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COVID-19 Social Distancing, Isolation, Quarantine: Emotional and Mental Health

What are the impacts of living in quarantine or isolation? During this COVID-19 Crisis, this is a reality that we are facing worldwide. What do the experts say? Are there any studies about this? What can we do to make isolation easier, if anything? These questions and more are topics that I explore with you here. Learn what to expect during your isolation period, how to make it go by easier, and natural non-toxic ways to reduce the stress of isolation.


Living in isolation can take a huge toll on anyone. As humans, we are social creatures and crave social interaction. Even the most anti-social of us still have friends and family that are interacted with on a regular basis. Now with the COVID-19 crisis, we are facing a new difficulty, one that not many had really thought about: living in isolation.

You don’t have to be suffering from a pre-existing mental or emotional health disturbance to experience difficulty with long-term isolation. This article on Mental Health Connecticut details some of the effects that have been observed and studied among the only population we really have a lot of information on regarding this topic: prison inmates in solitary confinement. Some of the possible effects that isolation can have on people are: distorted perception of time, high levels of anxiety, hallucinations, cognitive breakdown, decreased immune response, higher blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (presumably from the mental and emotional stresses of isolation), and can increase the risk of mortality by as much as 50%.

If you have a more technical mind, you will probably enjoy this article published by the medical journal The Lancet about the results of isolation and quarantine on individuals. In a nutshell, isolation and quarantine can trigger a wide array of psychological and emotional problems, even in otherwise mentally and emotionally healthy individuals. There are aggravating factors and ways to reduce the impact. One of the biggest lessons I came away with from that article is that in this crisis is there is strong evidence to support the importance of altruistic isolation versus commanded quarantine. When we undertake isolation voluntarily, the emotional and psychological impact seems to be significantly lessened.

Even those who undertake isolation voluntarily, the process can be very difficult. The emotional and psychological impacts can last long after the isolation period ends. Some have even been verified to have developed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from time spent in quarantine or isolation. 1, 2

I have experienced self-isolation for a while now and I’m here to tell you that while it isn’t always easy, it is something that we can and should do. Now, not later. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is lonely. But it is temporary. In the grand scheme of things, it is truly fleeting. Reminding ourselves that it isn’t going to last forever will actually help you make it through a little easier. Most of the emotional and psychological issues that we can develop during periods of isolation can be mitigated with mindset and patience. Sure, some people find it easier than others, but we can all benefit from an emotionally healthy isolation period during the COVID-19 Crisis. Here are some tips to help you make it through:

