Meghan McGovern, M.D., FACS
Recommendations from Dr. McGovern for protecting yourself from COVID-19.
Many of the patients who have become more severely ill have had comorbid diseases, especially diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. One of the things that increases the risk of these is insulin resistance. As my recommendations for nutrition are specifically designed to improve insulin sensitivity, recommending what I already do is super easy for me: the two books I live by and recommend are The Calorie Myth (Jonathan Bailor) and the Obesity Code (Dr. Jason Fung). The basics of what I do personally:
- Lots of vegetables (aim for 8-10 servings per day), protein (4-6 servings per day), fruits (2-4 servings per day), and nuts (2-4 servings per day). If quarantines happen, nutrition may become more difficult, so building up your reserves is good, as is having food at your house to feed everyone for 2-4 weeks – or more if you are a prepper).
- Intermittent fasting: I personally do 16/8, but some people do 18/6 (I find it difficult to achieve adequate nutrition long term with this tight a window). For me this translates to: don’t eat before 12 noon, eat between 12 noon and 8 pm, and do not eat after 8 pm.
- My family and I personally take collagen powder, Juice Plus vitamins, and we are taking Vitamin D 5,000U per day, Vitamin C 1000mg per day (the one we have contains zinc as well). In addition, zinc lozenges may help while traveling (the ones that are recommended for prevention when exposed to colds).
- Talk to your primary care doctor about getting 3 months worth of medications that you take regularly.
- Make sure you have raw honey and paper tape for wounds, etc. (you know me!)
- Stock up on first aid items and toiletries for you and your family.
Find other ways to greet people besides handshakes and hugs. As a hugger, I struggle with this one. As much as I wish the Vulcan greeting would take off, alternatives suggested have been elbow bumps (but we are also told to sneeze into our elbow, so I am not in favor of this one personally), fist bumps, air bumps, and at volleyball games I have seen foot bumps, which will definitively end in me having a broken 😉 so not that one…) My own personal favorite at the moment is shaking my own hands as I greet people so that I keep myself from touching anyone. I seem to be adding a little bow to it…maybe the Asians who do this have it right!
Touching your face: stop it! Seriously, I had no idea how often I touch my face till I started paying attention to this. Be aware, be careful, try to stop touching your face. After you have touched doorknobs, light switches, car doors, etc. etc. use hand sanitizer or wash your hands.
When possible, walk around outside in nature, in noncrowded areas, and get some fresh air and sunshine.
If staff get sick, please use good judgment and avoid bringing it to the office. If they are mildly ill but feel up to working, use good hand hygiene, and have a low threshold to leave the office if symptoms worsen. Use a mask if you are sneezing or coughing, do not contaminate those around you. If you sneeze or cough, wash well before touching anything. Use hand sanitizer when walking in and walking out of exam rooms (always, not only when sick).
Highly recommend our IV hydration therapies to improve well being, but if they are too ill to be here, there are many recipes for oral hydration. If we are indeed quarantined, the following may be helpful:
Oral Rehydration Solution
- 1 quart of water
- ½ teaspoon each of table salt, no salt (KCl), baking soda, and 2 Tablespoons of sugar
- 1 quart water
- ¾ teaspoon table salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Optional: Crystal Light® to taste (especially lemonade or orange-pineapple flavors)
Emergency Supplies to Stock Up On at Home
- Charcoal briquets, lighter, and/or wood
- Bug spray
- Toiletries and paper towels
- Bleach (including bleach crystals that can be reconstituted in water)
- Hand sanitizer
- Arm and Hammer baking soda
- Dawn dish soap
- Laundry detergent
- Soaps, shampoo/conditioner, etc.
- Raw honey and paper tape
- Marshmallows and chocolate, perhaps even some graham crackers (every emergency needs some comfort…pick yours!)
- Large supply of necessary medications
- Coffee/tea and supplies to make it
- Protein powder
- Bulk foods