How Do You Protect Yourself from the Corona-virus and Get Your Partner To Do The Same.

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Couple Hugging with the Sunset Between ThemI knew early on that information was going to be important to me and everyone else.  So I hope you find illumination in these pages to keep you safe, healthy,  inspired and happy.

In early February,  my husband said that the corona virus finally got his attention. I thought to myself, “Yea, now I can more easily protect him,” as he and I were discussing the coming wave of cases and the way people were not protecting themselves.   As a registered nurse I want to know as much as I can, so I can do what my medical education, has taught me to do.  Also personally, the more facts I have about this disease, and the situation we are in, the more I can figure out what I need to do to protect myself, and those around me.  I had been learning a great deal and I wanted to share that with friends, family, patients and you.

My husband and I had been having regular conversations about the Covid-19 issue. Especially because in the beginning there was very little information and some disinformation. We didn’t realize how much it was in the air and masks were for the health care workers.  I not only wanted to know what to do but I wanted to build in habits that would be easy to maintain when things got worse. As I went to various in person meetings and was out in public, I could see how people were on one hand panicked and buying up, before noon, all the toilet paper, paper towels and sanitizing gel at the warehouse store. Yet not taking other needed steps to protect themselves or each other.
At the  groups I attended, some were openly coughing without using a Kleenex or even having a Kleenex. Then out and about no one seemed to be doing anything different at the gas pump. To be fair I tried to wipe down the pump but noted that I couldn’t help but touch too many areas on the pump pipe and handle to make that reasonable.The challenge got my husband thinking. (Men are goal oriented and like making suggestions which is a major skill). He suggested that I instead use a hand sanitizer afterwards which I had done, but I wanted him engaged in this thinking process because I wanted him to have good habits too. Though I also knew hand sanitizers were in short supply at that time.
Besides being a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I am a retired Registered Nurse and so gathering as much information as I could to protect myself and all those I love and care about is important. All relationships are unique and mine is no exception.  Even though I am a medical professional and my husband is very educated as well,  I have been having challenges with him for years about getting his flu shot.  But finally this last fall he got one.    Of course, then he enjoyed telling me that it was likely only 40% effective. (update: we both received an other flu shot early this year (fall 2020) noting that during the pandemic even a flu shot that is 40% effective is worth it.)
First, Here Is the Bottom Line:
This is a new disease, and no one has immunity to it. So this disease needs to be respected and not downplayed. But also like the flu many people get it and get over it.  Even though the death rate is higher than the flu, it is good to keep in mind that  a 103 year old woman did recover from it. (view source) Why is not known entirely but we do know that when your immune system is strong you have a better fighting chance. That is why children (in general) and young people do better than people over 65.  (update: it is the immune system that creates the cytokine storm that is so dangerous and can be fatal to children)  Additionally, Covid-19 effects the lungs, so it is more dangerous if you have any lung or heart issues.
The amount of a pathogen (virus) you encounter can matter,  those who have good hygiene practices are more likely to contact a smaller dose of the virus, so their immune system can fight it off more easily therefore they get less sick. Once test kits are available, we will find out how much Covid-19 is out there in the general public. And we will learn more about the virus its self. You need to protect you and yours now by being ready for it, learn as much as you can, but please also do things to lessen your stress levels too because stress lowers your immunity levels and  there are things you can do .  There are ways to protect yourself and ways to decrease stress in this article.
What Exactly are the Symptoms?
It is helpful to know the symptoms but here is the update a lot of people are asymptomatic and can spread it to you without them knowing they are sick and spreading the disease. THAT IS WHY MASKS ARE SO IMPORTANT!

For me and I know for my patients, if you know what to look in yourself, It is easier to be less afraid of every other possible symptom.

So this is what I heard Dr. Natalie Azar, MSNBC contributing Doctor, say in mid March:

(some statements are directly from her and some I have paraphrased)

Symptoms of Corona Virus:

Initially it is in the upper respiratory system. For people who get into trouble it travels down into the airways, into the lungs where they then develop pneumonia.

How does it feel:

Stuffiness and dry throat were in the minority. Instead the most common early symptoms are a dry cough, fatigue, malaise, and achiness.  It is different than the flu in that it lingers rather than hitting you like a truck shortly after first symptoms. So, a few days of those lingering symptoms people can develop shortness of breath at about day 5. It is after that, for those that become more ill, that pneumonia can set in.  “We know now that people can have no symptoms or have mild symptoms”. However, if you have any of these 4 symptoms call your doctor: Trouble Breathing, Chest Pain, Intractable Vomiting or Diarrhea, High Fever. (these are not specific advice to the corona virus in particular but mainly general advice as to why you should call your doctor).

