Regenerate Your Brain by Dr. Jacqueline Chan
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Patient Education

The Silver Lining in Coronavirus


This is the first time in the history of the world that we are coming together making individual sacrifices in order to solve a collective issue. There is power in togetherness. Who knows where this is leading us? In what seems like under one week our lives have dramatically changed. For some, it’s a temporary break, maybe even a good thing, like the “staycation” you always wanted to do but couldn’t because you were moving around too fast. For other’s it’s a financial bloodletting. Small business owners are facing issues of survival or not. There have already been lay-offs, closings and employees bailing out. Remember who we are as Americans and as humans. Now more than ever, we need to be kind to one another, we need to stay calm, we need to listen to the facts and not project into the future our worst fears and we need to be wise and strong. We need to make choices that benefit planet earth and not just ourselves. Remember to keep this in perspective. Check on the number of recovered cases and not just infection rates by clicking here: Today, for example globally there are 164,319 mild cases which is 95% of cases. Realize that 21,000 people die DAILY of hunger. Here are some practical issues to address:

How Can You Protect Yourself From the Coronavirus?

When it comes to defending yourself against coronavirus, it’s best to take a two-pronged approach: avoiding potential contact with the virus and bolstering your natural ability to fight infection; please refer to my previous newsletter for this. Remember we are trying to FLATTEN THE CURVE of the pandemic, which is why we are being asked to self-isolate right now. This virus doesn’t like water. If it gets rinsed from your nose or mouth to your stomach, your stomach acid will kill it. Drink water hourly. Add on a new health habit that they have been doing for thousands of years in India called nasal rinse with the Neti Pot. This is now a part of my morning routine. You can use the Neti pot when you get home from being out in a public space such as a grocery store: Neti Pot Video.

Take Precautions With Self-Quarantine

These tips may sound simple, but they’re powerful, and just doing these things will go a long way. I suggest incorporating these healthy habits into your daily routines – coronavirus or not.

Wash hands frequently and immediately after you come home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend washing with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use EWG VERIFIED™ to find 65 hand soaps that meet our strictest standards for health and transparency. Washing your hands is BETTER than hand sanitization, which is only to be done if you can't have access to soap and water. Alton Brown says "lathering up causes molecules in soap called amphiphiles to be released. It’s these molecules that are vital to fighting off germs. A virus like coronavirus is protected by a kind of coat made of fat-like substances and soap’s amphiphiles can just literally take hold of that coat and pull it away leaving the virus feeling ‘naked and afraid’ and mostly dead.”

Cover up if you cough or sneeze. Use your elbow – NOT your hand – to cover your mouth. Better yet, use a tissue, then throw the tissue away. Immediately wash your hands again.

Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. This is especially important when you’re preparing food. If you do touch your face, wash your hands again. You can pull your hair back in a ponytail when you go grocery shopping if you’re concerned about forgetting not to touch your hair.

No sink? Use hand sanitizer. It’s an appropriate on-the-go option, though washing your hands with soap and water kills the most germs. Look for one with at least 60 percent alcohol, and to use it effectively, rub hands together vigorously for 20 seconds. Avoid sanitizers and soaps that contain “fragrance,” which can include a number of potentially allergenic and endocrine-disrupting mystery ingredients.

Keep personal objects personal. It’s a good idea for people to use their own belongings – towels, linens, and especially kitchen and dining utensils. One recommendation is to change linens and towels twice a week. Find top-scoring laundry and dish detergents here and here.

Wash your hair daily. Since the virus can live up to 3 days on live hair, this is why we are encouraging this.

Wash your pet. If you are sick, stay away from your pet, as you can spread it back and forth for several days. It can live on your pet’s hair for three days. If you are sick and you must care for a pet, make sure to wear a face mask and wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet, as well as keep your hair away from the pet. If you are not sick, it is OK to touch your pet.

Home and school

You’ll also want to do everything you can to keep your surroundings as clean as possible, which involves wiping down surfaces that people frequently touch – doorknobs, phones and other devices, keyboards, cabinet handles and the like.

