Helpful Resources To Protect Yourself, Stay Safe, Boost Your Immune System, and More During The Coronavirus Crisis
Like me, you’ve probably spent a ton of time online consuming all manner of articles, blogs, videos, interviews, podcasts, social media posts, you name it, all about coronavirus. There’s a plethora of terrific, helpful and fascinating information out there. And, there’s also a lot of misinformation. I really encourage all of us to due our own due diligence.
Table of Contents
- Stay Safe Daily
- Get Groceries and Takeout Food Safely
- Boost Your Immune System
- Understand How Long The Virus Can Survive
- Be Aware Of The Symptoms
- Coronavirus Truth and Fiction — by Gregg Braden
- Staying Conscious in the Face of Adversity — with Eckhart Tolle
I’m a very proactive researcher and I like to uncover the deepest truth, get to the source and provide proper credit for citations. And, I like to learn grounded, practical steps + a blend of powerful, spiritual principles.
I’ve put this post together as a means to share the practical steps I’m taking myself personally to stay as safe and healthy as possible. I live in San Diego, California, have no symptoms, and have chosen to be self quarantined since March 12, 2020, so am now well into my third week. Our California Governor, Gavin Newsom, mandated a lockdown for our state a full week later on March 19. I chose to be an ‘early adopter’ and self-govern after heeding warnings by my friends and fellow leaders, Daniel Schmachtenberger, Steve Pavlina, Chris Penn, and others, all of whom have been sounding the alarm since January or earlier.
I bought a small number of respirator masks back on January 30 and made sure I had the usual paper goods stocked up, but not too crazy. I did have to make a short trip to Scotland on February 21 for four days for a family matter, came back to San Diego and spoke at Social Media Marketing World on March 1–3, with 4,000 attendees (which, quite possibly, was the last major conference in the USA). I wore gloves the whole time, nobody shook hands and the hand sanitizer was flowing abundantly. Followed by another short trip to be with family on Vancouver Island, March 6–9. I’m certainly grateful I was able to safely complete these trips and events before the major travel bans and lockdowns. But now, we’re in for the duration.
“We’re going to be in this for a while…. I worry…. We’re handling this like it’s a ‘corona-blizzard.’ This is a ‘coronavirus-winter.’ We’re going to have the next three months, six months or more that are going to be like this.”— Michael Osterholm, internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology; director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). Author of “Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Deadly Germs.” Speaking with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast/show #1439 March 10, 2020 (with 13.3M+ views).
[By the way, if we haven’t connected before now, here’s a brief introduction: I’m the premier Facebook marketing expert, often referred to as ‘the Queen of Facebook.’ I’m a top social media influencer, thought leader, international public speaker, trainer, strategic consultant, brand ambassador, and author of The New Relationship Marketing. I’m also a founding member of the Association of Transformational Leaders Southern California Chapter, and a member of the Transformational Leadership Council. I’m a Canadian-born Scot, raised in a small Quaker community in rural BC, Canada. I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland for 20 years before emigrating to San Diego, CA in 1999. I care with a passion about my fellow human beings on our beautiful planet.]
STAY SAFE DAILY
The animation below by Toby Morris illustrates why it’s critical that we adhere to physical distancing (self-isolation/quarantine/lockdown) until it truly makes practical sense to ease up. That is not likely to be within a couple of weeks when government authorities may begin lifting lockdowns, or even within a couple months. So, we must use our own common sense and not take risks for ourselves or our loved ones. Yes, millions of people around the globe are gravely worried about their livelihoods right now, understandably so. Right now, we need to focus on saving lives, as Indian yogi and mystic Sadhguru says.
Follow these practical steps to the best of your ability:
- Stay home. Everybody knows this by now. But, we must understand the bigger picture of why physical social distancing is so vital. It’s not just avoiding human contact, it’s avoiding contact with where potential asymptomatic or symptomatic COVD-19 virus carriers may have touched or even just exhaled within your proximity. (See the section below on Understand How Long The Virus Can Survive). Be absolutely vigilant with yourself and your family. Absolutely zero non-essential contact with anyone. Adhere to your region/state/country’s lockdown mandate. But, also make your own sensible choices about extending the lockdown period for as long as may be necessary to stay healthy.
- Get food delivered. If you can, in order to minimize contact with others, get fresh groceries delivered and prepare your own food at home. But be careful of how you receive any and all packages into your home. Food ordering and delivery apps and services include: Instacart, Ubereats, GrubHub, DoorDash, ChowNow, Postmates. See the section below on getting groceries and takeout food safely.
- Shop for groceries with EXTREME care. If having your groceries delivered is not an option where you live (or for other reasons), adhere to the Safe Grocery Shopping suggestions made by Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, MD’s video (detailed in the section below). When you do make a trip to the market, do your best to stock up for 14 days or more, if at all possible. Get more dried, tinned and frozen food to last longer.
- Cancel all nonessential appointments. Everything can wait until it’s safer. Haircuts, manicures, dental care, the works. If something is truly an emergency that you have to go out, obviously it’s up to you to decide at the time. Just do not put your own life or your family members’ lives in danger because you get ‘cabin fever.’