Still true:   Develop Positive Habits:
1) Don’t shake hands. It is now fashionable to just nod at each other and stay 6 feet apart from each other.
2) Wash your hands with soap and water regularly for 20 seconds whenever possible or use an over 60% alcohol sanitizer (if you can get it but read consumer reports article (source) ).  Also wash the palms of your hands more than your whole hand so your hands do not get chapped.
3) When available use hand sanitizer when you are out.  Make it easily available so your partner and kids will use it when you are out.
4) WEAR A FACE MASK,  Update:  Now we know face masks worn over nose and mouth protects both you and others. (I wish they had been able to say this in the beginning of the pandemic)
5) Be conscious of what you are touching and when. Have you just come from the store and touched a lot of things? Wash your hands with soap and water the moment you get home.
6) Deal with your fear and anxiety through exercise (increases endorphins your body’s natural morphine), and relaxation techniques like meditation, self-hypnosis or certain religious practices. The ability to relax in this way increases circulation and helps your body fight diseases better. Click Here for Free Relaxing Moment Self-Hypnosis Mp3)
7) Those with weak immune systems, the elderly (some are saying over 60) and those with respiratory challenges are the most vulnerable and should be especially careful. So, work from home if you can. Stay away from large crowds, wear a mask and wash hands religiously. (source)
How long can the Corona virus stay on surfaces?

“The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable:
In aerosols for up to three hours
Up to four hours on copper
Up to 24 hours on cardboard
And up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel”. (SOURCE)

What this means to you.
In aerosols for up to three hours: It means when people sneeze or cough droplets of the virus are still there in the air for up to 3 hours and you can breath them in if you are at that spot with in those 3 hours. That is why you stay at home if you are sick. That is why when people isolate and don’t go into public they are less likely to get the virus.

Up to four hours on copper: For instance the copper penny. This is why not touching your face and washing your hands are so important.

Up to 24 hours on cardboard: Receive your mailed or bought package put it someplace where it can sit for 24 hours, wash your hands, open it, wash your hands again then take what is inside out. After that you can let the box sit for 24 hours or dispose of it but be sure to wash your hands.

And up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel: These are surfaces that can be cleaned with 70% alcohol or with a common house hold cleaner.

Keep Yourself Healthy Through Your Diet.
Eat a variety of foods especially fruits and vegetables I am told eat the rainbow. There is some scientific indication that Zinc helps you get rid of a cold more quickly and that it should be in your diet or ordinary supplements to keep your immune systems doing well.  (Source)
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) quantities of zinc have been established for boys and men age 14 and older, 11 mg/day; women 19 and older, 8 mg/day; pregnant women 14 to 18, 13 mg/day; pregnant women 19 and older, 11 mg/day; lactating women 14 to 18, 14 mg/day; lactating women 19 and older, 12 mg/day. Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) of zinc for people who are not receiving zinc under medical supervision: adults 19 years and older (including pregnancy and lactation), 40 mg/day. The typical North American male consumes about 13 mg/day of dietary zinc; women consume approximately 9 mg/day. Different salt forms provide different amounts of elemental zinc. Zinc sulfate contains 23% elemental zinc; 220 mg zinc sulfate contains 50 mg zinc. Zinc gluconate contains 14.3% elemental zinc; 10 mg zinc gluconate contains 1.43 mg zinc. (Source)
For the common cold:
One zinc gluconate or acetate lozenge, providing 4.5-24 mg elemental zinc, dissolved in the mouth every two hours while awake as long as cold symptoms are present.What is the best form of zinc to take?Because it’s one of the most widely available and cost-effective forms of zinc, zinc gluconate can be a good option to help bump up your intake without breaking your bank. However, if you’re able to invest a bit more, zinc picolinate may be better absorbed. Janurary 10, 2019   (Source)
A class I attended on nutrition didn’t recommend much in the way of vitamins and minerals.
Though, to me if they dissolve in water, they are vitamins and minerals that will get into your body instead of going straight through you. However there was one he recommended which was called B-Right by Jarrow. I recommend it to my patients who are stressed or depressed and they report that it helps a great deal.
Keep Yourself Healthy Through Alternative Medicine.
Here is a friend of mine who is amazing and effective. She is American Indian trained by the elders of her tribe and also an Licensed Clinical Social worker (LCSW)
Recorded Coronavirus Sound Healing Session—Free Gift
People all over the world are already using Misa’s Virus Defense and Immune Builder recordings (available separately or as part of the Cold, Flu and Allergies Sound Healing set) to help prevent or release viruses.When Misa checked in about the coronavirus, she intuited that she needed to create new healing sounds specifically for this dangerous virus. If you travel a lot or think you might have been exposed, these sacred sounds—along with other prudent precautions, of course—can provide you with some peace of mind. Misa is making this brand-new Sound Healing Session available to you as a free gift right now.
Download it and invite friends to come do the same.
Just use coupon code PROTECT2020 at checkout to get it for free:
Please forward this to friends, so we can all get sound healing support.
Phototherapy Patch Technology.
My husband and I have been using these for quite some time to get over colds more quickly, clear my mind, have energy and specifically for my husband to recover from surgery. It is patches that you apply to the skin. A close friend likens it to letting light into the body for heightened awareness and healing.  Here is My Link For You or to  learn more.