Given recent events, I have been hard at work putting together updates on the latest coronavirus (better known as COVID-19) pandemic. Because things are constantly changing and updating, here is what we know and what you should know today.

I recently wrote an in-depth article and released a video covering all of the basics surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic (Read More: The Essentials On COVID-19). Please, if you haven’t yet had the chance, give it a read. It is filled with some essential information that I know will help you.

During these uncertain times, I want to continuously check back in with you to provide the latest updates, insight, and what we are seeing out there. This way, if you’re feeling worried or stressed, you can at least feel comfortable in knowing the whole situation.


A Quick Recap

Before we begin, though, let’s get started with a quick recap.

So, a coronavirus is essentially a large family of viruses that includes many ones that are more common. About a third of those that make up the common cold come from this.

In November of 2019, a new variant of this jumped species and started to affect humans. It seems to have come from Wuhan, China, and primarily in live animal markets.

Basically, this is an open area where we might find bats, pigs, civets, and humans all together in one space. Due to their proximity, along with the slaughter of these animals, gave these organisms the opportunity to mutate.

Bottom Line: It turns out that bats share an ACE2 cell surface receptor with humans. This is relevant for immune response and recognition for infectious agents. That is essentially how the transmission occurred in the first place.

What Are Our Current Projections?

In the past few days or around a week, we have learned a lot. In fact, our projections have changed rapidly as new information has come in.

So, what do we know about how this disease will spread and who will be affected?

To be fair, this is likely not a pandemic likely to the 1918 Spanish Flu (which was quite severe and on a global basis). It is likely more similar to the 1957 Avian influenza pandemic.

This is to say that this could be the worst pandemic for many of our lifetime, stretching all the way back to any of us who were born after 1957. That’s a big deal.

Of the current credible models that exist, some of them feature more negative models of somewhere around half of the United States being infected with COVID-19 in the coming year.

The question is now not necessarily how many will be involved, but how quickly that spread may occur. Many of the measures we are currently taking and advocating for will not prevent the infection, but will slow the wave of infection from spreading.

The advantage of that is that we will reduce the stress currently being placed on the healthcare system in the United States. And, given the nature of the disease, American hospitals do not have an unlimited supply of ventilators.

Key Insight: Therefore, not putting undue stress on the system by having the infection spread rapidly is key. It is likely to save a lot of lives.

If this is more gradual and protracted, it is going to ultimately make it easier because we can use medical resources for more people.

The higher number of deaths that we have seen, specifically in China, have come from a lack of medical resources. Many who required medical care were unable to access it, and unfortunately lost their lives because of the rapid spread of the disease.

Bottom Line: In the following year and the year after that, we could see somewhere in the neighbourhood of around one million American deaths. Keep in mind, though, this is a projection and not a guarantee.

First Wave COVID-19

The guiding logic is that we are currently in the first wave of COVID-19 in America, and that in the coming weeks and months this will progress and then run its course.

Following that, we will likely see a second wave after rules on isolation are loosened and people go back to “living their lives” more normally.

After that, the thought is that this will be something that becomes an ongoing or annual illness for the nation. It will continue to showcase seasonal spikes.

Understanding the Spread of COVID-19

So, what do we know about COVID-19 and how it spreads?

It turns out that the virus itself is quite fragile. It has a lipid membrane, which means that it dries out quite easily. To the extent that it can live outside of a host is likely much lower than we initially thought or posited.

It is not likely to be active more than several hours (perhaps days) on certain surfaces. But, this wouldn’t be something that you would get from a packaged product from across the world. It doesn’t have the ability to live for that long.

The Symptoms of COVID-19

We now know that it could take possibly around two weeks for symptoms to emerge, but that is pretty unlikely. It’s more likely that symptoms would reveal themselves in the first several days.

Key Insight: So, two weeks is a safe time frame, but most likely is within the first several days.

The first symptoms to show up are likely to be:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

It is also not uncommon to see:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sore Throat
  • Diarrhea

It was also thought earlier that death would only occur in certain specific age groups. While deaths are much more common in certain groups, especially above 50, 60, and 70.

While each of those steps up the risk of death, it has occurred in all age groups.

Pushing back on another earlier thought concerning reinfection. Early on, it was believed that reinfection would be quite easy. That said, we now know that those reports were from false negative test results.

Emerging data suggests that if you do have immunity to it from being exposed, you likely will retain that immunity moving forward. It will likely also last.

Key Insight: The same thought process is currently being applied to the vaccine, where one will last more than 4-5 years at a time.

What Do You Do About COVID-19?

So, what can you do about COVID-19 and what action steps exist to help keep you safe? Basically, it all surrounds this concept of isolating yourself from spreading the disease.

Key Insight: What you need to do is avoid any interaction that you reasonably can avoid.

There’s a real paradox here, though. That’s because our overall immune system is tied back to our stress response. As it happens, our stress response is worsened when we are in isolation.

So, we do need to stay away and reduce the exposure we can, but at the same time we can’t simply become hermits and expect to stay healthy and thrive.

As much as you can, please try your best to engage in real-time communication with loved ones. Those that are both with you in isolation and in your immediate network.

Reach out and call your mom, your sister, your cousin, anyone. There is good data suggesting that the more we connect the better our immunes systems work, so we should be taking advantage of this even during these difficult times.

It really does require real-time interactions, though. Social media and text messaging don’t have the same effect, so please try video calls whenever the possibility exists. It may do a great deal for your, and your loved ones’, health.

Food & Nutrition During COVID-19

We have heard a lot about certain nutrients being important, with vitamin D getting a lot of press. We do need it, there is no doubt about that. However, the data has always been that for those who have enough vitamin D, have a better immune response than others.

