I ventured out to Costco today (found toilet paper!) and it was a bit strange to walk into this eerie reality. On the bright side, Costco didn’t disappoint on the upbeat music as they had Motown jamming through the speakers. As I sang through the aisles, excited to find my almond flour and gluten free bread, I smiled at the passing faces. Some gave me a smile in return and others looked on, a little lost, while some had their faces covered by masks. A few just looked at me like Why the heck is this crazy girl smiling? I smile because I choose to spread kindness. Most importantly, I smile because I feel blessed. I’ve had the good fortune to work at Forum Health Clarkston: a wellness center committed to defending the body against the very situation we’re in today. My family is healthy. We’re together, and we have the tools to ride out the chaos that is the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
What We Know
This is a global pandemic at a level I’m not sure we’ve seen since the Swine Flu (H1N1) or HIV. Before that, maybe the Spanish Flu of 1918? I can tell you that in my lifetime, I’ve never experienced this kind of panic. Schools are shut down. And just yesterday, restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, and malls are closed until further notice. Dentists are operating on emergency-only status. Even my hair salon is closed and the world is going to get a glimpse at my true hair color very soon.
Here’s what you need to know:
- It started back in December with a handful of mysterious illnesses in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province.
- Most cases are mild, but highly, HIGHLY contagious.
- It is a “novel” virus because it’s a new strain in a family of viruses we’ve all seen before.
- Symptoms range in severity. Infected people have described it as beginning as the sniffles or cold-like, but turning to fevers accompanied by pain, loss of taste or smell, shortness-of-breath and pneumonia-like symptoms.
- People are infected and very contagious before they even present symptoms.
- Everyone can carry COVID-19—anyone can get it. This is NOT an age-specific virus. Some people have it and don’t even know it. The more severe cases seem to be connected, but not limited to the elderly and people with underlying health conditions. People with cardiac issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and cancer should take extra precautions. If you have a family member or loved one who falls into that category, you should avoid contact with them or remain at home with them. It is possible to spread the virus without ever getting symptoms of your own.
What We Don’t Know
We don’t know what will happen next, and even worse, when it will end—when our lives will get back to normal. I’ve never longed for boring and mundane as much as I do now. It’s on the horizon, though. We just have to be patient and allow our healthcare workers and specialists to do their jobs.
So, what can we do for now?
A few tips to guide you along the way
Should I Stay Home?
Yes. I’m sorry, but YES. I just had to remind my 17 year old that he is not on vacation. No, you may not go to your friend’s house. I wish I had captured the look on his face when I slid the SAT practice guide and practice tests I purchased over to him. I also let him know that later we’re going to dust off our old board games. We might even get out the Wii and bowl. Now is not the time to get together for a party or hold that group fitness class in your living room. I’ll say it again how contagious this virus is and remind you that people are contagious BEFORE they present symptoms. The only way for our lives to get back to normal is to contain the virus. If you have to go into work, go, but then GO HOME. Keep your hands clean with soap and hand sanitizer, and then keep them to yourself. You should be going to work, the grocery store, and if needed, the hospital because it’s an emergency. Again, if you feel symptomatic, call Michigan’s hotline: 888.535.6136.
My Anxiety is High~What Should I Do?
For high anxiety and depression, first, turn the tv OFF. Do not watch the news all day. You could get everything you need to know from a 30 minute segment on the news. If you must watch a report, LIMIT it. It’s every hour on the hour and it only raises stress levels for some—me, I’m “some.” We know the market is down. We are well aware of the ban on restaurants, bars, movie theaters, malls, and gyms. We are all very worried about the future of our economy. You don’t need to see it on an endless loop. Limit social media. Post positive things and do not—I repeat—do NOT scroll through the newsfeeds. This constant information and stimulation is negative and it only hurts you. Even worse, you cannot control it and you certainly cannot predict it. What can you do? You can breathe through it…
- Daily Meditation: I usually get an eye roll or two when I make this suggestion, which always kind of confuses me. I guess I don’t see the problem with sitting in a room by myself and just getting my mind centered. Try it. Really, what do you have to lose? If you don’t know how to meditate, try a guided one. I turn to this one when I’m not in the mood to meditate, but know I need to: YouTube Guided Meditation.
