COPING WITH COVID SERIES: INTRODUCTION
In this series I call Coping With COVID, I am going to go through six videos and blogs to cover some important topics. In this first installment, I am just going to give you an overview of what to expect in the coming posts.
INSTALLMENT #1: FRONT-LINE NATURAL STRATEGIES FOR SUPPORTING PATIENTS WITH COVID:
In the next installment, I will be talking about front-line therapies in the management of COVID-19. I am going to be discussing some of the things that I’ve seen be most useful. Some of these are the more traditional things that we have heard about from the very beginning that at first were somewhat speculative, for example, what types of vitamins and nutrients may be the most effective? The exciting news is, that there’s been some recent research released validating the use of some of these vitamins and nutrients for COVID-19. When this started, we just suspected that based on their research for other viral illnesses and the way that they impacted the immune system in previous human and animal studies, they’d be useful, but we didn’t have the data. Now the data is starting to come out and really validate some of the early recommendations that are proving to be especially useful in helping to support people through this.
We are also going to review some other things that are a little bit more cutting edge that I’ve been using in the practice that you’re not going to hear about in the mainstream narrative. These are not treatments, as no treatments have been proven for COVID-19. I call them supportive therapies. They are not curing the disease, what they are doing is supporting people through the viral illness and helping people reduce risk of more severe complications and supporting a faster recovery.
INSTALLMENT #3, #4, #5: DAILY PRACTICES FOR BOOSTING IMMUNE FUNCTION AND NOURISHING VITALITY:
In the third, fourth and fifth installment, I am going to be covering some especially useful and important lifestyle and daily habits that you can do at home to achieve two important goals. First, they are designed to support your immune system, clearly an important issue when dealing with this pandemic. Secondly, and more importantly, I want to stress and help everyone understand that these at home daily practices and habits are fundamentally geared at nourishing your inherent vitality on a very deep level. The more vital and healthy you are, of course, the better your immune function.
Some of them are focused on general vitality, but I have carefully selected the ones I am going to review with you because of their specific benefits to the immune system.
We know and understand that yes, this virus is new. That’s why it’s called the novel Coronavirus. And as a result, we do not have preexisting antibodies, which makes it very dangerous and is why it’s spreading so rapidly. However, that does not mean that our immune system is helpless against. Our immune system actually has a way of interacting with the virus, learning how to defeat it, and in some people, defeating it quite quickly before they even develop symptoms. This is exactly why up to 80% of people have mild symptoms, moderate symptoms, or no symptoms at all and proves that the functionality and utility of our immune system is critical now. Yes, we still need to rush to try and develop other therapies and other ways of preventing and treating it because there are going to be people, no matter how healthy their immune system is, that still fall ill to the viral infection. However, there is a huge number of people where the severity of their disease or even their chances of getting it in the first place after an exposure, might be significantly reduced if their immune systems are healthier and more resilient.
The other important aspect of these therapies is to deeply nourish the inherent vitality of your body. We’ve seen now in the majority of data coming out of the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York, that the vast majority of people that are suffering the most severe complications, yes, are the elderly, but aside from that, are people with significant preexisting health conditions. Hypertension and heart disease are at the very top as well as diabetes. These are diseases in my opinion of poor vitality, often resulting from poor lifestyle choices related to nutrition, diet, exercise, and overall improper care for our body. Ample research over the past several decades clearly shows that lifestyle is the most powerful tool in combating the chronic disease epidemic facing Americans.
All of the things that I’m going to talk to you about in installments three, four and five are easy tools you can implement right away to support your overall health. And yes, they are also proven to improve your immune function as well.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE; BE GENTLE ON YOURSELF DURING STRESSFUL TIMES:
During quarantine, we are all under a significant amount of increased stress for whatever reason. Maybe job loss, maybe trying to work your job from home, homeschooling kids, being sick, worrying about somebody that is sick, we are all under a lot of stress. So I want to assure you, that my messaging to the community and to my patients right now is; let’s focus on a few things we can implement every day that are deeply supportive to your health. Let’s not spend our time talking about all the don’ts and the things that you shouldn’t be doing because let’s face it, when we’re under a lot of stress, we do the best that we can to cope. I have found that if people are motivated to start implementing a few things that are very supportive for their health, they actually start to become more self-aware of the things that they’re doing that may not be great for their health. This is the fist step towards positive change.
INSTALLMENT #6: A DISCUSSION OF COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING:
In this sixth installment, I am going to be talking about antibody testing. Now that antibody testing is widely available, I know of at least 12 different labs that are offering COVID-19 antibody tests and people are excited to get them, myself included. I believe that I was possibly exposed to COVID. I believe I may have had a mild case of it, but I don’t know. So these antibody tests can start to be really useful in helping us to understand if our immune system has seen this virus before, which may indicate some improved immune reaction on a future exposure, which is really important as we start working towards transitioning back into a more normal daily routine.
ARE ANTIBODY TESTS ACCURATE?
It is very important for people to understand the pros and cons and how to properly interpret and utilize the results of an antibody test within the general context of what does this mean for me and my behavior. None of the tests available to date have been fully vetted by the FDA. They are available under EUA status, which is Emergency Use Authorization where we can rush some things to market and bypass some of the traditional FDA guidelines used to determine efficacy. There is a very wide variety of how these labs operate to get the specificity and sensitivity correct for the testing of antibodies to COVID-19. There are different types of antibodies that different labs are using and they are testing those different antibodies to different fragments of the virus. In addition, some labs are basing their accuracy on very large sample sizes, which is of course a better database than labs that are working on very small sample sizes. These are really important issues and play a huge factor in determining the accuracy and usefulness of an antibody test. And because my clinic will be offering antibody testing starting next week, I really want to provide some education about how to use these tests and how they might be useful for you.
So that is pretty much it. In these next installments, we are going to be covering all those topics. They’ll be released over the course of the next week, so please keep checking the email or my website to keep updated on them. I am committed to doing everything I can to try and be a positive support for the community at this time when everyone is in need of support related to their health, whether it’s anxiety or directly related to COVID-19. So please let me know what you want to hear about. I’m happy to listen to people’s suggestions and come up with videos and blogs that are the most useful for what the community needs. So I hope these are helpful and I look forward to educating you all about these topics in the weeks to come.
In Health, Dr. Passero