By Dietitian Jill Place
Quarantine-and-mask strategies have failed miserably in the U.S. COVID-19 cases are sharply on the rise. So can we NOW talk new strategies? Isn’t it time we talk about immunity?
If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ve probably noticed that I talk of little else.I firmly believe (and this is my still-healthy 75th birthday month) that boosting immunity is the ONLY way out of this pandemic.Click To Tweet
Don’t get me wrong … I DO believe in masks and social distancing. After all, I AM a health care professional. And have to wear masks all day long sometimes.
As a matter of fact, here’s me in the DEEP trenches in a place that had infected staff and patients (they’re not there anymore but gowning, gloving, and weird masks are now required). I call her fondly … “Jill the Duck”. At least the eye makeup is good …
Even with all these precautions (my fave restaurants have followed every one), we got this notice the other day …
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday ordered the immediate closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms in 19 counties — including Los Angeles County — that California officials have been monitoring for increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Cases have gone up … almost 50% more hospitalizations. And a reported equal 50% of bar and restaurants were not following the proper precautions. I haven’t been to any of them. And actually wonder if that’s really so.
And this is just for three weeks. Does Gov. Newsome really think that’ll put a dent in this whole mess? I think not!
Changing the Conversation …
I do these little what I call “ImmuniTips” … snippets of “food for thought” about immunity. Last week, I published one all over social media that said …What if we changed the conversation from masks and quarantines to boosting immunity and healing guts?Click To Tweet
Yet again we’re literally beating a dead horse (HATE that imagery but it’s accurate). Like when we do when we talk about diets as the only way to lose weight.
Instead of focusing on diets, people who actually lose weight know that the only way to do so is to choose their own path, stick to it, and get lots of support. Eventhe most famous program that supposedly gives you all you need for weight loss ... Weight Watcher's ... has only a two-in-a-thousand success rateClick To Tweet(according to some old statistics).
Instead, The Harvard School of Public Health website states thatbehavioral, psychological, and social factors are probably far more important for weight loss than the mix of nutrients in a diet.Click To Tweet And that changing all of those means making personal choices that no diet can give you.
Both the obesity AND the COVOD-19 pandemics (I say them in the same breath because they’re very similar, both growing exponentially, and the first is statistically linked to a much greater incidence of ventilation and poorer outcome for the second) are examples of really bad conversations that need changing.
So perhaps it might be a consideration for you to make those personal choices where COVID-19 is concerned too. By the way … my little ImmuniTip … it got lots of notice … and thumbs up, hearts, and applause …
Promising Research …
Here is some interesting research that’s been done recently to see if the use of certain natural substances and medications may better COVID-19 outcomes. Much previous research has shown that high dose intravenous vitamin C may benefit patients with sepsis, acute lung injury, and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) … problems caused by COVID-19.
A massive study of IV Vitamin C is now underway in Wuhan. China. The results should be available in mid-September. This is a very hopeful sign as early protocols, especially one in a hospital is New York, seem to point to the fact that this treatment may reduce the risk of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation and the development of ARDS.
But … guess what … treatment in New York was halted. This is one among SEVERAL effective treatment methods which will at least now be withheld because of “no evidence”.
Another was the The Henry Ford Hospital controlled fairly large (3000 participants) trial of hydroxychloroquine in admitted cases of those with “low oxygenation” published just yesterday in a peer reviewed journal. Treatment with HCQ alone cut the death rates IN HALF with no adverse cardiac effects.
I just don’t get it! That’s a REAL study in a REAL peer-reviewed journal. Prestigious journals are currently very careful (and rightfully so) to publish only well-designed COVID-19 research. And they published this one.
And still they won’t allow this treatment? Do they WANT people to die? Do they WANT to keep up the fear and mental problems resulting from all this isolation? I wonder …
We HAVE to Change the Conversation …
I’ve talked about this for MONTHS in most of my recent articles. If you haven’t read Awakening Immunity, Get that Immunity Glow!, Supplements for Immunity, 66% … Do Masks and Quarantines Actually Work?, ImmuniTips for You and Your Environment, and Is Healing Leaky Gut the Ultimate COVID-19 Cure? I invite you to do so …
In all of them, I encourage you to focus on supporting your immunity above all else. But it doesn’t seem we want to do that.
I go from the hospital, where masks are worn correctly (by the staff) to the few things I CAN do (now that restaurants are closed and my 4th of July brunch plans are kaput) like supermarket shop. Yesterday I counted at least 4 baggers (my own included) who were wearing their masks below their nose. And … as I walked out of the store, I saw a man with a supposedly good one in the right place on his nose … AND HIS MOUTH WAS EXPOSED!
C’mon! I know we have poor role models (our President isn’t wearing one … and doesn’t look so good!) but if everyone who’s anyone is recommending them, I’m in! The duck bill has gotta go though …
I discussed pros and cons of mask-wearing in 66% … Do Masks and Quarantines Actually Work?. And am ready to jump in with anything that will keep me … and others … safe. But I know now we have to move forward with other strategies.
Yes …I know that these immune-support strategies take time and effort. But I ask you ... what other choice do you have at this time? Getting sick? DYING?Click To Tweet
Moving Forward to Talking About Immunity …
It’s generally agreed upon by tons of health experts that the following will support your immune system (with some of my ideas thrown in) …
Get Enough Sleep
I know that sounds like a no-brainer. But sleep and immunity are closely linked. Many studies have shown it to be so.
