What to Do About the Coronavirus

What to Do About the Coronavirus

We recently got a frantic call from a patient. From her ragged breathing and racing dialog, it was clear that she was close to having a panic attack. After she was instructed to take a few deep breaths, she calmed down somewhat and got to the reason for her call. She had just learned that 3 children at her daughter’s school in Southern California had visited China, and she wanted to know if she should rush over there immediately and pull her own child out of school.

She isn’t the only one freaking out about the coronavirus. On January 31, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the virus a public health emergency here in the states.

So what should you do?

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a common group of viruses that can cause an infection in the nose, sinuses, or throat. Some coronaviruses are mild and simply produce symptoms often seen in the common cold, such as a runny nose, sore throat, and fever. Other types are far more severe and can lead to pneumonia and early death. You may remember the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses that killed hundreds of people.

In early 2020, the World Health Organization identified a deadly new strain of the virus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), also referred to as the Wuhan coronavirus. To date, over 560 people have perished and over 28,000 have contracted the disease, mainly in China where the government has ordered a lockdown on about 60 million people. The illness has already spread to 25 countries, including the U.S. where at least a dozen cases have been confirmed so far.

The new coronavirus is transmitted from human to human and symptoms can appear within a couple of days or up to 14 days from the time of exposure. The symptoms of this coronavirus include the typical cold-like symptoms, and can also include shortness of breath, cough, and fever. Most people experience mild symptoms and recover, but others develop lethal complications.

How to Help Prevent Contracting the coronavirus

Whenever there’s a potential pandemic, it’s a good idea to know the basics of preventive measures you can take. Here are 3 strategies that can shore up your immune system to help you fight off the virus in case you are exposed to it.

1. Lower your stress.

Freaking out about a potential pandemic raises stress levels, which actually hurts your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to infections. Techniques to soothe stress include laughter, diaphragmatic breathing, prayer or meditation, listening to calming music, warming your hands with your mind, hypnosis and guided imagery, and flooding your 5 senses with positivity.

2. Eat foods that boost the immune system.

Foods that are natural immunity boosters include onions, mushrooms (shiitake, white button, portabella), garlic, vitamin C-rich foods (oranges, berries, peppers, dark leafy green vegetables), vitamin D-rich foods (fatty fish, eggs, tuna), zinc-rich foods (oysters, beef, lamb, spinach, asparagus, sesame and pumpkin seeds), and selenium-rich foods (Brazil nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats).

3. Take nutraceuticals that boost immunity and stave off infections.

In general, everyone should start taking a multivitamin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D whether you are healthy or not. Only about 25% of the U.S. population has healthy levels of vitamin D. Get yours checked and optimize your levels if necessary.

Work with an integrative practitioner to determine other supplements and nutrients from the following list that enhance immunity:

What if you (or a loved one) develop symptoms?

See an integrative medicine, also known as functional medicine, doctor immediately if you develop symptoms and suspect you may have been exposed to the virus. Experts are currently working on a vaccine, but as of yet, there is no known treatment for coronaviruses. Most people recover on their own. To treat symptoms, drink lots of water, rest, and take pain or fever reducers if necessary.

At Amen Clinics, our Integrative Medicine physicians treat complex conditions and make recommendations for pro-active therapies to enhance the immune system. If you are having physical or psychiatric symptoms that aren’t improving with traditional treatment, it’s important to get a comprehensive evaluation that includes brain imaging and sophisticated lab testing to identify any underlying infections. Speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.


  1. Info. on boosting immune system was VERY helpful. I am turning 74 on Feb. 18th. 2020 and starting to take MORE vitamin’s ……. hopeful they will be good for me. I get Pneumonia Shot as recommended by Dr. and yearly Flu. Shot. Looking for what else will be beneficial to my health. THANK YOU

    Comment by Carol Cook — February 7, 2020 @ 4:00 AM

  2. What about pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements from China? We consumers often have no idea about the origin of the ingredients used to make our medications and supplements.

    Comment by Mimi — February 7, 2020 @ 5:58 AM

  3. I am about to travel to California and then after that to Nigeria so this information is very helpful and timely at 70 you think any disease that comes you way will catch it. But I will reduce my stress and east well. Bless you for sharing!

    Ann gbj

    Comment by Ann G Karasanyi — February 7, 2020 @ 7:51 AM

  4. I think you already know the answer to that question

    Comment by NurseJudy — February 7, 2020 @ 9:28 AM

  5. I’m taking your DHA and wondering if it needs to be away or away from foods.

    Comment by Susie — February 7, 2020 @ 9:30 AM

  6. I Love your work. Thank You for keeping us informed on ways to stay healthy.

    Comment by Kathy Little — February 7, 2020 @ 9:39 AM

  7. There are reasonably priced supplements manufactured right here in the USA. I feel healthier, stronger today than I did 20 years ago. I don’t trust many things produced in China, particularly things that go in or on my body.

    Comment by Sue — February 7, 2020 @ 10:53 AM


    Comment by JAY JAMES — February 7, 2020 @ 1:20 PM

  9. God bless for sharing this important information.

    Comment by Marie Isabelle — February 7, 2020 @ 1:58 PM

  10. Carol, the yearly flu shot is honestly not a good thing. The geriatric version is even higher in adjuvents and causes many people to get very sick a while after. IF you just boost your immune system and keep your vitamin D level high, you will fare alot better without those shots..

    Comment by Terri Gibbs — February 7, 2020 @ 9:53 PM

  11. Dr Amen and Team, you’re the voice of reason. You all do revolutionary work in our pill-popping, live-to-eat, fix-me-fast culture. My husband John E. and I are incredibly grateful for your diligent, outstanding work in getting out credible, significant info so we all may thrive in optimal wellness.

    Comment by Linda Guzman — February 8, 2020 @ 9:32 AM

  12. Dr Amen and team the best of all 100 % the best

    Comment by connie greenamyer — February 12, 2020 @ 9:57 PM

  13. Carol,
    Don’t ever stop taking the flu shot, I have read in recent bio-medical journals that while the shot may not protect you from every version out there, it accustoms the body to fighting a virus in a moderate way. Those who don’t get the shot and then get the flu may in some cases die from their body overreacting to the foreign flu virus in their body. So it is now the current wisdom to get the flu shot. I haven’t had the flu in years but I practice preventative measures and always get the shot. I’m in my70s.

    Comment by marilyn stollon — February 23, 2020 @ 1:48 PM

  14. I am 71, and in my 20’s I used to get bad 2 week colds. I read conflicting info on Dr. Linus Pauling’s work with vit. C and viruses, so I tried it myself- what he recommended to cure a cold- and it not only cured my next cold in one day, when I started taking several grams of C daily, I never got another as long as I took it daily. When I didn’t and started to get a cold, I repeated the larger doses and again cured it in one day.This still works for me. And I have never had the flu as an adult. It has also worked for others who did the same thing. And I continue to read and hear from the medical professionals how C doesn’t work on viruses…

    Comment by Jan — March 11, 2020 @ 7:59 PM

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