A Simple Guide to the Coronavirus and What You Can Do To Prepare

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The coronavirus is on everyone’s mind right now. People are being restricted from travel and doctors are becoming inundated with concerned people. This is a global health concern. But there’s an associated problem that’s almost as big as the virus itself, and it’s affecting populations in ways you might not expect.

The rumors and fears that are going around are causing near panic in many countries. Supermarkets are running out of toilet paper, masks, gloves, and other equipment. The urge to panic and take desperate measures seems to be affecting everyone. However, taking the wrong steps at the wrong times will only worsen the problems caused by the virus itself.

To keep yourself and your family safe, the best course of action is to research the facts about the threat before you. Staying calm and aware, getting informed, and preparing carefully is the best way to protect yourself. Here's what you need to know and the best steps to take right now.

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus or COVID-19 has spread throughout the world. Most of the cases are in China, but this virus has also spread to the US, Europe, Middle East, and Australia. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the coronavirus is a global health emergency. It’s also affecting every aspect of life, from travel to takeout restaurants and universities. This doesn't look like an issue that isn’t just going to go away, and it needs to be dealt with.

COVID-19 is what’s known as a beta coronavirus, which means it’s one of four coronaviruses in one virus subfamily. There are seven types of coronavirus which can infect humans and the most common are:

An image of people wearing masks walking in a crowded street

  • 229E (alpha coronavirus)
  • NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
  • OC43 (beta coronavirus)
  • HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

These four are some of the main culprits of the common cold.

Other, more severe examples of this family of viruses include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARs).

This family of viruses typically infects animals like pigs, bats, and small mammals. However, it appears that COVID-19 has recently undergone some mutations. This genome mutation affected the virus protein and receptors and allowed it to infect humans.

Source of the Virus

No one’s really sure where this virus came from. Some sources claim that it originated in an animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China. Whether this is true or not, the patterns of infections do suggest a single, recent emergence of the virus from an animal source. But the exact source hasn’t yet been identified.

Because the coronavirus originated in China, which still contains the highest percentage of infected, it has affected both the locals and travelers. For example, anyone returning home from China must undergo evacuation and quarantine procedures before they can return to their country of origin. But these procedures haven’t been enough to stop the spread of this virus, which has served to add to the fear and rumors.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

For most people, the coronavirus will be like any other flu or cold. Many people catch these illnesses during their lives and experience only mild symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Breathing problems
  • Cough (tends to be dry rather than wet)
  • Shortness of breath

However, in some cases, the symptoms can be more severe. This virus can cause lower-respiratory tract infections and breathing difficulties. It can also cause more severe symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Kidney failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Vomiting
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Death

Patients who are older or who have compromised immune systems are more likely to experience more severe symptoms. So, if you’ve been exposed to the virus and have a compromised immune system,  then it's important to self-quarantine, notify your doctor, and do what you can to boost your immune system as you wait to see if you develop symptoms. See below for more detailed information.

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Catching the Coronavirus

The coronavirus can spread in several ways. The first is through coughing and sneezing. When an infected person coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth, it sends droplets into the air, spreading the virus. You may breathe in these droplets or touch a surface they land on. The droplets may even land on your hands and you can transfer the virus by touch.

The virus can also spread solely through touch. So, if you shake hands with someone who’s infected or is a carrier, then you may get sick yourself.

You can also catch the virus by touching a surface or object that an infected person has touched. If you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth afterward, you can then get infected.

The virus itself will be killed at a temperature of 56 degrees C, but it stays relatively stable at room temperature. Fortunately, normal disinfectants like soap and water, bleach mixed with water, and alcohol solutions above 62% are effective at killing it.

It can also stay on cardboard for 24 hours and plastic and stainless steel for 72 hours. So make sure to wash your hands very well after touching public items. Be sure to also sanitize common areas in your house or your work area.

How Adrenal Fatigue Increases Virus Susceptibility

Unfortunately, if you have adrenal fatigue then you may be at more risk of contracting the coronavirus if you’re exposed to it. One of the primary problems that occur when you have AFS is a malfunctioning immune system. This occurs as a result of multiple circuit imbalances, adrenal problems, and imbalances in the immune system itself.

All of these issues occur when you’re under stress for a long period of time. Chronic stress is a modern problem. A large portion of the population experiences stress on a daily basis because of poor lifestyle choices, substandard diets, work problems, and relationship issues. This causes an ongoing high demand for cortisol, the hormone which activates the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response and causes changes throughout your body that are essential when you’re under stress.

Under normal circumstances, the demand for cortisol drops once the cause of the stress is gone and the body’s circuits return to normal. But when you’re under chronic stress and your body needs more and more cortisol to get by, the adrenals can become fatigued and start to break down. This is what occurs when you have AFS.

As adrenal health degrades, the health and functioning of the body’s circuits begin to degrade as well. The body is an integrated system, and as the health of one organ or circuit declines, then others naturally follow suit. That’s why people with AFS often experience a range of symptoms and problems relating to different parts of the body and the failure of different functions. Increased susceptibility to viruses and infections is often part of these problems.

The Danger of Viruses with AFS

When you have AFS, the danger of viruses is twofold. First and foremost, AFS causes widespread circuit imbalances and immune malfunctions which can make you more susceptible to viruses and other pathogens. So, if you find yourself exposed to the coronavirus in this state, you’ll be more likely to catch it. And because your immune function is depressed because of your AFS, your symptoms may be more severe than usual. In the case of the coronavirus, this could be very dangerous.

