Viral Concerns

As always, remember this Disclaimer: nothing anywhere on this blog, or that I’ve written here in this post, is intended as medical advice, or to substitute for medical advice, or intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. It’s intended for educational, informational, or entertainment purposes only. Before making any changes to your health care regimen always consult your physician, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and any other qualified licensed health care professionals you come across. It is not safe to read this post. Proceed with the utmost caution, and at your own risk. This post is dangerous to read and, because of its offensive content, should not be read or viewed by anyone.

Because a certain virus is trying to make a strong comeback, I thought I’d post the latest and best information I have on how to prevent and treat it. This information is drawn from published scientific articles as well as personal clinical experience, and some best guesses.

If I have no signs or symptoms of a cold or flu:

Continue to use the preventative measures outlined by the CDC, such as hand-washing, using hand sanitizer liberally, avoiding unnecessary close contact with others, wearing a mask, and so on. Wear a mask whenever around people in an enclosed space, or when around large groups of people. Please wear a mask properly; if your mask gets contaminated by, for example, putting it down on a restaurant table, don’t put it back on. Some people find it helpful to have a spare clean ziploc bag handy to put their mask in, and to carry a spare mask or two.

In addition, get a good amount of exercise, especially Qi Gong. Eat a nutritious diet. In particular, the following foods have been shown in research to prevent a particular virus you may have heard of from replicating: Pomegranate juice, Green tea, Cranberries. Why not make a habit of partaking of these regularly? Licorice root tea has also been shown to be helpful (assuming you have no high blood pressure; if your blood pressure is high or you’re on any medications for it or your heart, skip the licorice).

Many people find supplements such as Host Defense’s MyCommunity, Cordyceps, and Turkey Tail extracts to be helpful in this context.

Specific herbs: if you’d like to make a preventative herbal tea for yourself, these herbs have been shown to be helpful for today’s viral concerns:

Ginger (fresh), lime or tangerine peel, and He shou wu

I (or you) can make a mix that tastes and feels good to you, and drink regularly. I like to add lime zest (of 1/4 to 1/2 of a lime) to a thumb-sized piece of ginger, and steep in boiled water for 10 minutes. Once the temperature has cooled to below 120 degrees, I add 1-2 tsp of raw honey (note: never give raw honey to children under 1 year of age), stir, and drink. Delicious, refreshing, and fights a certain virus.

Here’s another recipe you or I might enjoy in this context:

Good Qi Tea

Ingredients

1 tbsp fresh ginger

1 tbsp goji berries (if you have a problem digesting nightshades, use jujube – Chinese red dates – instead, or regular dates if you can’t find those)

1 tbsp dried astragalus (usually you’ll have to find this at an herb store, such as Dandelion Botanicals).

Directions

Boil 2 cups of water, steep the herbs for 10 minutes, then strain out the herbs. You can boil another 2 cups of water, and steep the same herbs again, for another 9-10 minutes. Drink throughout the day.

If I start noticing a sign of a cold or flu, such as a scratchy throat or sore throat, fever, fatigue, sinus pressure, etc., as soon as I sense any of that, I do all of the following:

Take licorice root tincture, 1/2 tsp of the liquid, 3-6 times per day, but avoid if I have hypertension or are pregnant. I take 2 hours away from any medications. I do not take for more than two weeks at a time.

I drink some cinnamon-ginger-date tea:

Cinnamon-Ginger Tea

Ingredients

Grated or finely chopped fresh ginger, an amount about four times the size of your thumb (note: it must be fresh to be effective for this purpose)

Whole cinnamon, the same volume as the ginger, or about 1/10th the volume ground cinnamon

A handful of dates

A teaspoon of dried licorice root (omit if you have high blood pressure)

6 cups of water

Warning: do not drink strong ginger tea if you are pregnant, as it can cause a miscarriage.

Directions

Boil the water, and add the cinnamon and licorice. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered.