  • Remember, this is temporary! It won’t last forever and once it is over, that first big hug from a missed friend or family member will feel SO GOOD! It’s a great thing to look forward to.
  • Set up daily (isolated) activities and stick to them.
  • Use the time to make a positive change! Start a regular workout routine, change your dietary habits, spend more time bonding with family, take up yoga and meditation.
  • It may sound silly but trust me, it helps: when you wake up in the morning, remember that you are alive. Be thankful that you are alive, be thankful for the health you have, be thankful for any and every little thing in your life. Purposefully remembering to be thankful can have a huge impact on your emotional and psychological well-being, especially during times of isolation.
  • Try to stick to a regular routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time keeps our circadian cycles in check and helps to boost emotional well-being. Avoid naps, unless you usually take naps during the day or you are feeling ill. Napping when your body isn’t used to it can upset the delicate balance that controls your day-night cycles. Once it is upset, it can be very hard to regulate it again and it is very important to your health and well-being, so let’s protect it as much as we can.
  • Do the things you normally do throughout your day, at the same time that they are usually done. If you usually work from 8 am until 5 pm, find something to keep you as busy as possible during that time or work from home during your regular hours. Sure, it can be very challenging to do this in households where the kids are also home from school but given some time, you will find a balance that allows you to stay busy during your normal busy times.
  • Get some fresh air! Even if you just open a window for a few minutes and breathe it in, some fresh air can work wonders on your mood! If you have a yard, spend some time outside in the yard every day. Get out on the balcony or fire escape for some much-needed air.
  • Everyone needs alone time! Even though we are packed into our homes, no matter how big or small our families are, we all need some space and time where we can be alone. There’s a delicate balance in our social and emotional health between our time spent alone and with others, so try to do your best to set up space and time for each person in your household to be alone.
  • If you are stuck all by yourself, it can be especially tough. As humans, we crave social contact. Being isolated all alone is the hardest for our social natures. Try simulating as much contact as you can. Again, this might sound totally out in the left field, but get a stuffed animal or a pillow to hug. Which leads me to my next point…
  • Humans need hugs. We need to give hugs and we need to receive them. Hugs make us feel safe, secure and loved. Amazingly, the part that we can do without for the longest time is receiving! When we can wrap our arms around someone… or something… and give it a good snuggle, that act releases chemicals in our bodies that relieve stress and anxiety. In this time of social distancing, quarantine, and isolation, we are starting to feel the impact of a lack of physical contact. Ramp up the physical contact with simulated contact as much as you can, including hugging a teddy bear or pillow. You’ll be surprised how good it makes you feel.
  • Go online, get virtual! One of the biggest advantages in our modern age, other than medical advances, is the internet! We have made the world a small and connected place. While we can’t be with our friends and loved ones in person, we can Skype, Facetime, Zoom, etc. We can connect on social media. We can participate in virtual meetings, roundtables, and discussions. We can still connect with each other, we just need to do it at a distance for right now.
  • Keep the air in your home humid. Science Daily says that low humidity is the flu virus’s best friend. Live Science says that higher humidity lowers flu transmission. While these two articles reference the flu virus, SARS-CoVID-2 (the virus that causes the illness called COVID-19) has something in common with the common flu: they are both caused by different strains of coronaviruses. There is a little evidence circulating about how humidity can possibly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 causing virus. 1, 2, 3, 4 The reason behind it is pretty simple: humidity causes airborne particles of the flu virus that are bound to other particles, like dust or aerosolized saliva, to collect moisture and become heavy. They are then more likely to fall out of the air where they can be cleaned off of surfaces during normal cleaning routines. Personally, I do this with the use of aromatherapy diffusers, which I will discuss below. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can order one and have it fairly soon. You can also use a humidifier while you wait for your shipment, or even simmer a pot of water on the stove.
  • Use aromatherapy. It works! There are many studies out there about the benefits of aromatherapy, so I am not going to repeat them all here or link to them all, just one google search will provide you with a wealth of information! The theory is pretty easy to explain, so I will do that instead. Do you have anything in particular that brings to mind a certain situation, memory or feeling when you smell it? Think of the smell of your favorite place. Perhaps the beach, or the forest, or the opera? Almost everything and every place have a distinctive scent. When you smell a scent that reminds you of that item or place, you also experience a bit of emotion associated with the place. That is the basis of aromatherapy, using a scent to create an emotional response. That emotional response has a direct effect on your brain and emotions. You can use scents to trigger a peaceful feeling, a happy feeling, or to help you feel sleepy. Using scents to trigger a flow of positive emotions, like peace or happiness, can actually boost your immune system! Here is an article from Scientific American about how happiness increases your immune system. This paper published on The National Center for Biotechnology Information (maintained by NIH – National Institutes of Health) explains more in-depth how aromatherapy and emotion affect the immune system. You can find some tips from me on using aromatherapy for your emotional mood and health during quarantine or isolation. For my aromatherapy tips, you will need an essential oil diffuser. These are like humidifiers, but made to use with water and essential oils and use an ultra-fine ultrasonic mist to deliver the moisture and essential oils to the air. Be sure to read doTERRA’s E-Book, “Emotional Benefits of Aromatherapy”.
  • Use the Emotional Aromatherapy wheel chart below to help you determine which blend would help you the most:
    • Identify the emotion you are experiencing in the inner wheel
    • Use a few drops of the oil blend on the outer wheel in the corresponding area that you identified on the inside of the wheel.
    • You can also identify the base for the type of scent that could benefit you using the mid-section of the wheel if you are feeling up for a DIY aromatherapy project.
Emotional Aromatherapy Wheel

In closing, just because we must be isolated doesn’t mean that we are alone. We are all in this together. You are not alone. This is temporary, only a fleeting pause in our normal lives. We can do this, together. We can do this, for each other. We can do this for each and every one of our elders, our children, our vulnerable. I will do it for you. Will you do it for me? Let’s socially distance ourselves, for each other. Let’s voluntarily quarantine ourselves, for each other. Let’s live, for each other.

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Just An Update…

I have been keeping an eye on the news and there’s so much going on, I don’t think I could touch on all of the topics without typing non-stop all day. There’s so much that I want to write about, but no time for most of them. Go figure…

But, I did decide to make a small update for you, dear readers, to let you know what I am working on.

