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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tamara Dickson

Coronavirus Facts and Opinions

There's a lot we still don't know about how much more impactful the coronavirus will be. There has been an uptick in U.S. cases recently but that is going to happen when you suddenly start testing for it. The trouble with this virus is that people can have it for a long time before showing symptoms- up to 24 days- and this is what makes COVID-19 so infectious and hard to track.

I've been mostly calm and encouraging calm while looking at this outbreak and researching the trends, but in light of the recent coronavirus associated deaths in WA State, it felt like time to speak up.

First some FACTS:

1. WA State Department of Public Health has set up a hotline for answering questions and advising those with symptoms on how to proceed. Call 1-800-525-0127 and press #

2. If you fall ill with flu-like symptoms, it is best for you to STAY HOME and be assessed remotely first- Call the hotline, nurses' line for your insurance, schedule a video, or phone consult.

3. Prepare for closures. Stock up on food and home essentials, make sure your prescriptions are refilled, especially if you have any heart, blood vessel, or lung diseases. Make a plan for if school and day cares close.

4. Hygiene helps! Wash your hands well and often. Avoid touching unnecessary surfaces in public. Cough or sneeze into the inside of your arm and not your hands. If you are using tissues, discard them immediately after use. Clean home surfaces often.

5. About 80% of those who contract the virus will have a mild Illness, while the rest experience more severe symptoms and/or complications. This virus is disproportionately NOT affecting children, however, the elderly, immune-suppressed, and those with heart and lung conditions should take cautions to avoid contact with potentially sick people.

6. Remember that this is a virus, which means that antibiotics don't work for this or the flu. Those are for bacterial illnesses. There are only THREE conventional drugs that fight viruses and none of them are tailored for COVID-19. This is also part of the problem. Conventionally, there's nothing to treat the virus, only alleviate the symptoms.

A few opinions and comments:

Face masks are, eh, optional if you're well. They're intended more for the sick person to wear to reduce transmission to others.

Herbs and nutrients are being currently investigated for treating this virus; I've been reading lots of the data coming from traditional Chinese practitioners and others abroad. From a Naturopathic perspective, we have tools in our bag for viruses and supporting immune strength.

Overall, I am advocating for people to minimize their time in public and/or large gatherings. If you can work from home, do. If you can skip the event and stay home with the kids, why not? Now is not the best time to go to a sit in movie theater, but don't stop living your life either. Remember that lots of places deliver, but if you have to get groceries, then go get them and be mindful of your hygiene.

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