What is the Corona Virus and Can you Protect Yourself and Your Family?

Everywhere you look someone is talking about the Coronavirus.  It’s all over social media, network news, and there is a ton of fear and panic around this topic.  I have received numerous inquiries and questions about the disease and what to do about it.  Many of you are wondering what I am doing for my family and my own health.  And more importantly, what you should be doing to protect your family and your own health.  My goal with this article is to clear up any confusion around the current status of the disease and provide peace of mind amidst all the fear and panic.  You can stop stressing and use some of my best tips and tools to keep you and your family safe.

First, the most commonly asked questions I have received via email and through my office are answered below. This content comes from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and their website is updated with the latest information every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Next, I will share with you some natural ways to boost your natural protection from the disease.

What the Heck is the CoronaVirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, and bats. A new strain of coronavirus has been identified as the cause of the outbreak of respiratory illness in people first detected in Wuhan, China. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease COVID-19. (Formerly, it was referred to as 2019-nCoV.)

It is extremely rare for animal coronaviruses to jump species and infect people and then spread between people, such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV (you probably remember the SARS scare not long ago).  Now we have this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).

**Just to be clear, here is the terminology:

Coronaviruses – a family of viruses normally found in animals

COVID-19 – the official name given to the disease caused by one strain of the coronavirus that is currently infecting people, which started in 2019

SARS-CoV-2 – the strain of the virus that is caused by the COVID-19 disease

While scientists at the National Institute of Health (NIH), the  Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and elsewhere are evaluating candidate therapies and vaccines to treat and prevent COVID-19, currently there are no treatments or vaccines for this disease approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  And even if a vaccine should become available, it would only protect against the current strain of the virus, similar to what we see with the flu.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus and boost the health of your immune system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of this and other respiratory viruses, including the following:

=> Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

=> If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

=> Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

=> Stay home when you are sick, and keep children home from school when they are sick.

=> Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

=> Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a disinfectant spray.

If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel or exposure and your symptoms.

Is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Deadly?

Despite the mass panic, the media frenzies, and advertisers preying on your fears, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is NOT more deadly than the seasonal flu.  Currently, global deaths from COVID-19 (most recent stats are around 3,000) are far less than the 300,000 to 646,000 annual deaths that happen worldwide as a result of the flu.  So while you should get serious about boosting your immune health so you can better fight off all disease and illness, there is no reason for the level of fear that many people are experiencing.  8 out of 10 COVID-19 cases are considered mild, with minor flu-like symptoms, while the other 2 out of 10 tend to be more serious and even fatal.  Those with compromised immune systems and the elderly tend to be at higher risk or COVID-19 and all viral infections.

Why Are So Many People in China Dying?

There are several factors that put the Chinese population at a higher risk than the general public.  These include overcrowding, long lines at hospitals and lack of supplies, and the high percentage of smokers in China.

ICU’s in China are at capacity. Very few are getting the intensive care they need – they’re lucky if they minimal treatment because hospitals are so overrun and many are OUT of supplies and testing kits altogether.

People are waiting in long lines at hospitals in China and many leave without care. So the fatality rate is going to be far, far higher than the reported 2%, as opposed to if these sick individuals received proper intensive care with all the machines monitoring them, several nurses tending to them and getting the fluids and medications they need to survive.

Crowded conditions, like we see in China, can increase the likelihood of people transmitting infectious diseases, research from the University of Geneva has shown. That’s because people in close proximity are more likely to touch, shake hands, or transmit the virus through the air by coughing or sneezing.  It is not uncommon for multiple generations living together in small spaces. These conditions make the spread of disease far more easy.

Yet another factor to consider in the high fatality numbers in China is the prevalence of smokers who reside there. Smoking is going to make individuals FAR more susceptible to fatality from COVID-19 than the average person, as revealed in this study. This could explain the high death rate in China that may not be seen in other countries with a lower prevalence of smoking.

The virus targets ACE2, the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2, that makes proteins in the alveoli of the lungs, which is why people are ultimately dying from Coronavirus from acute respiratory distress.

Are we safe in the US?