By far, my most popular topics these days are DIY. This is completely understandable as there are SO many shortages across the country and, indeed, around the globe, for various items that we either need, feel the need for, or want badly. My focus is on using things you already have or can easily get even during times of shortage. Hopefully, I will be able to get some video walkthroughs together to go with each DIY.

Some of the things I am working on are a little risque- things like an easy DIY still for making homemade antiseptic. When it comes to building a still, check your local laws! Distilling spirits are illegal in many states and countries, I’m not responsible for you failing to check local laws! Also, the simple DIY still will NOT work to make spirits for consumption, only for antiseptic! That’s because I’m working on a design that uses things a lot of people already have in their homes or can easily get their hands on, even in this crisis. So, it won’t be a pretty copper still… more like a Frankenstein kitchen monster with plastic tubes poking out of it! Also, please note that even in states where it is legal to own and operate a still, it is still illegal to sell the distilled spirits to anyone for any reason. This publication will be for personal use ONLY. More coming on that soon…

Other things I am working on are more easy and quick- like a DIY face mask. During this global face mask shortage, it is important for us to be able to get our hands on a reliable face mask. Keep in mind that something is better than nothing when it comes to personal protection. While DIY face masks may not be as reliable or protective as a true N-99 mask, it does work better than nothing. I’ll have scientific experiments linked to on the pattern page to show how well you could expect your DIY mask to work for you.

I’m completely open to ideas! If there is something you want to see a published DIY tutorial on, let me know in the comment area below! Subscribe to receive an email when I publish new articles so you can be notified when I post these new DIY articles. You can use this form to subscribe.

To close, please remember: Take care of yourselves and take care of each other. We are truly at our best when we pull together and take care of each other. Check on your neighbors. Shop for your elderly community members so they don’t have to go out. Maintain social distance, but that doesn’t mean to completely isolate. We still need each other, more now than ever before!

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DIY On Guard+ Softgels

When you are out of On Guard+ Softgels, use this handy dandy DIY recipe to create your own while you wait for your next shipment to arrive! It is easy to make these with essential oils you probably already have in your collection! Please only use CPTG doTERRA Essential Oils for internal use/ingestion! You can tell if your CPTG doTERRA Essential Oil is safe to consume if it has a “Supplement Facts” section on the label. If you aren’t sure, ask your Wellness Advocate! This recipe is a lifesaver when I run out of On Guard+ Softgels and need one before my next shipment arrives!

DIY On Guard+ Softgels

Add ONE DROP EACH of the following ingredients to a VeggieCap for the equivalent to one On Guard+ Softgel:

Substitution Oils:

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DIY onGuard Foaming Hand Soap

When you just NEED your foaming hand soap and your LRP delivery hasn’t arrived yet, there’s a DIY option! It’s almost as good as the original, but let’s be honest… nothing could ever replace doTERRA’s on Guard Foaming Hand Wash! Even so, this recipe will really work great in a pinch and these days, hand washing needs to be something we all do regularly and often, every day. Here’s that recipe to tide you over until your LRP order arrives…

DIY onGuard Foaming Hand Soap

  • 2 Tablespoons of liquid castile soap (substitute any liquid soap or shampoo, natural is best)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fractionated Coconut Oil (substitute any emollient oil like almond, avocado or castor)
  • 10 drops of onGuard Essential Oil Blend

Add ingredients into any foamer pump bottle you have and shake or swirl to combine. Slowly add water to fill, leaving space at the top for the foamer pump. Swirl together gently to combine while minimizing bubbles in the bottle (don’t shake!).

To use: Pump once or twice into the palm of your hand, no water is necessary to start. Wash at least 20 seconds as normal, rinse clean and dry hands after.

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DIY onGuard Sanitizing Mist

In the midst of this outbreak, sanitizer has become a commodity! So much of a commodity that it is literally sold out in most stores! Never fear! doTERRA’s onGuard Sanitizing Mist is truly a pleasure to use AND it is effective, containing the amount of alcohol recommended by the CDC. You can get your onGuard Sanitizing Mist here.

Sometimes, even with the best supply chain, things still get sold out temporarily. If you can’t get your hands on sanitizing mist and need some immediately, don’t go spending hundreds on the Black Market! (Yes, there are actually people out there spending ridiculous amounts of money on tiny amounts of sanitizer…) Just make some yourself! If you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty with a little DIY, here is an effective sanitizer recipe that is pleasantly moisturizing and smells great!