Take it off the heat, and add the ginger and the dates. Steep the mixture for 2-3 hours in a covered container (it must be covered to keep the essential oils of the ginger in the tea).

If you like, at the end of the 2-3 hours you can add one tablespoon honey, the juice of one-quarter of a lime, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Here’s the critical part: while drinking the tea and for some time afterwards, I wrap myself up in blankets and try to bring on a sweat. If I sweat for a good 20-30 minutes, I will feel much better quite quickly. Once I’ve sweated, I don’t need this particular tea anymore.

If after a half-hour of being wrapped up I haven’t brought on a sweat, I give up and just drink some water or some of the various drinks I’ve mentioned. After 90 minutes or so, I wrap myself up, and try again with another cup of the cinnamon-ginger tea. Repeat until a good sweat comes. After the sweat, this tea is no longer needed, and I move on to other methods such as the shotgun formula below.

I may try the shotgun flu formula, 3-6 times a day (I do not take if I’m pregnant, and take 2 hours away from any medications).

Shotgun Herb Formula

Ingredients

This recipe expels wind, heat, and cold from the surface of the body. Many of my patients report that when they take it at the first sign of a cold or flu, they avoid getting sick.

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed (not chopped)

2 teaspoons fresh peppermint

Juice of 1/2 lemon, or of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon of lemon or lime zest

Half of a small cayenne pepper, seeds removed, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dry powder)

1/2 to 1 cup water

Directions

Put everything in the blender and mix well.

Drink carefully, as it’s quite strong. Best results are obtained taking several doses, 2-4 hours apart, preferably after a meal or snack.

Those remedies, along with the product Airborne, are often good at the first stage of the illness. I personally would also take:

(1) Quercetin, 2 capsules every 4 hours

(2) If blood pressure is ok, 1 ml licorice root tincture 2-3x/day

(3) Pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup 2x/day

(4) Green tea, 1 cup 3x/day

(5) Cranberry juice, 1/2 cup 2x/day

I also try to massage my chest and back, or at least gently move them around, to keep fluids moving and keep them from getting stuck.

If the illness progresses further to a nausea or productive cough stage (where you’re coughing up phlegm), other herbs are required. This gets complicated, and where consulting a knowledgeable practitioner is necessary.

Please ask if you have questions.

Best of luck to us all this summer! As always, let’s take care of each other.

Stay Safe in this Heat

Hi Friends,

So we’re going to see dangerously high temperatures in the next few days if the forecasts are correct. In addition to the official guidance below, I’d like to add a couple of additional tips to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe. First, although hydration is critical, avoid drinking ice water or iced drinks on such hot days: this can cause cramping, arterial constriction, fainting, and other problems, and is considered bad for the heart in Chinese medicine. Cool hibiscus tea with lemon and mint is something I often enjoy. Second, if you don’t have air conditioning but do have a box fan or something similar, consider putting one or more pitchers, bottles, or other containers filled with ice behind the fan, and point it in your direction. Third, the most important thing is to keep your head cool and insides hydrated; I drink something cool every hour whether I’m thirsty or not, and splash my head with cool water.

Here are a few selections from official sources (visit the links for more complete information):

From https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/emergency-preparedness/preparing-yourself/hot-weather.aspx

“…In severe instances, people can suffer heat stroke, which can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk for heat-related illness. But even young and healthy individuals can suffer in heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

Stay cool…

• Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.

• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.

• Dress in lightweight clothing.

• Take a cool shower or bath, or place cool washcloths on your skin.

• Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives to take these precautions too.

Drink liquids

• Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body.

• Have a beverage with you at all times, and sip or drink frequently. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

If you go outside

• Limit the time you’re in direct sunlight.

• Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.

• Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy.

• Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.

• Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.

Recognizing heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Certain medications may increase sensitivity to the heat. If you are concerned about the heat and the medications you are taking, check with your doctor. Do not take salt tablets unless your doctor tells you to.