It’s not that vitamin D is a miracle for your immune system. Instead, the lack of it hurts your immune system and makes you more susceptible to disease overall.

It cuts the other way, too. If you have too much vitamin D, it can be harmful to your health. Excessive amounts are not productive.

For those who are on something such as the Daily Reset Pack, I would not advise seeking out more vitamin D than what you are currently getting. That is because it already has the 2000 IU built-in.

Food Preparedness

Currently, we are trying to think in terms of two-week blocks. That means having enough food for two weeks at a time, and that means stocking up on all the essentials (Read More: How To Stock Up).

That’s because things may change, and they may change rapidly, so we both need an amount of time that is both large and somewhat flexible.

Foods To Consider

The best thing to do is consider foods that have many prebiotic properties. They may have the best things to add to your diet.

It all starts with resistant starch, which includes:

  • Legumes
  • Potatoes
  • RS Complete
  • Reset Shakes

The shake is handy because it acts as a full meal, it is non-perishable (so it can last for weeks at a time), and it’s delicious.

Other items worth introducing into your diet include:

  • Culinary Spices – Garlic, ginger, turmeric (which can be frozen and used)
  • Onions – Filled with lots of good compounds
  • Mushrooms – Even the plain white cap mushrooms and dried shiitakes are great
  • Oats – Steel-cut, old fashioned, oats are a great addition to any diet

Foods To Avoid

On top of the foods you may want to consider, there are always going to be some foods that you should avoid. They are as follows:

  • Alcohol – It can depress generalized immune responses in the body
  • CBD Products – They can lessen the immune response that you want
  • Colloidal Silver – I would strongly avoid it as it is very toxic and can stain your skin
  • Bacterial probiotics – Fungal probiotics like probiotic pro are helpful for maintaining a healthy immune response. However, the data on probiotics made from bacteria like bifidobacteria or lactobacillus is mixed. They are worth avoiding unless prescribed by a physician.
  • Goldenseal/Hydrastis – The same issue as colloidal silver can be found here, too

Other Things to Consider

Beyond food, there are certainly some other things that you may want to consider. These could be as simple as batteries and flashlights, or medicines and supplements (three to six months worth of these may be a good starting point).

Last, but certainly not least, it may help to stock up on water. Having a couple weeks of water on hand is a good idea. Try and consider consuming half an ounce, per pound of body weight, every single day.

Boosting Your Immune System

If we go beyond food, water, and supplies, what else can you do to help benefit your body during the COVID-19 pandemic?

One of the best things you can do is get some sleep.

However much you have on an average day, tag an extra hour on top of that. It’s better to do that by going to bed earlier, because the hardest thing to change is your wake-up time.

Also, if you have the time for it, a nap in the middle of the day can help, too. That said, sleep is one of the biggest and most important variables to help your body become more immune.

On top of that, you should also consider some exercise. The trick here is that you want to add onto it, but not overnight. If you add too much exercise, too fast, you may end up weakening your immune system.

Try not to tag on more than 10% of what you did last week. That said, you should definitely seek to ramp up your exercise over time.

The more that you can do outside, in the sunlight, the better. I would obviously be cautious about gyms, but as long as you are practicing safe social distancing outside you should be okay.

When You’re Not Isolated

You should be isolating whenever possible. That said, when you are not isolated here are some of the action steps you should be considering immediately:

  • Staying more than six feet away from other people
  • Stick to air handshakes and air hugs at all times
  • Have some disposable gloves for pumping gas or groceries
  • Consider delivery or pick-up services (like Instacart or Prime Now)

Bottom Line: As much as possible, please try and limit your interactions with other people in a face-to-face manner. It may not seem ideal, but it will be better for all of us.

What If You Have Symptoms?

What should you do if you start experiencing some of these symptoms? That can be a really scary feeling, but please remain calm and consider the following…

If You’re Unsure

Start by considering your telemedicine options. At Integrative Health, this is an active part of our approach, and it has been so great for all of our patients.

Currently, we are exclusively using telemedicine from now until the end of March. Our doctors are available, and they can help out with some of your symptoms.

If Your Symptoms are Mild

When your symptoms are on the milder side, home care can be a great start.

That’s going to be more in line with your typical cold and flu-like symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Body Aches
  • Runny Nose

In terms of home care, first you should always have a mask if you are sharing a room or car with anyone. Next, you should be getting lots of rest and lots of fluids.

Also, give yourself some time to walk around. Even five minutes of exercise can help keep your fluids moving and benefit you. The last thing you’ll want to be is stationary for days on end.

If Your Symptoms are Severe

If you really feel as though your symptoms are getting worse, this is the only time that you should seriously consider going to the hospital.

That said, please call ahead to confirm availability. Our healthcare system is currently overwhelmed with so many people, so you should always call before you go.

This is especially important if you are within what we might consider an at-risk population, this would include those:

  • Over the age of 60
  • With chronic disease

In this case, chronic disease consists of those who be/have/had:

  • Obese
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes

All of these things can escalate the significance of COVID-19 symptoms. On top of that, though, we also have to consider some red flag symptoms.

These include:

  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath

Key Insight: If you are within an at-risk population, you should be medically evaluated and possibly hospitalized if you are experiencing these symptoms. In fact, if you have any of the red flag symptoms you should also call 9-1-1.

Keeping Up To Date On COVID-19

That’s the latest on what we know about COVID-19. The future may seem unclear right now, but I assure you that I will always share the latest information as it becomes available.

If we all take these action steps together, we can help mitigate the spread of this virus and help maintain the health of so many people. Please, join me today in taking these steps.

P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:

1. Schedule a Thyroid Second Opinion with me, Dr. C, Click Here for Details
2. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here
3. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet, The Metabolism Reset Diet and The Thyroid Reset Diet.

Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.