- Yoga: I wish more people understood the connection between the body, mind, and spirit. My yoga instructor, Jules, loves to put me in a tough position and hold me there. As little beads roll down my forehead, every muscle in my body rattles and I just want to fall back into child’s pose. Then she reminds me to breathe—Remember your breath, Adrian. If you can’t sustain this position in here, how can you sustain a tough position out there, where it counts, in your everyday life? It’s the most empowering thing, really. I breathe into every aching part, through every struggle, and I get stronger every day. Thus is life, right? Practice. Breathe.
- Exercise: Get up and move. YouTube is a plethora of FREE exercise videos. From yoga and pilates to Barre classes using furniture and full body workouts, all you have to do is go to YouTube and search “home exercises” or if you’re looking for something specific, search for that. Although tempting, do NOT use this time to sink into the couch. You can still go outside and you can still MOVE.
How Should I Prepare?
You really don’t need to buy anything new to fight this. You treat it like you would anything else: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home, and if you feel like you need to stock a pile of doomsday groceries and supplies in your basement, I guess if that helps your anxiety, then go right ahead. I do suggest you try the mediation and yoga first, maybe just to see if it helps.
Give Your Body the Right Environment
The limited supplies in the grocery stores are not an excuse to eat junk food. Every time I go into my local Kroger, I have to laugh a little because my food seems to be the ONLY food left on the shelves. There’s no shortage of gluten-free in this pandemic! I’ve also noticed that produce seems to be pretty stocked in the morning. Give your immune system a boost with foods like wild-caught fish, ginger, lots of greens, almonds, Greek yogurt, organic lemons, organic honey (raw, unfiltered), green tea, and organic fruit.
Supplements We Should Be on All the Time
- Gut Support: Probiotics work to protect the gut from everyday life, the environment, diet, and antibiotics, which can all damage the gut ecosystem—the entire foundation that keeps us healthy.
- Fish Oil: An anti-inflammatory brain food, fish oil protects the body from disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Arthritis, Anxiety, and Cardiovascular Disease. Our food alone does not provide the correct amount of omega 3-fatty acids we need to live, which is scary. According to research conducted at Harvard University, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is ranked as one of the top ten causes of death in America, claiming the lives of up to 96,000 people each year (Dr. Axe, 2017).
- Vitamin D: On our own, it’s virtually impossible to get the correct amount of vitamin D, which plays an essential role in making disease-preventing proteins and enzymes, and affects more than 2,000 genes in the body. It enhances muscle strength, builds bone, has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects and bolsters the immune system. Cut this from your daily regime, and you could be leaving your body vulnerable to afflictions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
- Multivitamin: When we don’t get enough fruits and veggies, we miss essential nutrients that we need to lower our risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other health conditions. The right multivitamin will contain all the basic vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, A, E, D2 (or D3), K, potassium, iodine, selenium, borate, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, beta carotene, and/or iron.
Here’s a list of immune-boosting suggestions from our own experts at Forum Health ClarkstonNutrition:
- Do a cleanse with a Neti Pot 2x per day
- Vitamin C: 1000 iu’s per day
- Liposomal Glutathione (Detoxifier): 2 pumps under the tongue per day
- Viru chord: 2x per day
- Flu Tone: 2x per day
- Essential Defense or Andrographis: 2-3x per day
- Ultra Flora Spectrum (probiotoc): 1-2x per day
- Elderberry or Designs for Health’s Immunoberry: 2x per day
- Slivercillian: 2x per day
*Please note: these products are not meant to treat coronavirus. If you believe you have coronavirus or may have come into contact with someone who does, please call the Michigan hotline: 888.535.6136
At Forum Health Clarkston, we are open for in-house purchases. You must call ahead to make sure your product is in and to prepay: 248-625-5143. The office staff will then bag up your items and have it ready for you to come in, take a squirt of hand sanitizer, grab your purchase and leave. We promise, we’re hugging you in our hearts.
Finally, please remember that this is temporary and it WILL pass. Living in fear is not the answer. We’ve never experienced anything like this before. We cannot predict what will happen, so all we can do is take every day as it comes. You cannot control what happens next—you can only control how you respond and what you choose to focus on. If you have not before, now is the time to practice meditation and yoga. Positive thinking brings positive energy!
Business Development Manager at Forum Health Clarkston