When people’s bodies can’t cool themselves quickly enough it can cause heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting. If you see someone with signs of overheating, move the person to a cooler location, have them rest for a few minutes and then slowly drink a cool beverage. Get medical attention for them immediately if they do not feel better.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can cause death or permanent disability unless treated immediately. Symptoms of heat stroke include:

• An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)

• Red, hot, and dry skin

• Rapid, strong pulse

• Nausea, confusion and unconsciousness”

From https://durkan.seattle.gov/2021/06/city-of-seattle-issues-guidance-for-staying-cool-in-warm-weather/

“Keep Kids Safe

Never leave infants or children in vehicles unattended – even with the windows rolled down. Temperatures rise quickly in vehicles, even when the outside temperature is 60 degrees a vehicles interior can easily heat up to 110 degrees.

“Protect Pets

Pets are especially vulnerable in high heat and the Seattle Animal Shelter recommends the following:

• Never leave your animal unattended in direct sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat and remember shaded areas move with the sun. Provide access to cool water at all times.

• If you leave animals indoors, open secured screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and, if possible, leave them in a cool location.

• Never leave animals unattended in a vehicle. Temperatures rise quickly leaving them trapped and unable to escape the heat. Under Washington state law an animal control officer or law enforcement officer has the authority to remove an animal from a vehicle by any means necessary if the animal is suffering or is likely to suffer from exposure to excessive heat and the owner may be charged with animal cruelty.

• Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but extreme heat conditions, obesity, old age, breed and underlying disease can predispose an animal to the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Hot pavement can quickly burn sensitive paws.

• For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

• Smaller furred pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, can overheat easily. Snacks such as cucumber, melon or any watery vegetable can help keep them hydrated. Frozen water bottles can give them something cool to lie next to or near.”

Best of luck and stay safe this summer!

Slowly Reopening

Ok the time has come to slowly reopen. I am starting with only a few appointments a day. Before making an appointment, please read my COVID-19 rules and procedures page, to make sure you understand everything involved. Text me (at 206 area code, 437 dash 2968) that you read, understand, and agree to follow the rules before coming in for your session. I look forward to seeing you!

My Current Distance Offerings

Disclaimer: nothing anywhere on this blog, or that I’ve written here, is intended as medical advice, or to substitute for medical advice, or intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. It’s intended for educational, informational, entertainment, spiritual, or comedic purposes only. Some may use it as a form of self-flagellation. Before making any changes to your health care regimen always consult your physician and appropriate qualified licensed health care professional. Do this everyday before getting out of bed in the morning, or you may very well suffer a horrible, slow, and painful death and dismemberment, not necessarily in that order. Proceed to read at your own risk. In fact, what’s written here is so dangerous, disturbing, and/or just plain weird that it should not be read or viewed by anyone. Hide all small children’s eyes when they pass by, whether they can read or not. You have been warned.

I’ve compiled my current online services into the form below. Contact me if you have any questions.

If for some reason that form doesn’t work for you, try this link: Order Form

Or this one: Order Form

Here are a couple of brief comments on these services.

Herbal medicine you probably already know about, so I won’t go into any great depth here. Chinese herbs can be used for both internal and external conditions of all kinds.

Qi Gong means Qi exercise, or exercise to develop your Qi. I’m currently teaching a series of Qi Gong exercises, a version of what’s known as Ba Tuan Chin, or the Eight Brocades. Each exercise focuses on one organ or one organ system; overall the series is a great way to build Qi, including your defensive Qi, to help enhance and prolong your life. I’m currently offering individual half-hour sessions at a reduced rate. One session is enough to learn one of the eight exercises. The exercises involve standing, breathing, and light stretching, so should be suitable for most people. For more detail, see the Qi Gong page I just added to the site (see the list of pages above).