Some sleep-Immunitips … don’t have TV in your bedroom, go to sleep early (9-10pm max) and at a similar time every night, and practice some sort of relaxation right before bed (see Practice Mindfulness below). Oh … and get those other electronics OUT of your room … find a better place for your computer, phone charger, etc.
Why do I love this? Because … with a few easy lessons … or a way to plug into sequential snippets that you can listen to right on your phone (my Micro-Mindfuls coming soon …) you can do this just about anywhere.
But it does take is some practice (it’s called a “practice” because … to do it well … you have to do it every day). You don’t have to sit cross-legged and spend a lot of time with it though (by the way, meet our new Immune sister … Serenity Strong).
Just notice your breathing and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Because deeper breathing instantly changes you from fight-or-flight (and who isn’t extra-stressed today?) to rest-and-relax mode.
And THAT will boost your immune system. There’s research that stress is just as bad for your gut as poor diet, smoking (oh … did I mention that it might be a good idea to give that up too?), and other assaults to your immune system. So BREATHE!
We all know the benefits of exercise. Yet only about a quarter of us do the minimum (30 minutes 3 days a week).
I’m not going to bore you with descriptions of the benefits of exercise … you already know them. But you really need to do this … even if you just get up every 30 minutes and walk around the house for five or ten. Research seems to also point to the fact that too much sitting isn’t great for you either.
Maintain a Positive Mindset
I can’t stress how important being OK about your present situation is. There are many right now in my psychiatric hospital that aren’t chronically mentally ill. Instead, they’re overwhelmed by the isolation, close quarters and for many … financial worries … to the point of emotional collapse.
I myself was so annoyed (I’m being nice … I was really angry) that they closed my restaurants and my 4th of July plans were cancelled that I did get a bit depressed. But I had to remember (and I put these in one of my ImmuniTips too) …
- Everything can – and will – change
- You’ve overcome challenges before
- It’s a learning experience
- Being kind to yourself is the best medicine
- And there is always, always, always something to be grateful for
Perhaps you need some sort of saying that you repeat over and over like one of these. Perhaps you need to think of five things to be grateful for before you get out of bed in the morning. Or perhaps you need to have a virtual cocktail party with the girls … because who knows when we’ll have them for real again.
Mindfulness really helps here too. I cured my panic attacks … and they were REALLY bad at one time … by just breathing. Mindfulness is a terrific tool to put everything back into perspective.
No amount of food you eat or hand washing you do can support immunity if you don’t stay hydrated. If you don’t, your body’s natural protection … your skin and mucous membranes … can fail to function properly.
Bacteria and viruses enter our bodies mostly through our noses, mouths, and eyes (especially this virus). A dried-out body can therefore be a breeding-ground for disease.
I’ve found through years of counseling people that hydration success is about the container. What do you like to drink out of?
Me … I have a glass of water in every room (and there’s one right next to me while I’m typing right now). When I’m out, I carry a stainless-steel water bottle.
And PLEASE … drink purified or distilled water. Tap water has too much crap in it!
I love my AquaTru filter … and here’s a link to get it for a HUGE discount, https://brokenbrain.com/pages/filter. I had lots of water when the shelves were bare. And it’ll pay for itself in 6 months. With no plastic pollution involved!
And Change Your Diet … PLEASE!
Most people … especially here in the United States … eat a really crappy diet. Even in my facilities … where you’d think medical workers would eat healthier … mountains of styrofoam and fast food are all around me.
Want a fast, easy change? Pack your lunch. With more FRESH fruits and vegetables (a salad lunch takes less than five minutes to pack and is a terrific first step). Then slowly swing into a more plant-based or Paleo diet.
I’m a huge advocate of “Baby Steps that Lead to Big Wins”. Most people don’t change their diets very quickly. So getting more F&V’s is a great place to start.
Want more “Baby Steps”? My IMMUNE BOOST DIET has everything you need. Get it below …
And Take Supplements
I take probably 70 pills a day. I DO take breaks. But IMMUNE BOOST LIGHT (click on the name to get instructions for getting and taking them) are 5 crucial supplements I take every day.
I know that there’s a battle out there among traditional and alternative health care practitioners … “To supplement or NOT to supplement”. But I found out early on in my career that taking them could mean the difference … especially at my age … between being active and vital or chronically ill with some supposed aging disease or other.
As clinicians we all follow the dictum “To do no harm”. And these gently nudge your immune system into working right. Not only that, they’re the best forms and formulations that I know of today.
Most of us are nutrient-deficient for some reason or other. And with all the stress we currently have, the body uses more of some nutrients than normal. Especially some of those in a quality multivitamin with minerals … that patch up and fill in those deficiencies.
We also need even extra Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc. And my particular favorite is one called Stamets 7 … a blend of 7 different mushrooms.
Certain healing mushrooms have been used since the dawn of man for their healing powers. Paul Stamets pioneered mushroom research as well as healing his mother from Stage IV cancer with this supplementit. I wouldn’t ever do without it.
So there you have it … my best ideas for boosting immunity. Which will you try first? I’m wearing my Health Coach hat here …
I know that change happens slowly for most of us. And doing too much … which many of us are prone to do … can make us fail.
So do yourself a favor. Start a Health-Self Experiment (click on the link to get all the articles PLUS a handy set-it-up worksheet). And … please … tell me how it goes.
Remember … you can always do a new one. More fresh fruit and vegetables would be nice …