COVID-19 Conversations and Tools for Bolstering Your Immune System
COVID-19 Conversations and Tools for Bolstering Your Immune System
With more developments coming every day on the novel coronavirus, it’s helpful to be informed, prepared, and vigilant for your health and for the health of those around you. We’ll be updating this page (and our Instagram) with interviews, stories, tools, and episodes of The goop Podcast that feel relevant right now. If you want to learn more about how we’re navigating our shops, we’ve posted a separate note about that. And if there are questions you have that you want us to be asking or other stories you’d like to read, please drop us a line at [email protected]
We hope you’ll join us on Wednesdays for free, livestreamed In goop Health sessions: We’re meeting once a week with wellness practitioners and thought leaders, and finding solace in their wisdom. If you miss a live session, check out the recording after.
COVID-19 is a serious respiratory disease caused by a form of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It was first detected in China and has now spread across the globe, with over 4,254,000 confirmed cases globally and more than 291,000 global deaths as of May 12 (see the COVID-19 dashboard from Johns Hopkins University for daily updates).
- •How it spreads: COVID-19 is thought to spread from person to person through close contact or droplets that are produced when a person coughs or sneezes. People are most contagious when they have symptoms; however, new data suggests it may also spread before people are symptomatic (CDC). That’s why it’s important to practice social distancing—limiting contact with others (Johns Hopkins).
- •Symptoms: Two to fourteen days after exposure, symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of smell or taste may appear (CDC).
- •What to do if you are sick: If you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and isolate yourself, avoiding contact with other people. If you live with another person, practice rigorous hygiene, disinfect surfaces regularly, and avoid sharing items. Call your doctor, tell them that you may have COVID-19, and ask them to alert your local or state health department. Have your doctor determine when it is safe to end home isolation (CDC).
- •How serious is COVID-19: Older adults, those with existing health conditions, and people who are immunocompromised are more likely to develop a severe form of illness that may be fatal (CDC). This is why it’s especially important to isolate yourself if you have symptoms so that you do not spread it to susceptible people.
- •How to protect yourself: There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, although there is one in development that may be available in one to two years. To protect yourself from infection, wash your hands regularly for at least twenty seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid touching your face (read this New York Times article for tips on how to resist the urge). Disinfect items you touch often, such as your phone or laptop, with EPA-registered household disinfectants, since COVID-19 can stay active anywhere from a few hours to a few days on surfaces (NIH). Avoid close contact with others and practice social distancing (CDC).
- •Flattening the curve: Staying at home and limiting contact with others can save lives. Social distancing limits the spread of germs between people so that fewer people become sick; a greater number of people becoming ill could overwhelm our healthcare system and limit the number of resources available to treat everyone who gets sick. Read more about flattening the curve in this NPR article.
How to Help
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a lot that feels out of our control. One way to cope is channeling this into positive action.
We can do our part by supporting others in our communities—and worldwide—who need additional help during this difficult time.
New Research and Information About COVID-19
Important news and guidance from researchers, doctors, and journalists.
Angela Rasmussen, PhD, a virologist at Columbia University who studies highly pathogenic viruses, explains what we know now about COVID-19.
Infectious disease epidemiologist Anne Rimoin helped answer the question looming in our mind: How will this pandemic end?
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers around the globe are racing to better understand and predict how the virus works, how it’s spreading, and how we can mount a response to best protect our communities. We’ve summarized four of the most important new research findings on COVID-19.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
You may find yourself experiencing more stress, anxiety, and even grief. We’ve asked experts for their rituals and tools that can help us process difficult emotions and feel a little more grounded. (If you’re looking for guided meditations, head to our YouTube page.)
“The reality is challenging, and then, of course, our fears about what might happen magnify immensely the actual situation,” says psychiatrist James Gordon, MD, author of The Transformation. Gordon returns to The goop Podcast to offer strategies that can help us ease anxiety.
