Protect Yourself During the Current Health Crisis
We’re all wrestling with the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our families and communities. As you might expect, our office is receiving frequent questions about the current healthcare challenge. The questions seem to fall into three general categories. We’ll use this month’s blog to address those.
- What steps can you take in your day to day life to reduce your chance of infection?
- What steps can you take to support your immune system and help your body fight the infection?
- What actions are we taking to reduce our patients' risk of exposure and what hours will our clinic be open?
1. Reduce your chance of infection
- Wash hands frequently. Do so immediately when you arrive home. The CDC recommends washing with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds. They have a great overview on when and how for hand washing.
- Cover up if you cough or sneeze. Always cover your mouth. It’s best to use a tissue and then throw it away. No tissue, use your elbow…..do not use your hand and immediately wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If it’s absolutely necessary to do so, wash/disinfect your hands first. Viruses can enter your body this way and make you sick.
- Keep personal items personal. People should use their own belongings – towels, linens and especially kitchen and dining utensils….not a good time for sharing.
- Minimize close contact. If you feel under the weather or are possibly meeting someone who is, avoid hugging or shaking hands – and stand at least six feet away.
- Routinely clean & disinfect your high-touch items. Here’s a short list of high-touch items you might not think to disinfect twice a day:
- Cell phones
- Credit cards
- Car’s steering wheel
- Remote control in your home
- Ear buds
- Workout mats
2. Support your immune system so it performs optimally and protects you against illness
Our immune system is our body's defense mechanism for keeping us protected and safe from bacteria and viruses. The good news is there are many ways you can give your immune system the best possible chance of operating at its optimum level.
- Protect your sleep. Multiple research studies prove that adequate quality sleep supports immune health and reduces risk of infectious diseases as well as supports recovery if we do get sick. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
- Get outside in the sunshine. As an example, flu is mostly a winter problem because the influenza virus is transmitted best at cooler temperatures and low humidity. Non-burning sunshine also helps our bodies to make Vitamin D.
- Have an annual health checkup. This is particularly true for patients who have chronic health conditions. For example, conditions like diabetes that are poorly controlled paired with asthma raise the likelihood of pneumonia when contracted with a viral infection. Furthermore, recovery will be slower. So, make sure everything is in good working order at your annual checkup
- Keep moving. - The fitter you are, the stronger your immune system. Viruses tend to affect people with weaker immune systems. If you are active your body is stronger and better able to fight a virus. Take a brisk walk – start with as little as 10 minutes per day.
- Don’t smoke or cut back significantly
- Increase your vegetable intake. Include low-glycemic items such as spinach, red bell peppers, yellow squash, kale, and cauliflower.
- Reduce physical stress. Everyone gets stressed and short bursts of stress may help your immune system. Continual stress can hamper your immune system and increase susceptibility to infections. Furthermore, it can have an indirect effect on the immune system when we move toward unhealthy coping activities such as sugar, excessive caffeine, alcohol or processed foods. It’s important to know your personal stressors and create a plan to avoid or manage them.
If you’re feeling stressed, ask about our Stress Assessment to understand your personal stress level. We may be able to help you minimize the physical effects of stress through proper supplementation.
- Support your immune function through supplementation. A great deal of our clinic’s focus is on preventative wellness and many of our patients use supplementation for immune support. The preferred products include D3 5000, ImmuCore, Mycotaki, UltraPotent C, and UltraFlora Immune Booster.
3. (a) Actions we're taking to reduce our patients' risk of exposure (b) Our operating hours
Fortunately, our clinic’s daily risk management practices put us in a unique position to address the ongoing spread of contagious illnesses. Innovative Healthcare and Wellness Center's standard operating practices include:
- Sick patients. Ushered to a triage room so as not to be sharing the air with others in the waiting room.
- We primarily see patients by appointment only. This allows for a “one in/one out” approach that minimizes multiple patients sitting in our waiting room.
- We thoroughly disinfect surfaces. When sick patients leave, we disinfect all touch point surface areas. Additionally, we deep clean the entire clinic on a regular schedule.
- Diligent handwashing practices. We will continue diligent handwashing practices as well as providing masks for all sick patient visits.
- Hours of operation. We will maintain our standard hours of operation from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday thru Thursday.
We will remain available to serve our patients and provide continuity with their healthcare treatment
COVID-19 has made this a challenging time for all of us. Taking the steps above will help you minimize the consequences of exposure to the virus. We are closely monitoring the virus spread at both the local and national levels. Rest assured our team will adjust our practices as appropriate and continue taking the necessary steps to help protect the safety and well-being of our patients.