- Sanitize everything. Hopefully, you’re staying home for the duration of the lockdown, longer if needed. However, if you do absolutely have to make any trips outside the house, be mindful of anything that anyone may have touched, such as ATM machines, gas pumps, credit card machines, elevator buttons, etc. Use sanitizing wipes. Also, if a member of your household is the one making the outside trip, ensure they exercise extreme caution whilst out and then thoroughly wash up upon their return.
Several of these tips were inspired by Jason Warner. I’ve learned a lot from his posts over the past couple weeks; he is a deep thinker and researcher. I recommend following him on Facebook and/or Medium. Definitely read Jason’s latest article:
Why There Are More People With COVID In Your Town Than You Think
Other posts to read with explain the pandemic.
Many people, including those in government, are still misunderstanding the problem, the math, and looking at CONFIRMED case counts, which mean very little and make it seem like things are less severe than they are. Many leaders don’t fully understand the math. I know because I was on a call with an Oregon State Senator on Sunday. Many people do not understand that partial lockdowns are actually more harmful financially than a full lockdown. — Jason Warner
GET GROCERIES & TAKEOUT FOOD SAFELY
Coronavirus can last in the air for up to three hours (from someone that may be carrying the virus coughing, sneezing or even exhaling), up to 24 hours on cardboard, two to three days on stainless steel and up to three days on plastic surfaces. (See the section below on understanding how long the coronavirus can survive based on studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine). Therefore, we must be vigilant about anything that comes into the house via deliveries, as well as making a trip to the grocery store if it’s simply not possible to have groceries delivered.
As and when you do go out for groceries, or receive either grocery or takeout food deliveries, adopt the “sterile technique” — a precedent that doctors use in the medical field to prevent patients getting infections.
Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, MD — a family physician from Grand Rapids, MI, USA with 20 years’ experience generously recorded the “PSA Safe Grocery Shopping in COVID-19 Pandemic” video which now has ~20M views. Watch the full video embedded above. Here are a few key excerpts.
Imagine that your groceries are covered with some glitter. Your goal at the end of the sterile technique is to not have any glitter in your house, on your hands or especially on your face. Imagine that disinfectants and soaps have the power to dissolve that glitter. — Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, MD
- Plan out two weeks of groceries; make your shopping list.
- Wipe down your cart with a sanitizing wipe.
- Commit to adding items to your cart; touch as few items and surfaces in the store as possible.
- When you get home, consider leaving groceries in your garage (or porch) for three days, if at all feasible. Get items as needed and sanitize when bringing them into the house. Of course, frozen foods and items that need to be refrigerated, will need to be handled right away. Sanitize using the the steps below.
- Sanitize your kitchen table/counter top with disinfectant.
- Wipe down all plastic wrapping and packaging with your disinfectant-saturated cloth.
- Take items out of their cardboard boxes and put the interior plastic bag into your cupboard, e.g. cereal. Throw away exterior boxes.
- Consider opening cardboard or plastic wrapping/packages and placing the contents into containers without touching the food, e.g. bread.
Do not do this:
- Do not go to the store if you have any respiratory symptoms.
- Do not allow anyone over the age of 60, and/or with compromised immune systems, to go to the store, if at all feasible.
- Do not let delivery services come in to your house; have them leave packages outside.
For takeout food/delivery:
- Ensure your table/countertop is sanitized, and set out clean plates.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds.
- Open up the food packaging, take off the wrappers and do your best to place the food onto the plates without touching it. Discard all packaging safely.
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
One of the most important and proactive steps we can each take every day, to the best of our ability, is build a strong immune system. In its simplest form, that includes eating a healthy, nourishing diet; getting regular exercise; spending some time in nature; connecting with loved ones (virtually counts!); and getting regular, deep, restorative sleep. Also, having a daily spiritual practice, and expressing emotions in a healthy way, not keeping them bottled up. Consider keeping a gratitude journal, learning meditation, using great apps like Insight Timer, Calm or follow anything from HeartMath.
“If you hear optimism in my voice, my global family, it’s because what I want to say to you right now is you are absolutely wired, WIRED, for times just like this. And, your body knows exactly what to do. The key is to keep our bodies STRONG enough to allow our bodies to do what they are designed to do. When some kind of contagion is introduced in the body, our bodies are designed to identify that and then create the antibodies specific to that contagion.” — Gregg Braden, scientist, visionary, scholar, author.
I’m not a health professional and am not dispensing medical advice here. However, as someone who has invested a ton of money over the years into keeping my own vitality, learning from a variety of functional/integrative medicine specialists, alternative healers and the likes, I can tell you that I know the health of our immune system all begins in the gut. And, we need to do whatever we can to reduce inflammation in the body.
If you can possibly eat more ‘clean’ right now, in particular, this can make a big difference over time. Go more plant-based with alkalizing food choices, plenty vegetables, nuts, seeds, low-starch beans, grains. Overall, a nourishing, balanced diet. For all ye meat eaters, consider going even one or two (or more) days per week without any meat. I am not quite fully vegan or vegetarian myself. I call myself a flexitarian.