Psychotherapist Barry Michels shares his three-point plan that he’s been teaching to clients during the COVID-19 crisis, helping them to cope with a sense of powerlessness, feelings of negativity, and the realities of being cooped up with family.
Therapist Carder Stout, PhD, knows that we’re in a near-constant state of high alert, but he tells us there are ways we can still release fear and be present.
Connecting with Others
While it’s necessary to physically distance from one another, there are ways we can still find meaningful connection. And if you’re cooped up with loved ones—there are ways to try to strengthen those relationships (and keep your sanity).
Psychiatrist James Gordon, MD, the founder and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, shared with us two techniques for opening up to vulnerability, to one another, and to the healing we can achieve when we go at it together.
Therapist Lori Gottlieb, MFT, offers advice for couples who are navigating the challenges of being long-distance during a pandemic.
Until the time comes when we can safely meet up with our friends and wider social circles again, here’s how we’re keeping our social lives intact.
If your living room has become a home office-turned-playroom-turned-classroom, we feel you. Here are resources to help you and your children adjust.
The best approach to being a homeschooling parent, says a homeschool teacher, is to give your kids and give yourself a break.
Our Immunity and Well-Being Arsenal
Nothing here is a cure (clearly), but there are a few things that can support our immunity and a few other things that make being home-bound more bearable in our experience (like a certain bath, Manuka honey, and streaming yoga classes).
We’re reaching for little things that offer support, asking our friends what their routines (or lack thereof) look like right now, and sending thinking-of-you packages from this wellness short list.
Staying connected with friends, meditating, allowing yourself to feel gratitude, and moving around are a few things that can buoy us. Also, a vibrator for self-pleasure, because why not?
The short answer is: no.
Here’s how we’re finding reprieve from all this newfound screen time.
Nourishing Foods and Simple Recipes
If you’re finding yourself in the kitchen much more often these days, we’re collating simple recipes, as well as general nutrition advice from experts.
Here are some tricks and strategies to maximize pantry goods and use leftovers for a more efficient kitchen.
From beans and lentils to noodles and canned foods, we’re coming back to this guide to make use of all the odds and ends in our pantries.
FOR THE MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT
We’ve asked our favorite healers, intuitives, writers, and therapists for their perspectives and advice during this time.
Therapist Shira Myrow, MFT, and mindfulness teacher Laurie Cousins offers techniques for how we can emotionally take care of ourselves and one another.
We asked a few of our favorite healers how they are approaching this time of uncertainty. They shared with us their tips and tools for emotional and spiritual health.
Claire Bidwell Smith, a grief therapist and the author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief, talked to us about how we can harness the wisdom of grief and loss to help guide us now.
We asked psychiatrist and bereavement researcher Dr. Kathy Shear for her advice on coping with grief during a pandemic and how to lend help to friends who need it.
We’ll continue to add stories that feel prescient.
Some of us want more information about how to bring groceries and packages inside without bringing along the novel coronavirus. So we asked Ron Kopito, PhD, a professor of biology at Stanford University, what he’s doing at home.
The science boils down to this: Vaccination works when we all work together.
Harvard Business School associate professor Prithwiraj Choudhury has long advocated for a work-from-anywhere approach built on boundaries and trust.
From homemade pasta that benefits food banks to cookbooks that spark joy, here are fifteen things staffers are loving right now at home.
We asked Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious, Holly Whitaker, founder of Tempest, and Veronica Valli of Soberful about managing different levels of sobriety and drinking behaviors right now.
While we look forward to browsing, shopping, and hanging together in person again, we’re finding joy and comfort in supporting these brands, businesses, and people from home in the meantime.
We spoke to Pamela Capalad, a Brooklyn-based CFP and the founder of the financial planning platform Brunch & Budget, about how she’s advising her clients to navigate unemployment, budgeting in a time of crisis, their 401(k)s, credit cards, and the stimulus package.
This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.