I’m sure that by now most of us are closely watching the news reports and aware that the novel coronavirus is spreading in the United States, and that many states have declared a State of Emergency. I’m writing to inform you of temporary protocols I will adopt for my practice to do my part in slowing transmission of the novel Coronavirus in our local community. This is for the protection of all my patients, and to ensure that there remain adequate facilities to treat acute cases as they arise.

Connecticut currently has reported 5 cases (as of yesterday afternoon) and there will inevitably be more surfacing in the days to come. Young people do not appear to be as susceptible as the elderly, but many cases will never be identified because some people never show symptoms, or have a mild upper respiratory infection that just passes, with nothing to suggest a Coronavirus infection. In my opinion, it is highly likely that the virus is circulating in Eastern Connecticut at this time.

As per CDC guidance, my office is not properly outfitted as a triage or containment facility, so I should not be seeing any patients who have possible COVID-19 (the illness caused by the novel Coronavirus) which in its early stages presents with fever, dry (perhaps tickling) cough, and malaise, and perhaps with other symptoms. Sore throat and a runny nose are infrequent. Most otherwise healthy people who become infected will be able to recover at home.

addition of 3/13/2020: reports from abroad indicate a possibility that COVID-19 (Coronavirus infection) may initially present as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain BEFORE the onset of respiratory symptoms. More on this in future posts.

Should anyone suspect that they may be ill with COVID-19, please contact either myself or a local clinic or emergency room before you physically go to be seen. If you experience severe symptoms, you should call ahead to your local ER or urgent care facility. Because of the two week incubation period during which it is still possible to spread the virus before symptoms show, the safest route for my practice and the safety of all patients is to move all visits to virtual (telephone and/or internet), effective immediately.

Fortunately, my practice as you know is mostly face to face conversation and we can continue that virtually. At your scheduled visit time, for those with a high speed internet connection, we can use Zoom videoconferencing software (download here or at zoom.us). I can also consult with you by telephone. Donna will be reaching out individually to those who have scheduled visits in the upcoming weeks to arrange the details. I am also going to triage everyone by telephone at the time that we confirm an upcoming appointment, to try to ascertain the possibility of a Coronavirus infection.

Please do your best to remain calm during this period when we should all take care to follow World Health Organization and CDC guidelines. These include working from home if and when possible, canceling or rescheduling upcoming travel by mass transit, avoiding large gatherings, and frequent hand-washing (or hand sanitizing where soap is not available).

It is also a good idea to support your immune health by getting adequate rest, hydration, and maintain good nutrition. Vitamin C, in doses of 3000 – 5000 mg/day can be helpful. Zinc lozenges, especially from zinc acetate or zinc glutamate, can be effective in reducing viral load from coronaviruses if started at the first sign of symptoms (such as a tickle in the throat), and taken every two hours while awake. Other information on Zinc lozenges is included in an earlier post (March 6).

While no clear homeopathic remedy has yet proved itself, I did discuss a proposed remedy which I should receive by the end of the day tomorrow. See my post of 3/8 for more information. I will be working to make this available and will detail that in a post in the next few days. Other possible homeopathic treatments include Gelsemium, Arsenicum album, Bryonia alba, and Eupatorium perfoliatum. all of which are fairly readily available at health food stores and online.

Washington Homeopathic Products and Hahemann Homeopathic Labs both do mail order from their website. The 30C potency of any of these remedies may be helpful but we just don’t know enough yet to be confident enough to make a specific recommendation.

None of this is cause for panic but we should be prepared and informed, acting with “an abundance of caution.” That is what I am trying to advise.

If you suspect Coronana virus infection (COVID-19), but are in an early stage, with mild illness, the advice will probably be to use conservative measures (isolation, handwashing, fluids, a homeopathic remedy if one can be determined, etc.). Self-quarantine is well-advised at this point, as much as possible. You are highly likely to recover, even on your own, but if symptoms become concerning, you need to reach out for help.

I want to also draw your attention to an article in the New York Times from Tuesday March 10th which tells a disturbing story about various issues that have disrupted our government’s and health care system’s response to what has now been deemed a “global pandemic” by the World Health Organization. What is more disturbing is that there is reason to believe that the virus may circulate for weeks in a given community before it becomes evident.

I also want to point out that South Korea had prepared for some years for a pandemic like this, and was swiftly able to scale up testing equipment and protocols, including in-car testing at drive in centers with results in 24 hours sent to the testee by text, and has tested a very large percentage of its population. Owing to this, and so without needing draconian lock-downs as occurred in China, the number of new cases has steadily declined since the end of February.

Good health is not only an individual issue, as we exist within larger societies. Societal influence on groups and individuals can affect our health in important ways. The government in South Korea, working with private industry, was prepared and did quite well. At this time, in the United States, our performance is very much inferior to what South Korea has produced. I think that it is important for us to come to an understanding of the reasons for this.