In a previous blog I discussed some of the “facts”, as we know them, about this viral
infection. I put the word “facts” in quotes because we are still learning about the virus, how
it behaves and how best to protect ourselves. Below I would like to share some information
about what you can and should do if you find that you have acquired the infection and are,
consequently, isolated at home.
- Drink plenty of fluids. If you have prolonged fever it can be quite dehydrating. You are
going to have to make sure you drink plenty of water. You might also want to consume a
beverage with electrolytes and even a bit of sugar. I am not a big fan of Gatorade or
Pedialyte, but beverages of that sort can be helpful. In looking at the various such drinks
that are available, I think a product called “Vitamin Water” would work well. Both it and
the Gatorade are available at most grocery stores.
- You need to isolate yourself as much as possible in your home. What this means is that,
if possible, you stay in one room, with its own bathroom, and do not come out until
your symptoms disappear or your fever has been gone for a least 3 days. Even then,
you need to observe social distancing in your home because, in the absence of testing, it
is difficult to know when you are no longer contagious. If you are able to do so, having a
nasal swab test come up negative, with a second one also negative 24 hours later, is the
gold standard. The problem is that such testing is not yet readily available. Be aware
that the most frequent way that people acquire the infection is through their own family
members or housemates. Think about what is happening in senior care facilities. You
have the deadly combination of residents and care givers in close proximity, advanced
age, and, often, other underlying health conditions.
- Have someone else take care of your pets. While they will not acquire the infection
themselves, it is throught that they can passively transmit the virus to others on their
- It is vitally important that you rest, get a good night’s sleep and also, if necessary, nap as
much as you need to. The thing to resign yourself to is that you are not going anywhere
and just allow yourself the time to rest and relax. It is typical for COVID patients to have
more energy in the morning, and to have lower, or no, fever at that time of the day, but
to have less energy and higher fever in the afternoon/evening.
- As difficult as it may be, try to limit consumption of the bad news that permeates
television, the internet and print media. Anything that increases your feelings of stress
and anxiety will lengthen your recovery.
- Make sure that you are eating plenty of healthy, natural foods, lots of vegetables and
fruit. Avoid junk food as much as possible.
- Take nutritional supplements as follows:
- A good quality multiple vitamin
- Fish oils. You should have about 3000 mg per day.
- Vitamin C is a reliable standby in all circumstances where you need to boost
immune function. Anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 mg per day might be needed.
You will know you are taking too much if you develop diarrhea. You don’t need
to worry about this one; it is water soluble and you really cannot take too much.
- Vitamin D3, 5,000 to 10,000 units a day will also boost immune function.
- Melatonin has been shown to be helpful, not just for sleep but also for creating
a sense of calm and taking stress off your adrenal glands. Some folks will take 3
mcg an hour during the day. This is sometimes referred to as an “adrenal reset”
- Another supplement that has been shown to help with viral infection is N-acetyl
cysteine (NAC). NAC is a potent antioxidant and will help you fight infection.
- Extra Zinc is helpful for your immune system.
- Echinacea, goldenseal and chaparral are herbs that have been shown to boost
- There is a vitamin company that produces organic, whole-food supplements.
Standard Process is the name of this company. They have several products that
are very effective in combating infection. Immuplex, Thymex, and Congaplex
are just three of the most popular and effective. Most chiropractors and
naturopathic doctors will either carry or be able to order them for you.
- If you have difficulty sleeping because of achiness, fever and other related
symptoms, or you are uncomfortable because of fever, then there are a number
of over-the-counter medications that can make you feel more comfortable. Be
aware that NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprophen,
Advil, Motrin are generally not recommended with COVID. If you need to take
something, then take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) as it is generally felt to be better
under these circumstances. Be aware that viruses are killed by high
temperatures. Your body knows this and is producing a fever in order to help
you fight the infection. If you can just let the fever run its course, then it is
better to do so.
- Because COVID attacks the lungs, there are some very specific things that you
can do to minimize the impact on your lungs and to prevent secondary
pneumonia, one of the main causes of death with this disease. If you follow this
link you will see a very helpful video presentation done by a doctor at Queens
Hospital in the UK. https://youtu.be/HwLzAdriec0
- A prominent respiratory therapist has also written her recommendations for
what to do. Take a look:
- You must keep your lungs moist. Best done by taking long steamy
showers on a regular basis. If you are wheezing or congested, use a real
minty toothpaste and brush your teeth while taking the steamy shower
and deep breathe through your mouth. This will provide some bronchial
dilation and help loosen the phlegm. Force yourself to cough into a wet
wash cloth pressed firmly over your mouth and nose, which will cause
greater pressure in your lungs forcing them to expand more and break
loose more of the congestion.
- Once the fever breaks, start moving around to get the body back in
shape and blood circulating.
- Deep breathe on a regular basis, even when it hurts. If you don’t, it
becomes easier to develop pneumonia. Pursed lip breathing really
helps. You breathe in deep and slow then exhale through tight lips as if
you are blowing out a candle. Blow until you have completely emptied
your lungs and you will be able to breathe in an even deeper breath
next time you inhale. This helps keep lungs expanded as well as increase
your oxygen level.
- If, despite all of the above measures, you still have difficulty breathing
on even mild exertion and your respiratory rate, the number of breaths
per minute, is in the high 20s, then it is time to go to the hospital.
- You must keep your lungs moist. Best done by taking long steamy
I hope the above is helpful for you, your friends and loved ones. I speak from experience on this subject
because both my wife and I are COVID positive. We are in our 60s and are coming out the other side of
this. We are either doing, or did, all of the above as part of our recovery. Please realize that this
disease can have quite a long tail and it can take an unexpectedly long time to recover.
Tim Fargo D.C.