are prevented with immunization. Thankfully, corona is beginning to follow the herd immunity model and less people are being admitted when they come to the ER.
To prevent any illness, keep your body well and strengthen your immune system. Exercise, get fresh air, eat well (lots of fruit and vegetables), avoid sugar which can depress your immunity, and get enough sleep. If you are worried about catching corona, speak to your acupuncturist, herbalist, homeopath, or Ayurveda practitioner about what other treatments are out there to integrate with Western Medicine.
Please, if you have an underlying health condition, have it treated promptly. The latest studies have shown that people with one or more health issues are twice as likely to be hospitalized after contracting covid. This includes diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, neurological disease, smokers, and those who are immunocompromised.
Much love, take care of yourselves.