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Healthy and Resilient During these Extraordinary Times

By our Marcus Institute experts- Anthony J. Bazzan, MD, Medical Director, and Birgit Rakel, MD, Director of Women’s Health

March 20, 2020

Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you and your loved ones during this challenging time. The typical cold and flu season has been substantially complicated by the COVID 19 pandemic. Below are our usual guidelines for optimal health during the season; in addition, the first four are particularly specific to dampening the spread of COVID 19. We also encourage everyone to regularly review the latest CDC guidelines.

  • Wash hands frequently. Beyond normal good hygiene, especially remember to wash after touching surfaces, including objects such as money; before and after eating; after blowing nose, coughing , or sneezing; and before, after, and during caring for a sick person. Wash for 20-30 seconds (as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice)
  • Cough into elbow or tissue (not hand)
  • Comply with social distancing guidelines outside the home (check CDC website regularly for updates to the policy)
  • If you develop any signs or symptoms or become aware of exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID 19, immediately contact your doctor or nearest health care facility for next steps for treatment and/or quarantine.

For overall resiliency during this season:

  • Get enough rest. Sleep is important for healthy immune function. For mild sleep disruptions consider trying the scent of lavender in the bedroom or a low dose of melatonin
  • Eat well. Fresh and wholesome foods especially vegetables contain multiple vitamins and nutrients needed for the immune system to perform at its best. Minimize processed and junk foods
  • Have sufficient vitamin C in the diet or consider supplementing it at 1,000-2,000 mg/day if you are unable to consume sufficient amounts in food. This suggestion is based on preliminary data from cold/flu/infectious disease studies; there is no specific data regarding COVID 19
  • Maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D. This suggestion is based on a recent study of upper respiratory track infections that did not include COVID 19
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stress reduction. Times like these can elevate stress levels, which impacts your resiliency and well-being. Meditation practices are great, even taking a couple minutes a day to do some healthy breathing can make a big difference. If you don’t know any mediation or breathing techniques, consider downloading an app or reading a book on mindfulness. Exercise and moving your body helps dampen the stress response as well.

Please contact us for more information and resources on integrative care. We are here for you and we are committed to your health and well-being.