On February 26th, the first case was reported in the Sacramento area of “community infection”. This means the person infected had not been traveling and had not been in contact with someone who had been traveling. This is the kind of communicability that infectious disease experts fear will turn into a pandemic.  As of Tuesday, March 3rd., there have been 108 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, 9 reported US deaths reported as a result.  Now, testing to confirm the virus is still pretty spotty in the states, so we may see the number of confirmed cases go up as testing supplies become more readily available.  It is important to note that the 9 deaths were in people who already had existing health conditions.  With that said, this is a serious topic and experts expect it to get worse, reaching pandemic proportions, before it gets better.

** Let’s cover the lingo again – what is a pandemic?

Epidemic refers to an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area. Outbreak carries the same definition of the epidemic but is often used for a more limited geographic area. Cluster refers to an aggregation of cases grouped in place and time that are suspected to be greater than the number expected, even though the expected number may not be known. Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.

It sounds quite scary, but despite what the media and many marketers would like you to believe, the reality is that 8 out of 10 cases of COVID-19 result in only very mild flu-like symptoms that resolve on their own.  So, take a deep breath, wash your hands, and read on to learn the natural immune-boosting and viral protecting strategies that can help protect you.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It’s also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects and then touching your own mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

This is why one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to wash your hands frequently, avoid handshakes, wipe down surfaces disinfectant, and be mindful when touching things in public places, or even mail coming to your home, that you immediately wash or sanitize your hands before touching you face, your children or preparing food.

What Can You Do to Stay Healthy and Prevent Contracting the COVID-19?

This is where natural medicine really shines.  Our philosophy is to boost the body’s own innate healing ability through lifestyle practices and supplementation.  This allows the body to be a less hospitable host for the virus.

What about those with a Genetic Disadvantage?

Those with compromised immune genetics will want to implement the tips below as well as take targeted action to epigenetically modify any errors in immune function and strategically support the body.  Armed with the knowledge of where the weak points in your immune system lie, you can better protect yourself from illness and ensure your body has the tools that it needs to fight infection.  It is not uncommon for the majority of otherwise healthy people to have a genetic inadequacy in one or more of the major functions of the immune system including antibody responses, cell-mediated immunity, and natural killer (NK) cell activity.

Think of it like a life raft. If you had a life raft, and there was an impending threat that might put you in a situation where you would need to use it, you’d want to check for holes and repair them ahead of time, otherwise, you might find yourself struggling with your head underwater.  The same is true for your immune system.  Identifying and addressing any “holes” in your ability to detect, neutralize, and defend against disease is something you can do now when you are well, that will pay off big time if and when a pandemic gets here.

Our unique genetic variations are what makes each of us different, but can also tell the story of our personal immune weak links.   At GLOW Natural Wellness, we believe in testing rather than guessing and being proactive about our health.  We offer a complete Immune/Autoimmune Genetics Panel along with actionable personalized strategies to optimize your immune health as part of our cutting-edge health optimization genetics program DNA Made SimpleClick here to learn more.

Enhance Your Immune System Naturally

The following are some helpful tips and nutrients I recommend for enhancing your immune system and optimizing your body to protect you from any virus, including COVID-19.  These strategies are effective and important for everyone whether healthy or not.  One thing I must note: Currently there are no supplements, herbs or oils that have been proven to kill the Coronavirus, however, there are many well-researched natural solutions to help your body fight the virus effectively.

Tip #1:

Take your supplements – Many of the supplements listed below can be found in our online dispensary, Fullscript, or sourced locally.  If you have any questions about obtaining any of the products mentioned, feel free to contact us so we can help you.

Monolaurin-Avail is believed to have the potential to permanently inactivate the fat coated viruses that cause diseases by fluidizing the lipids (fats) and phospholipids in their envelopes, leading to the disintegration of viral particles.  Alternatively, coconut oil is rich in monolaurates and you can add this to your diet.

Immunitone Plus™ by Designs for Health is a comprehensive herbal formula that is designed to support healthy immune system function. It contains herbs that support normal natural killer (NK) cell activity and the balance of cytokines, which are the regulatory proteins released by immune cells as part of a normal immune system response. The standardized herbs in this formula contain optimal and consistent amounts of the most active ingredients. Immunitone Plus is suitable for long term use and for all age groups.

This powerful immune supportive formula combines herbs that have antiviral and antibacterial abilities as well as the ability to maintain Natural Killer (NK) cell activity and cytokine synthesis. Immunitone Plus™ is safe enough to use for chronic viral conditions and in cases of a weak immune system and acute illness.