If you’d like to know more about Reiki, see: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-science-of-distant-he_b_177986/amp And yes I do have Reiki Master status. For a Reiki session, I’ll first ask you (usually over text) what you want to focus on, and then you simply lie down and relax in a quiet place for the duration of the session. You don’t have to do anything active, so this can be quite relaxing.

For an AcuTherapy session, we might use acupressure, or the hot air therapy, or magnet tapping, or a combination of all three, depending on what it is you’d like work on. The hot air method has an effect similar to moxa, and while not quite as strong it can have wonderfully beneficial results. Acupressure utilizes the same points and medical theory used in acupuncture; you use your hands and fingers to press specific points on the body in certain ways, instead of using an acupuncture needle. The pressure stimulates the flow of Qi and blood, which in turn helps the body’s biomechanics to function properly, and allows the body to heal itself. Along with your symptoms subsiding, you will feel a peaceful, nourishing relaxation similar to when you receive acupuncture. Once you learn point locations appropriate for your symptoms, you can then use them yourself throughout the day. An AcuTherapy session does require active participation from you, unlike Reiki.

For the science-minded, here’s a great study that affirms the benefit of acupressure in a variety of medical cases: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154967/?fbclid=IwAR2bRa5UlnK0N4agfP1K0nD0eQHVl9i2Ri0Ml6brFpCEgbNGOAAPzhuM8ag

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to being of service to you soon!

Moving to Online Herbal Consultation

Because the latest scientific papers I’ve read show that the chance of presymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus is much higher than I’d previously thought, I’ve decided to close my doors to seeing patients in-person, so as to keep everyone as safe as I can.

This will be for this week at a minimum, possibly for some weeks longer, depending on how things go.

Instead, I can offer online herbal consultations: contact me via text with the condition you’d like treated, and send me a picture of your tongue. After a consult, I’ll mix up and send you an individualized herbal formula.

This is for those in Seattle or nearby only (I’m eating the cost of shipping). The best number to contact me is at 437 dash 2968, in the 206 area code.

When you take a picture of your tongue, be sure to include your whole tongue in the image including the tip, and that it’s well-lit with as much natural light as possible.

I can also offer an online version of the kind of emotional clearing work I do, for those interested. You just need a magnet, and then we can connect over FaceTime or Skype and so on. I can also include distance Reiki in this. Text me if you’d like this service, and we can arrange a time.

How to pay? I’ve set up a form for online payment here:

https://form.jotform.com/200766652998168

It’s fine to wait to pay until after you receive your herbal formula or after your online session with me.

Finally, I’m offering an online Qi Gong session through the folks at Studio Evolve. I’ll post details on how to sign up for that soon.

More on Prevention – Or, How to Wash Your Hands

Disclaimer: nothing anywhere on this blog, or that I’ve written here, is intended as medical advice, or to substitute for medical advice, or intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. It’s intended for educational, informational, or entertainment purposes only. Before making any changes to your health care regimen always consult your physician and appropriate qualified licensed health care professional. Do this everyday before getting out of bed in the morning, or you may very well suffer a horrible and painful death. Proceed to read at your own risk. You have been warned.

It turns out washing your hands properly is not quite as simple as some might think, so I thought I’d review some tips. First, as soon as you get home or into your workplace, wash your hands. I suppose everyone knows about vigorously rubbing your hands with soap, under running water, for a minimum of 20 seconds. Be sure to get in between your fingers (the webbing) and your nails. See here: https://youtu.be/IisgnbMfKvI

Now here’s a mistake people often make: they routinely touch a contaminated handle after washing their hands, which partly defeats the purpose. In other words, someone approaches a faucet with dirty hands, they touch the handle to turn it on, wash their hands, then touch the contaminated handle again to turn off the water, which means whatever crap was on the handle is now on their hands again. The correct thing to do is use a paper towel or disinfectant wipe to turn off the faucet.

Then drying your hands is another issue. With hand sanitizer, let the sanitizer dry before touching anything. With hand washing, if you dry your hands on a towel, you’re going to get whatever was on the towel on your hands. The blow dryers in public places are worse than useless – I read a study that showed they basically blow fecal matter all over your hands. Unfortunately, the best thing to do seems to be to use paper towels.