Strive to reduce sugar and alcohol as much as you can. Both can create inflammation in the body. Consider eliminating gluten products also, and anything at all that is refined, modified, overly processed, or has a bunch of additives that you can’t even pronounce. I know, I know… whilst on lockdown, going stir crazy and experiencing cabin fever, you’re going to want to reach for those sugary and starchy snacks as comfort food. But, what if you used this time to take much, much better care of your health on all levels? It might just save your life!
I have to share that I’ve done more cooking in the past ten days than I have in the previous ten years. And, I love to cook and bake! My father was a baker and I grew up eating homemade bread and all manner of cakes, cookies and treats. Uhoh, delicious… but not good for the gut, I can tell you!
Thanks to my InstantPot, I’ve been cooking up delicious, healthy meals in batches and freezing. It doesn’t take long at all.
The Kind Gut Program
Back in early January, I worked with Dr. Lisa Sulsenti and went through her “Kind Gut” program, which made a big difference to my overall health. I invested in the full battery of tests for food sensitivities and for ensuring I had the right balance of gut flora. I always knew I didn’t do too well if I ate gluten, but my bloodwork confirmed for sure I have to avoid it, along with a few other items like almonds and cashews — both of which I’d been consuming almost daily as nut butters. Everyone is different, of course. What does and doesn’t work for me, will be different for you. Dr. Sulsenti is based in New Jersey — we’ve never met in person and I did her entire program virtually. And that was all before the pandemic and lockdown really hit us all!
Health Experts Show You How to Protect Your Immune System — Health Theory with Tom Bilyeu
I’m also a big fan of Tom Bilyeu’s YouTube channel. Tom is the co-founder and host of the Impact Theory TV show and co-founder Quest Nutrition. He has some of the most fascinating experts on his shows. In this recent video, Tom put together a variety of clips from interviews with health experts and MDs talking about gut health, in particular: Naveen Jain, Dr. Steven Gundry, Rangan Chatterjee, Jillian Teta, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Jolene Brighten.
Boosting Supplement Intake
Scientist and biologist, Dr. V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai, PhD, has a solution for coronavirus that involves dividing the population into four categories and providing personalized protocols for each group. Dr. Ayyadurai’s recommendations comprise high doses of Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Iodine/Iodide. If this is of interest to you, see his Proposed Immune and Economic Health Solution for America. NOTE: I am not endorsing nor recommending Dr. Ayyadurai or his work or suggestions. You must do your own due diligence/research. Personally, I am a fan of taking extra Vitamins C, A and D, along with numerous other natural/herbal protocols. I like to take liposomal Vitamin C in little ‘gel packs.’
UNDERSTAND HOW LONG THE VIRUS CAN SURVIVE
How long can the novel coronavirus survive on surfaces and in the air? Coronavirus can last in the air for up to three hours (from someone that may be carrying the virus coughing, sneezing or even exhaling), up to 24 hours on cardboard, two to three days on stainless steel and up to three days on plastic surfaces.
See the chart below (based on research by the New England Journal of Medicine), and this article from copper water bottle maker, Copper H2O
The anti-bacteria and anti-viral nature of copper was discovered long before the outbreak of the Coronavirus. It was discovered centuries ago by ancient civilizations which led to the use of copper in various health applications, including in water vessels to purify drinking water. In modern times, copper has been the subject of numerous studies by the scientific community as well as attention from the World Health Organization. — Copperh20.com
See also this chart and article from The Economist on March 19, 2020.
BE AWARE OF THE SYMPTOMS
Make sure you can tell the difference between the coronavirus, the flu, a cold or seasonal allergies. See this chart and article from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:
UNDERSTAND THE COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS
Scientist, Gregg Braden on “Truth and Fiction Coronavirus”
This video is one of the most informative, practical and helpful videos that I’ve seen so far on the coronavirus. Definitely well worth watching the entire video. Definitely also watch Gregg’s follow up video with Q&A.
Once you’ve continued to take all the necessary, practical precautions, here is a message from a more personal, spiritual standpoint…
STAYING CONSCIOUS IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
A Special Message From Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle is a respected spiritual teacher and bestselling author of The Power Of Now and A New Earth. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting him in person when he spoke for my Association of Transformational Leaders’ group several years back.
If there was ever a time to learn how to stay present and conscious — processing our fears and grief with great compassion — this is it.
I enjoyed this message from Eckhart and have also been tuning in to Indian yogi and mystic, Sadhguru’s daily darshans during this crisis. He keeps me grounded. :)
LET’S CONNECT ON FACEBOOK
You can reach me via my Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter, or Messenger. And, do come join my ‘Social Scoop’ community on Facebook with ~9k members: receive updates and news about Facebook, Instagram, social media marketing, managing the coronavirus from a business and marketing perspective, plenty peer support and more.
DISCLAIMER: Mari Smith is not a doctor or healthcare practitioner and is in no way providing medical advice of any kind whatsoever. Please contact your heath care provider regarding your diet, exercise, supplements or life choices.
May you and all your loved ones stay safe, calm and protected during these unprecedented times. May we all consciously co-create a new reality in the coming months that will make the next generations proud.