Vitamin D Supreme for both kids and adults (must be D3 and most absorbent with K2 added).

=> 5,000- 10,000 IU for adults, 5000 IU 2x per week for kids

=> If you already have a cold take up to 50,000 IU for 2 weeks until the bottle is gone.

=> Check a blood level every 6 months for precise dosing.

=> I like to keep my patient’s levels between 65 and 90 ng/ml.

Liposomal Vitamin C – The best nutrient to load up on in the best delivery system  Vitamin C has been shown to have an immune-enhancing effect, as well as balancing hormone levels and modulating fertility.  This is my favorite type with absorption that rivals an IV!

Krill Oil – For its purity and the ratio of EPA to DHA for immune and brain health.

Megasporebiotic – Use a high quality, prescription-grade spore-based probiotic daily. A spore-based probiotic will survive the trip through your gut and the prescription-grade strains can feed your immune system.  My favorite is Megasporebiotic.

MegaIGg2000 – Immunoglobulin G, commonly known as IgG, is an antibody trained to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other infectious invaders in the body. Mega IgG can give your immune system extra support so it can keep you feeling healthy and strong.

Organifi Greens – This delicious drink contain herbs, nutrients, and botanicals to boost your immunity, mitochondrial health, and keep your body strong and healthy. (Click Here to learn more about Organifi)

Zinc – necessary to support immune health and shorten the duration of illness.  Zinc is essential for immune function. Zinc deficiencies are associated with increased susceptibility to infections and a decreased capacity for the immune system to combat illness.

Concentrace Mineral Drops – A number of trace elements have been shown to be important for adequate functioning of the immune system, Deficiencies and of trace elements can influence various parameters of the immune system, such as antibody responses, cell-mediated immunity, and natural killer (NK) cell activity.

Bio-Active Nano Silver – Look for one that contains 98% positively charged silver, in pharmaceutical-grade purified water. Sovereign Silver’s unique silver species, with a verified and unmatched particle size, remains in its most active state for use within the body.  Giving you the ultimate immune boost.

To get pharmaceutical grade versions of these products delivered right to your door, register for a free account with our online dispensary Fullscript by clicking here.  Once there, look for the category “COVID-19” and you will find all of my recommendations there.

Tip #2:

Make sure you implement the proper lifestyle measures for your immune system to work

=> Make sure you are practicing good hand washing. This means:

Use hand sanitizers with alcohol in them. There are some natural, chemical-free options from companies like Dr. Bronners and Seventh Generation

=> Get plenty of sleep, which means at least 8 hours a night between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am.

If you need help falling asleep drink an Ayurvedic sleep cocktail at bedtime: Organifi Gold

If you need help getting your brain into the right brain waves for restful sleep consider Wholetones Sleep.

And here are some additional articles to help you get better sleep and in turn boost your immune health:

Sleep Better Tonight, Naturally

Are You Out of Sync with Your Natural Clock?

Flu Proof Your Pantry: Using Food As Medicine

=> Exercise in a way that matches your adrenal health and makes you happy: going too hard will actually lower your immune health, while light to moderate exercise strengthens the immune system. Adrenal health is essential for preventing viral and bacterial infections. If your system is tired, it’s at risk. Want to know what your adrenals and hormones are doing? Get them tested!!  Reach out to [email protected] to discuss testing options.

=> Deep Belly Breathing: Helps your body’s nervous system support your “rest and digest” functions. If you are anxious about contracting the virus, your nervous system will move into “fight, flight, or freeze” and you will be at higher risk to do just that.

=> Meditation: use an app like Oak, Calm, or Headspace to follow along, or learn to create your own personalized mediation practice in just 14 days with Ziva Meditation. According to the World Health Organization, stress is one of the primary barriers to good immune health.

=> Sweat 30 minutes a day (an infrared sauna is a great investment).

=> Keep a clean diet free of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Pay attention to food sensitivities. To learn what type of diet works best for your DNA, consider DNA Made Simple.

=> Eat lots of broccoli and other “cruciferous” vegetables. Vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family (including Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale) may help to stop viruses in their tracks; due to a naturally high amount of a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Clinical studies show that this compound has the potential to interfere with the way many viruses reproduce.

=> Ditch processed and junk food. The occasional treat is no problem, but where possible try to avoid deep-fried foods, sugary treats, white bread, gluten-containing foods, junk foods, and any processed or packet foods. Foods with artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives fit into this category too.