If you do contract this virus, it may also worsen your AFS. A virus is an obvious source of stress. Not only may you experience troubling problems and symptoms when you’re sick, but you may also experience worry because of all the rumors going around about this illness. When you have AFS, this is another source of stress that your body just doesn’t need. Your body will react by putting out more cortisol. And this could worsen your adrenal fatigue, the underlying circuit imbalances, and your overall health.

So, even once you recover from the virus, you may find yourself unhealthier than you were before you contracted it. And this could be devastating for your long-term health and wellbeing. Keep reading to find out what you can do to support your adrenals and your immune system. You can also give my office a call if you are not certain what to do in adrenal fatigue and need some guidance. Our nutritional coaching program has helped many people in their health journey and this is especially important at this juncture.  +1-626-571-1234.

What to Do If You've Been Exposed

If you have AFS and a weak immune system and have been exposed to someone who is sick but you yourself are asymptomatic, try to boost your immune health now, try to have less contact with others, and wash your hands frequently to prevent getting ill as you are at higher risk of coming down with a virus.

If you have mild symptoms, it's imperative that you stay at home and don't go out. You can make a phone call to your doctor to ask for their advice. You might get infected by other sicker people and spread what you have by trying to visit the clinics.

If you are short of breath, feverish, and getting worse, wear a mask and go to the emergency room for help.

What to Do If You’re Infected

Medical scientists are working to understand the coronavirus and to create vaccines. In fact, Israeli scientists are claiming that they are weeks away from creating an effective vaccine. Certain antiviral drugs such as Remdesivir and HIV drugs are also being studied to determine if they could be effective against the virus.

However, at this stage, there are no approved antivirals. People who are infected must instead receive supportive care that relieves the symptoms of the virus. If you get sick, then here’s how to relieve your symptoms:

An image of a humidifier next to a house plant

  • Get plenty of rest and sunshine.
  • Drink lots of fluids, especially hot water.
  • Take over the counter medications for a sore throat and fever.
  • Use a humidifier or have a hot shower to relieve your chest congestion.

It’s also vital that you contact your doctor immediately if you think you may have the coronavirus. In most cases, the symptoms should pass in a few days. But it’s more dangerous in the elderly, people with heart disease, and those with weakened immune systems as it may spread to the lower respiratory tract and cause infections. In these cases, medical intervention may be necessary to support vital organ functions.

How to Avoid Getting Sick

Because there is no vaccine for this virus, the best way to stay healthy is to avoid the coronavirus. The following strategies will help you avoid all types of viruses including colds:

  • Avoid contact with people who are infected or who have been exposed.
  • Practice good hygiene and wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Keep your hands away from your nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Wash hands frequently as the virus can live on hands for 5-10 minutes.
  • Wear eye cover when possible and keep your hands away from your eyes when you’re out in public or have touched objects that may have been handled by an infected person.
  • Avoid crowded spaces. Stay at least 6ft feet away from another person to allow infected sneezes droplets to fall to the ground.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked animal products.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing.
  • Avoid people who have respiratory symptoms.
  • Don’t eat foods that may be contaminated.
  • Regularly clean surfaces that may have been touched by an infected person with disinfectant.
  • Avoid sitting on and touching objects that have been in public areas in the last 24-72 hours.
  • Monitor any cough or cold symptoms you have at home and only see a medical professional if you have trouble breathing and are feverish.


You’ve probably heard about shops and pharmacies running out of masks since the appearance of the coronavirus. One of the most effective masks on the market is the N95 face mask. This is a protective device that achieves a close facial fit and has a very effective filter. It’s been subjected to careful testing and blocks at least 95 percent of very small test particles. Because this virus is relatively large, any mask will be helpful if you cannot get an N95 mask.

However, since there is a shortage of masks, the people affected the most are the healthcare providers. So the CDC actually recommends for healthy individuals NOT  to wear masks. If you're sick, then you can wear a mask in order to prevent transmission to others. The other reason to not wear masks is that you could put yourself at risk by touching your face more often when you wear a mask than when you didn't wear one, therefore increasing your risk of transmission.

The Takeaway

The coronavirus is a serious health threat that everyone should be aware of. But stories and rumors about it don’t help the situation and just add to the fear and paranoia. It’s only with facts and a calm approach that you can do what you need to do to protect yourself and your family from this threat. Here’s where to start:

  1. Learn everything you can about this virus and what to look for in yourself and in your family.
  2. If you believe that you’ve been exposed, talk to a medical professional as soon as possible to get expert advice and help.
  3. Use common sense strategies to protect yourself such as practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding infected persons, and staying a good distance away from the public.
  4. Boost your immune system using supplements or other modalities.

If you’re worried about the coronavirus and want more information, then call +1-626-571-1234 to talk to the team or click here to use the Ask The Doctor System.

For additional information and resources, check out these links:

© Copyright 2020 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam's Key Question

There are a lot of misconceptions and rumors going around about the coronavirus. In some cases, these fears are probably almost as dangerous as the virus itself. What is needed now is calm, and the more information everyone has, the easier it will be to overcome this health threat.

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