Oh, and those paper towels? If you keep them in your bathroom they’re probably contaminated with microscopic fecal material – it turns out when you flush the toilet, it sprays out an amount of fine droplets all over the place. Nice, eh? So keep them in a closed cabinet – something you don’t need your hands to open (like you can push or pull it open with your elbow or knee or something), or in a mostly-covered box like you see in public restrooms.

But how do you get out of the bathroom? Turn the doorknob, right? But did you disinfect the doorknob? Probably not; so once again, use a paper towel or disinfectant wipe to turn the knob or otherwise open the door.

Speaking of doorknobs, it’s a good idea to regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces – tables, kitchen counters, doorknobs, car door handles, steering wheels, refrigerator handles, and especially your phone, tablet, computer, and so on.

Now, note that disinfecting is not the same as cleaning. Clean first, then disinfect. What disinfectants can actually kill a flu virus or coronavirus? Bleach, 70% alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide (see https://www.consumerreports.org/cleaning/common-household-products-that-can-destroy-novel-coronavirus/).

Bleach is the harshest one and is quite toxic, but if you want to use it use 4 teaspoons per quart of water, and make a new solution every couple of days (it breaks down); also be aware bleach in the original bottle degrades over time (20% or so after six months), so be sure to use a bottle that’s not too old. Also bleach can corrode metal, including steel sinks and faucets, so be aware of that.

For myself, I stay away from bleach. Instead, I wipe the area down with 70% alcohol, let it dry, and then spray it with hydrogen peroxide. I leave the hydrogen peroxide for 8 minutes before drying it with a clean paper towel. See https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html#Hydrogen for more.

I hope these tips have been helpful! Best of luck to us all in this trying time.

A Simpler Regimen for Prevention

OK, so based on some of the responses I’ve gotten to my Coronavirus Concerns post, people are confused about the different strategies I outlined and when to use them. So I’ll try to make a simpler version here.

As always, remember this Disclaimer: nothing anywhere on this blog, or that I’ve written here in this post, is intended as medical advice, or to substitute for medical advice, or intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. It’s intended for educational, informational, or entertainment purposes only. Before making any changes to your health care regimen always consult your physician, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and any other qualified licensed health care professionals you come across. Continuing to read this blog post may result in your slow, exquisitely painful death or dismemberment. Proceed with the utmost caution and at your own risk. The word “you”, when used in this post, is a placeholder and does not actually refer to anyone or anything, and the same is true of all verbs. Any resemblance to actual persons, either living or dead, is purely coincidental.

If you have no signs or symptoms of a cold or flu:

Continue to use the preventative measures outlined by the CDC, such as hand-washing, using hand sanitizer liberally, avoiding close contact with others, wearing a mask, and so on, as noted in previous posts. Wear a mask whenever going out.

In addition, get a good amount of exercise, especially Qi Gong. Eat a nutritious diet. In particular, the following foods have been shown in research to prevent a particular virus you may have heard of from replicating: Pomegranate juice, Green tea, Cranberries.

Take supplements such as Host Defense’s MyCommunity, Cordyceps, and Turkey Tail extracts.

Drink the Good Qi Tea:

Ingredients

1 tbsp fresh ginger

1 tbsp goji berries (if you have a problem digesting nightshades, use jujube – Chinese red dates – instead)

1 tbsp dried astragalus

Boil 2 cups of water, steep the herbs for 10 minutes, then strain out the herbs. You can boil another 2 cups of water, and steep the same herbs again, for another 9-10 minutes. Drink throughout the day.

If you start noticing a sign of a cold or flu, such as a scratchy throat or sore throat, fever, fatigue, sinus pressure, etc., as soon as you sense any of that, do all of the following:

Take licorice root extract, 1/2 tsp, 3-6 times per day, but avoid if you have hypertension or are pregnant. Take 2 hours away from any medications. Do not take for more than two weeks at a time.