=> Here is a great article to help you boost your immune system using food as medicine: Flu Proof Your Pantry: Using Food As Medicine

Understand Your Immune Weaknesses

The human body comes complete with its own defense system to fight and kill invading infections.  However, some of us come with a better-equipped army than others.

Do you have some genetic shortcomings when it comes to your body’s immune system?  Are there areas that you can improve that will put you in a safer position should you come in contact with a dangerous virus?  Now is the time to truly understand where your immune system needs support and how to strategically boost your personal immunity.  It is widely recognized that people respond differently to infections.  Some people are better at initial detection, some bodies are quick to neutralize the source, while others are great at mediating the immune response.  Issues or variations or errors within your immune system genetics can be the difference between suffering from a debilitating viral disease or having just minor symptoms that resolve on their own.  With DNA Made Simple, you will discover the weak links in your body’s defense system and exactly how to strengthen them.

Planning to Travel?

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, it’s no fun to fall ill once you arrive at your destination. And it is even less fun to get a serious disease.  You don’t have to cancel your travel plans to stay healthy.  Here are 5 essential tips to keep in mind if you want to avoid getting sick the next time you board a plane.

#1 Keep Your Hands Clean: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Natural products without harmful chemicals are also available from brands like Clean Well, Seventh Generation, and Dr. Bronner. A hand sanitizer should be applied after touching any unsanitized surface on the airplane before you eat or drink, and before your hands touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Use the sanitizer to wipe down your seat, seatbelt, armrests, tray table, and touchscreen entertainment center. Bacteria can survive several days after being left on surfaces inside a plane. One study showed that E. coli lasted for up to 4 days, while MRSA lingers for at least a week.

Avoid touching the seat pocket in front of you. Sanitizers are not very effective on the seat pocket fabric and people tend to use these pockets as trash cans placing almost anything in them. Discarded items range from used tissues to dirty diapers.

It’s also a good idea to apply sanitizer to your hands even after washing in the plane’s lavatory sink.  Onboard tap water does not have a good track record. Back in 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that all aircraft public water systems were not compliant with the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. High levels of fecal bacteria were found in the drinking water of 15 of the 327 planes that the EPA tested.

#2 Stay Hydrated: Given the possibility of water contamination, it is wise not to drink any water provided onboard unless it comes from a sealed can or bottle. Avoid tea or coffee made on the plane as well.

Drink plenty of water starting two days prior to travel and regularly throughout your flight, as it can be very dry on an airplane – the humidity level is often below 20%. Aim to take in about eight ounces of water for every hour on board. When you become dehydrated, your mucus membranes dry out which leaves you more vulnerable to viral and bacterial infection.

#3 Strategic Use of the Air Vent:  Modern aircraft are equipped with high-tech air filters which clear away 99.9995% of dust and microbes from the air, according to the International Air Transport Association. Moreover, the air only circulates in part of the cabin because the ventilation is compartmentalized.

Unfortunately, if someone sitting next to you sneezes due to flu or cold, a pathogen may find its way into your airways before it gets to the air filter. To combat this, utilize the air vent to essentially blow away microbes from your personal space. Adjust the air to a medium setting and position the overhead vent so that the air current runs directly in front of your head. If you place your hands in your lap, you should feel the current on your hands, not on your face.  **Extra tip, spray a little essential oil like tea tree or eucalyptus on the vent before turning it on 🙂 

#4 Eat Healthy and Light on Flight Days: Stay away from processed airline meals and snacks. Look for salads and fresh fruit or vegetables. Avoid any foods that may cause gas or bloating – corn, beans, onions, or cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Limit spicy foods that may induce acid reflux. When in flight, gases in your body expand by one-third and digestion slows down. 

#5 Travel Well Rested: You are more susceptible to illness when you lack adequate sleep because your immune system is weakened. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before your flight. You may find that a drop of lavender essential oil on your temple or pillow at bedtime may help you relax and get a good sleep.

If you’re having trouble getting to sleep earlier, a small dose of melatonin(0.5 mg) or CBD oil taken 90 minutes prior to the bedtime of your destination may be helpful.

Other tools to biohack your way to a toxin-free immune boosting lifestyle are:

Harmoni Pendant – Our favorite new stress-hacking, EMF-blocking tool.  If you want to protect your immune system, you’ll want to get this trusty device!  Plus it looks so pretty!