Choose effective disinfectants. Consult the Environmental Protection Agency and CDC lists of recommended products to combat COVID-19. Then cross-reference those products at EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to find disinfectants with fewer ingredients that may affect your health. If using a spray disinfectant, spray it into a cloth first to reduce accidental inhalation.

Wipe down everything with the safer disinfectant product – a lot. Clean those surfaces frequently, particularly handles and knobs.

Out in public

When you’re not at home, you can’t control how clean things are. But there are certain disease-prevention habits you and your family can adopt.

Avoid contact. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets, like those produced when you sneeze or cough. The droplets can land on people nearby and possibly infect them if they then touch their face or inhale it. If you feel under the weather or are meeting someone who is, avoid hugging or shaking hands – and stand at least six feet away. Stand 6 feet away from another person.

Avoid crowds. If the coronavirus does spread widely in the U.S., consider limiting the amount of time you spend in crowds or tight quarters – and avoid touching your face.

Whether the coronavirus spreads throughout the U.S., these habits that will be helpful in years to come, whether because of flu or other highly contagious illnesses.

Food: if you are elderly and afraid to go into grocery stores or have relied on restaurants for most of your meals and are challenged at home cooking, try online shopping and healthy meal delivery systems. Stick to lower sugar or sweetener alternatives such as stevia, raw honey, and coconut sugar in your home cooking or a piece of fruit rather than junk food. 1 tsp of sugar depletes the immune system for up to 6 hours.

Rest and connect you MUST take a media break from the coronavirus. Play music, take a bath and sing in the tub. This is my favorite song to sing to:

Read a good novel, doodle or draw/paint, maybe create a “crafts” night or “games night” with your family. Cook together.

If you live alone, FACE TIME or SKYPE someone, reach out but not by text, by face. Check-in with each other, ask “hey, how are you doing?” not necessarily sharing the latest website link or video about the virus, but how the other person is FEELING.

Drop stigmas and be KIND to one another. Sneezing and blowing your nose or having a sore throat means MOST LIKELY you do NOT have the virus. Don’t give people the evil eye who are blowing their noses. Yes, they need to blow into a Kleenex, throw it out and wash their hands or use sanitizer afterward but remember the top three symptoms of the coronavirus are: FEVER (104.0), COUGH (dry), SHORTNESS OF BREATH. Panic and anxiety can make us feel short of breath. A simple test for SOB is to take a deep breath in and hold it for 10 seconds. If you can do that, then it’s highly unlikely you truly have SOB.

Exercise- The Coronavirus Crisis Center in Santa Clara is noticing that people with a higher metabolic rate are not as affected by the virus. Since the gyms are closed, we are fortunate enough right now that we can get outdoors and exercise. Being in nature definitely helps lift the spirits and raise serotonin, the happy mood hormone.

If you can’t get out, go to your I-phone or smart phone and download an exercise app. My two favorites are: “8 fit” and “7-minute scientific workout”. Put on some fun music and rock it out. Jumping up and down on a trampoline or as if you were on a trampoline even if it’s for only 2 min. boosts the lymphatics. Repeat several times a day and use large arm movements, large arm circles to stretch the ribs and nourish your joints.

Create a home sanctuary with healthy, clean air. I love aromatherapy oils. My favorite brand for the immune system and clean air is called “Thieves Oil.” I also put a drop in hot water and drink it throughout the day. “Valor” is for emotional strength, “Bergamot” lifts the mood, and “Lavender” is for relaxation and calming, especially at night. Please use member number 2267353 if you would like to support the facility’s not-for-profit, which has given to children with Autism.

Avoid alcohol. If you must drink, switch away from wine, which is laden with sugar, and have clear spirits: vodka, gin, or tequila. My favorite “health cocktail” is a hot toddy with scotch, a clove, and a drop or two of Thieves oil. On the whole, avoid alcohol, but under extreme amounts of stress, I understand it’s hard to take away all our vices.

Meditate instead. Try the MindRise App! You can download it onto your iPhone. It’s filled with local talent. If you click on the tab named “meditations,” then you see my name and click it, you can hear a series of meditations that I have created.

Stay connected.

All Rights Reserved Dr. Jacqueline Chan, D.O.