Drink some ginger tea. Grate or finely chop some fresh ginger, an amount about four times the size of your thumb – it must be fresh to be effective for this purpose. Boil 6 cups of water, take it off the heat, and steep the chopped or grated ginger for 2-3 hours in a covered container (it must be covered to keep the essential oils of the ginger in the tea). If you like, at the end of the 2-3 hours you can add one tablespoon honey, the juice of one-quarter of a lime, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Drink at least 6 cups a day. Warning: do not drink ginger tea if you are pregnant, as it can cause a miscarriage.

Try the shotgun flu formula, 6 times a day (do not take if you’re pregnant, and take 2 hours away from any medications). Continue taking your elderberry tea as well.

Ingredients

This recipe expels wind, heat, and cold from the surface of the body. Many of my patients report that when they take it at the first sign of a cold or flu, they avoid getting sick.

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed (not chopped)

2 teaspoons fresh peppermint

Juice of 1/2 lemon, or 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon of lemon or lime zest

Half of a small cayenne pepper, seeds removed, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dry powder)

1/2 to 1 cup water

Put everything in the blender and mix well. Drink carefully, as it’s quite strong. Best results are obtained taking several doses, 2-4 hours apart, preferably after a meal or snack.

I personally would also take some quercetin, 2 capsules every 4 hours.

I hope that makes things simpler for everyone. Please ask if you have questions.

Best of luck to us all this year! Let’s take care of each other.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe

Disclaimer: nothing anywhere on this blog, or that I’ve written here, is intended as medical advice, or to substitute for medical advice, or intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. It’s intended for educational, informational, or entertainment purposes only. Before making any changes to your health care regimen always consult your physician and appropriate qualified licensed health care professional. Do this everyday before getting out of bed in the morning, or you may very well suffer a horrible and painful death. Proceed to read at your own risk. You have been warned.

Because so many stores are out of hand sanitizer right now, a lot of people have been asking me how I make my own at home. It’s not difficult, the key is the sanitizer must have an alcohol content of 66% or more. Here’s what I do.

For a one fluid ounce bottle of hand sanitizer – I get one of the brown glass bottles with a spray top – I use:

5 tsp 95%+ Everclear (or any alcohol of similar strength)

1 tsp aloe vera juice

4 drops clove essential oil

3 drops lemon essential oil

2 drops cinnamon bark (or leaf) essential oil

2 drops eucalyptus essential oil

1 drop rosemary essential oil

I combine everything and shake well. If using a larger bottle, such as a two-ounce or four-ounce bottle, I double or quadruple the recipe.

Note: if you have some pre-made Thieves’ Oil, like Dandelion Botanicals’ formulation, you can simply add 12 drops of that instead of getting all the oils above separately.

In order to use hand sanitizer effectively, it is not enough to simply rub a bit of it in your palms. You’ve got to rub it all over your hands, front and back, including in between your fingers and over your nails, and let it dry. Because the essential oil combination in this recipe is quite strong, anyone using this recipe must be very cautious about touching their eyes or face afterwards, as it may cause irritation or even a chemical burn.

Remember that handwashing (for more than 20 seconds), is in general considered preferable, but sanitizer is good when it’s difficult or impractical to get to a sink.

Best of luck to you in this challenging time!

More on Preventing Coronavirus Infection

If you’d like to scare yourself more about the likely impact of this pandemic, see https://medium.com/@amwren/forget-about-the-death-rate-this-is-why-you-should-be-worried-about-the-coronavirus-890fbf9c4de6

The author of the message below about precautionary measures for COVID-19 is James Robb, MD, UC San Diego. You might find it useful. My own tips from Chinese medicine for myself I put in the post below this one, entitled Coronavirus Concerns.

Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us! Jim

James Robb, MD FCAP