Wholetones Sleep  – Without sound refreshing sleep, your body (and immune system) will never fully recover. The secret to immunity is good sleep!

MyGreenFills Laundry  – Swapping out toxic chemicals in your cleaners is a must for immune function & the best place to start is your laundry.

AirDoctor Home Air Filtration – If you’ve been on the fence, NOW is the time to clean the air in your home. It WILL help you.

Influence Sauna  – Regular use of an infrared sauna has been clinically shown to reduce the severity of viral and bacterial infections and stimulate mitochondrial cells supporting immune health on a number of levels.

Do I Need a Facemask?

If you are planning to travel, or as a precaution for a future pandemic here in the US.  You may wish to consider purchasing an N95 respirator.  They are different from the medical face masks you see at the doctor’s office.  Standard face masks are designed to keep you from getting other people sick, by containing your cough and sneezing.

The FDA has cleared certain filtering facepiece respirators (N95) for use by the general public. To work as expected, an N95 respirator requires a proper fit to your face. Generally, to check for proper fit, you should put on your respirator and adjust the straps so that the respirator fits tightly but comfortably to your face.  When fitted properly you should not be able to smell anything.  You can test this by spraying a strongly-scented essential oil into the air near your face.  If you can smell it, the mask is not properly fitted and small viral particle droplets can enter.

The FDA has cleared the following N95 respirators for use by the general public in public health medical emergencies:

  • 3M™ Particulate Respirator 8670F
  • 3M™ Particulate Respirator 8612F
  • Pasture Tm F550G Respirator
  • Pasture Tm A520G Respirator

Please do not stockpile these devices, as we want to be sure that medical staff and first responders have access to the appropriate masks.  Online retailers have already started raising prices in response to demand.  So if you want to be super safe and don’t mind spending a pretty penny, go ahead and grab one.  Currently, there are not properly fitting N95 masks for children available.

Final Thoughts

The COVID-19 viral outbreak is a serious issue and should not be ignored. However, stressing out about it will set your immune system up for failure.  Many studies have shown that chronic stress lowers the activity of your immune system and makes you more prone to infection.  So tune out all the hype and follow these simple, yet effective tips to stay safe and healthy.

So stay calm and implement the precautions above.  You’ll not only be protecting yourself from COVID-19, but you will also be boosting your overall health and wellness.  Perhaps that is the silver lining in the cloud of fear.  Maybe more people will take an interest in preventative care, learn about immune health and take an active role in their health and longevity.  That is my hope 🙂

For more information about what everyone can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., including the general public, health care professionals, and travelers, visit What CDC Recommends. For more information on NIH research on coronaviruses, visit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Showing 11 comments
  • Jana
    Reply

    Thank you ever so much! Great tips!

  • Liz
    Reply

    I wonder about advising not to consume caffeine, yet the Green Juice from Organifi has green tea…

  • Deb M
    Reply

    Great article! Thank you! When taking D3 and K2, what proportion of each is good? For example, if I take 5000IU of D3, how much K2 is good?

  • Diane Orzali
    Reply

    This article is absolutely amazing! You covered so many different aspects about the coronavirus that people are concerned about. I am a nurse and get questions every day about traveling, attending social events, etc.. It’s amazing how the media gets people so hyped up and fearful. I wish they would focus on the health risks of living on fast food, sugar, and the typical American diet with such fervor. Thanks again for such a comprehensive article.

  • Loni Fitzgerald
    Reply

    Thank you for this very thorough and informative explanation and guide!!

  • Steve Simpson
    Reply

    Dr. Michelle, the NIH posted studies by several Universities that Griffithsin from Red algae kills the glycoprotein shell of the Corona Virus making it unable to replicate. What it does not say is whether or not it works in vivo. What is your take? https://plantmedicines.org/plant-medicines-fight-wuhan-coronavirus/

  • RUTH ANN LAVOIE
    Reply

    THANK YOU FOR INFORMING ME ABOUT HOW TO BE SAFE AND HOW TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS!

  • Beata Medgyessy
    Reply

    Dear Michelle,

    thanks a lot for the great tips. I have a question:
    “I like to keep my patient’s levels between 65 and 90 ng/dl.”
    Did you mean ng/ml?

    Thank you and have a nice day,
    Beata

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