I recently became ill with and recovered from a Covid-19 infection. Unlike many others, I had the benefit of excellent integrative health care providers who monitored my condition and provided advice and therapeutics throughout the course of my illness. During that time, I became aware that it was often difficult for friends and family members to find and implement simple protocols for home care. They had neither access to such information nor knowledgeable providers. This added stress to their pandemic experience both before and during Covid-19 infection.
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Following are some suggestions for home care that I think could be helpful. Everyone is different and if possible, I recommend working with a trusted health advisor to determine which strategies may work best for you and help define specifics. I found that my own body discernment was more difficult to access when I felt ill; thus, consultation was crucial. The suggestions below are not meant to be prescriptive, only suggestive based on my own experience, review of protocols and the literature, and consultation with integrative providers. I have not included anything that requires a medical prescription, but if you have a provider who is knowledgeable and willing to prescribe, that is great.
Keeping healthy prior to infection with Covid-19
Practice hygiene measures as appropriate (handwashing, avoiding crowds, wearing masks)
Reduce underlying inflammation (adequate sleep, stress reduction, good nutrition, regular exercise). These are not empty words.
Consider additional dietary supplements – prevention protocols often include Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Quercetin, Zinc, and Melatonin (see I-MASK protocol in the FLCCC link below). Other prevention/pre-covid protocols mention Vitamin A as well.
Obtain home care supplies:
- Nebulizer – obtainable for $50-100. I purchased one with a condenser that sits on the table for about $70.
- Thermometer – easy to use
- Pulse oximeter for finger – to measure oxygen saturation, available online for $20-40
- Healthy food supplies – If you don’t have friends/family to bring food if you become ill, keep some things in the freezer or on hand.
If you become ill with suspected Covid-19
Get tested but do not wait for the results before starting other measures. Once you know you have Covid-19, contact those you may have exposed or ask someone else to do so if you don’t feel up to it. If you live alone, ask friends or relatives to check in for short visits if they feel comfortable and safe, because self-monitoring is very difficult when ill.
If you haven’t already, contact a trusted provider who has experience treating Covid-19 and other viral infections. This person also can help with ongoing monitoring of disease severity and adjust treatments as needed, including prescriptions and hospitalization. Ideally, you will have a team that includes different types of providers with one or two main persons.
Dietary supplements – have on hand before you are ill if possible:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin A
- Others as available/advised – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, metabolic. It seems like everyone has their favorites.
- Nebulize several times a day with normal saline and very dilute hydrogen peroxide – see David Brownstein protocol
- Simple breathing exercises
- Be sure to move around – do not just lie on your back
- Steam inhalation with/without essential oils – I like Eucalyptus radiata for inhalation (steaming hot water in a bowl, add a couple of drops of essential oil, cover head with towel and close eyes, breathe deeply for 3-5 minutes). Plain hot water can be good too.
- Oxygen saturation – several times daily, record and report. Know your normal.
- Temperature – record and report if dangerously high or persists. Know your normal.
- Smell and taste – track because it may be an indication of recovery status
- Heart rate/heart sensations – report anything very unusual to provider
Nutrition – Often little appetite. I didn’t feel like cooking, but broth, soups and herbal teas were okay and helped with fluid and electrolyte balance. Stay hydrated. Home deliveries are an option.
Sleep/exercise – Don’t worry about exercise but do not lie on the couch all day. Walk around the house, move around, turn over, etc. You want to avoid fluid stasis in the lungs. Most people sleep a lot and feel fatigued. If unable to move, contact your provider for advice.
- Botanicals, including essential oils – many integrative providers will advise herbs to support immune function and promote healing. Some of those frequently mentioned: elderberry, andrographis, astralagus, resveratrol, curcumin, berberine, echinacea, garlic. Ethnic/cultural remedies, foods and herbs may be very helpful.
- Energy approaches – can be very helpful for balancing body/mind/spirit and promoting healing. Examples below.
Note 1: If inflammation is escalating and breathing is affected, different strategies are needed. Have a trusted provider in the wings even if that person is not involved in initial and ongoing monitoring.
Note 2: A team of providers might include osteopathy, chiropractic, conventional medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy, herbalism, TCM, etc. – what fits your own philosophy of health and finances.
Resources I found helpful
- FLCCC Alliance – source of the I-MASK protocol. Lots of information, including protocols for stages of illness and prescription medications: covid19criticalcare.com. Suggested doses of supplements and medications can be found in the protocols provided or others.
- Guide to home care from American Association of Physicians and Surgeons – somewhat long, but good information with rationale: aapsonline.org/CovidPatientTreatmentGuide.pdf
- Instructions for nebulizing can be found in Dr. David Brownstein’s “A Holistic Approach to Viruses” – also information on supplements and other treatments. Basically, to nebulize add ½ teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a cup of normal saline solution and use ½ teaspoon of this mixture in the nebulizer for each treatment. He also talks about adding a drop of Lugol’s iodine but refer to the book for detailed instructions if you want to add that.
- Suggestions for viral infections from a local holistic physician Stay upright and active as much as possible, vitamin C in multiple doses of 2 grams (2000 mg) every hour to two hours until a loose stool is developed, then cut back to one gram doses. Vitamin D: ½ your body weight times 1,000 IU daily for three to five days (ie: 100 lbs/2=50 x 1,000IU = 50,000 IU per day). Zinc 20 mg daily or EGCG (green tea extract). You want the lungs to exercise to keep from atrophying, Vitamin C spikes the immune system’s ability to respond, Vitamin D levels have been found to be deficient in patients with viruses. Zinc kills virus cells.
- Simple breathing exercise – very important: youtube.com/watch?v=bBkGDIeQwXo
- Article on phased protocols: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7190003/ Yanuck SF, Pizzorno J, Messier H & Fitzgerald KN. Evidence supporting a phased immune-physiological approach to COVID-19 from prevention through recovery. Integrative Medicine 19 (Suppl 1), pp. 8-35.
- Prune Harris energy medicine videos for Covid-19 – scroll down to see the ones for ill people. I liked these because I could do them in bed and they required little physical exertion on the worst days: pruneharris.com/videos
- Eileen McKusick sound therapies – free audio recording for acute and long-haul viral illness. You need to sign in and then buy the free recordings: biofieldtuningstore.com/collections/audio-sessions
- Gentle yoga and chi gong can be helpful if truly gentle. I could do only lying down postures for a bit. If you don’t have your own favorites, there are many videos available on youtube. Here is one by Master Chunyi Lin of Spring Forest Qigong. His course on Covid-19 recovery can be found via Facebook: facebook.com/MasterChunyiLin/videos/2728225114063361/