Every day, people are asking me about the coronavirus. As with any disease, bacteria, or virus, the key is to build up your immune system so you do not get sick. Take this time off from work or school to improve your health and improve your relationships. Start taking more walks outside and more hikes in nature. Getting the proper sunlight and oxygen is one of the best ways to help prevent getting sick from the coronavirus. Please remember to stay at least six feet away from your neighbors (social distancing) and as you pass by people do not congregate.

Now is the time to start getting more exercise. Since you are at home a lot more, there should be no excuse. You do not need a gym to go running, biking, hiking, walking, rollerblading, roller skating, sprinting, or jogging.  At home, you can do sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, squats, jump rope, rebounding, or jumping jacks. You can use your children, your pets, water jugs, bags, or cans for weights.

Another good way to boost your immune system is being in nature. Do some gardening and get your hands in the dirt.  Put your bare feet in the grass.  One great way to reduce stress and anxiety is touching the earth. This is called grounding or earthing and has been proven to boost your immune system. Enjoy some time outside in the sun by doing some yard work such as picking up some twigs or branches in your yard, trimming some of the hedges, or starting weeding your garden.

Remember that stress weakens your immune system. Therefore, if you are stressed, your immune system will become weak, which will eventually make you more prone to coronavirus. One of the biggest causes of stress right now is watching the news.  At this point, there are 75 deaths reported by the CDC. However, due to the hysteria created by the news, the government, and social media, the entire country is shut down, the economy is crashing, and people are more anxious than ever. Please stop watching the news and checking the stock market every hour.  If you want to be informed about this current healthcare crisis, the CDC updates the numbers for coronavirus every day at 12 noon. You can also check out the information from WHO for the world numbers of this novel coronavirus. My advice is to take one hour, once a day, to check updates on coronavirus, politics, emails, and social media. Afterward, turn off all electronics and spend quality time with your family and focus on your health.

As of March 17th, the total presumed US cases are 4,226 and total deaths in the USA are 75. Most people that have died are the elderly with pre-existing conditions like pneumonia, asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.  If you are over 80 I recommend you stay home, and do not have any visitors that may have been exposed to the virus.  Ask neighbors or family members to do the food shopping or get any other supplies you may need. Focus on boosting your immune system and reducing stress and anxiety. Drink lots of water, eat hot vegetable soup, drink hot tea, go for daily walks keeping social distancing, read books, clean your house, go to bed early, meditate, listen to music, laugh, perform breathing exercises, practice mindfulness, have fun, make jokes, watch comedies, talk to family members who are not panicking, and give to charities. These are easy fun tips that you can implement immediately.

All the younger healthy citizens should take care of themselves first and then help the immunocompromised and the elderly.  This is the time to love your neighbors (without touching).  We all need to stick together and appreciate each other. Hopefully, a good thing that might come out of this disaster is that we start to appreciate our health, our lives, our friends and family, and the freedoms that we had before coronavirus.  I hope that the quarantine inspires us to get along and create a time where it does not matter if you are a republican or a democrat, black or white, poor or rich, Muslim or Jewish, male or female, old or young.  We will appreciate our health and show love to our friends and family, instead of worrying about the size of our house, the type of car we drive, or the materials we own.  Maybe this will put things in perspective so we stop complaining about the little things that really don’t matter, and show gratitude for things that truly make us happy.

To show our commitment to the community during this health crisis, Dr. Kaplan is now offering FREE Virtual Health Consultations via FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp to help manage the stress and anxiety everyone is dealing with. Please email us at info@kaplanbrainandbody.com or call 201-261-2150 to schedule your FREE virtual consultation!