Unless you truly have your head in the sand, you are all aware that corona virus (COVID-19) is more than likely coming your way. First of all, for most of you, RELAX! It’s a flu virus, and unless you are somehow immunocompromised (not as resistant to disease and infection as you should be; for example taking heart medication, diabetic, overweight, sleeping poorly – less than 7 hours per night of sound sleep, or have any dental/gum infection) you will be fine. You may get miserably sick, but you are not going to die!

The absolute very best thing you can do for yourself right now is to be healthy – eat right, exercise more, stress less, and nurture your relationships. As you have been hearing me say, eating right starts with avoiding “toxic white stuff” – sugar, white flour, white rice – and eating more super foods/”G-bombs” – cruciferous Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds/nuts.

I’m not going to write a whole treatise on healthy living here, for that I will again encourage you to 1) read Dr. Dean Ornish’s great book UnDo It! And 2) if you think you could benefit from a little help implementing anything you read about there, enroll in the most successful home-based lifestyle coaching program on the planet – see CHIPonline.NET. Following these recommendations will greatly boost your immune system and resistance to infection, keeping your symptoms to a bare minimum should you happen to become infected.

For those who are immunocompromised, healthcare workers, or those who may have contact with either of those, I would also encourage you to take the following recommendations from Dr. Linda Gibson to heart.

As some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.
The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread by mid to late March and April.
Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons…

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.
7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

I hope this helps give you some peace of mind and a plan of action. These are things that I am doing and you can also do to take control of your own health, without depending on some governmental bureaucracy. Just be smart, and don’t let media hyperbole ruin your day! (Remember, they are never happier than when they have you scared into gluing yourself to that boob tube.)

P.S. COVID-19 and the office: As with every other dental office, we see contagious patients all the time with much more dangerous infections – like AIDS and hepatitis for example. And the “universal precautions” we practice every day are more than adequate to protect you from coronaviruses of any kind when you are here. Again – relax, be happy! Follow the above recommendations when in the public restroom and trust us in the office; you’ll be fine.