If you can’t get your hands on the Apple Liquid Extract or Liquid Glycerin, don’t worry! You can safely substitute Aloe Vera Juice, Aloe Vera Gel, Fractionated Coconut Oil or Castor Oil for either or both of those ingredients in this recipe.

DIY onGuard Sanitizing Mist

For each 1 oz. spray bottle (if making more than 1 oz. at a time, multiply the recipe by the number of ounces.)

  • 10-15 drops of On Guard Oil Blend
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Liquid Extract (substitute: aloe juice or fractionated coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Glycerine (substitute: aloe gel or castor oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled water
  • fill the rest with isopropyl alcohol or 180 proof grain alcohol

Shake well and spray on hands. Rub hands together until dry.

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From dōTERRA: What You Should Know About COVID-19

* This content is copied from an email sent out at 1:09 pm Eastern Time on Monday, March 9, 2020, from doTERRA to their Wellness Advocates in the USA. I did not write any of this content myself and, as such, is copyright to doTERRA, not me.

Dear dōTERRA Family,

Our top priority is always the health and safety of our entire community. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has raised a variety of questions and concerns, and we want you to be assured that we are continually monitoring the situation to ensure we are making the best decisions and taking the right actions for you and the entire dōTERRA family.

Gratefully, we are uniquely situated with our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Russell Osguthorpe, being an Infectious Diseases physician. His understanding and experience working in this field is invaluable for dōTERRA. Given the dynamic nature of the situation around the world, we advise you to adhere to the guidance offered by public health agencies in your region. This may include basic precautions or significant restrictions on travel or public gatherings.

To help manage any concerns and reduce transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, in your area, Dr. Osguthorpe recommends that everyone follow these evidence-based procedures.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, including dōTERRA’s On Guard Sanitizing Mist—which contains 64% alcohol, can be used.
  • Stay home when sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects often.
  • Face masks are not recommended for people who are well. However, if you show symptoms of COVID-19 or another respiratory disease, then you should wear a mask.

What you should know about COVID-19

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Most people who contract COVID-19 are thought to be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic (showing no symptoms). These include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

dōTERRA Events

The situation with COVID-19 is evolving, and we are continually monitoring the outbreak and how it is impacting life in your communities. The dōTERRA executive team will make decisions concerning future events and meetings based on scientific information and recommendations provided by Dr. Osguthorpe and guidelines provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and relevant agencies and organizations from countries around the world. Recommendations concerning dōTERRA events and meetings will be communicated with Wellness Advocates, customers, and employees at least one month prior to the scheduled start date whenever practicable.

Supply Chain

dōTERRA has an excellent operations team that has been careful about planning and forecasting supply chain challenges and product needs around the world. While we have seen a dramatic spike in sales of our On Guard family of products, we are working around the clock to stay in stock for all of these products. The demand for dōTERRA’s On Guard Sanitizing Mist has increased by over 400% in most markets in recent weeks and we are quadrupling our supplies of this product in the coming weeks. In the interim there may be some occasional short term stock outs of this and a few other high demand products. The good news is that due to our long-term strategic planning with our global network of growers we have stocked more than a year’s supply of most of our essential oils. Accordingly, we don’t expect any significant outages for the On Guard essential oil blend or other essential oils that are in unusually great demand during this time.

We also are working hard to ensure that our shipments reach you as fast as possible. Some delays to certain regions of the world may at times be inevitable and we thank you in advance for your patience if an order takes longer than you anticipated.

Health Claims

dōTERRA is restricted on the health claims that can be made about our products. We recognize essential oils have profound health and wellness benefits, but we do not claim that our products prevent, treat or cure illnesses or diseases, including COVID-19. We must continue to be vigilant in ensuring that we avoid all communications that claim otherwise.

While there seems like a lot to worry about, there are many reasons to be optimistic.

  • The COVID-19 virus is thought to be very similar to other respiratory viruses like influenza or RSV, and is mild in most people who get it.
  • Children seem particularly protected from severe COVID-19 disease.
  • There has been extraordinary cooperation in the global sharing of clinical data and research.

Be assured that your health and wellbeing is imperative to us and we will factor in all information to determine recommendations regarding future events and meetings.

Sincerely, David Stirling
dōTERRA Founding Executive and CEO

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Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

We’ve all heard about it. The novel coronavirus that triggers the sickness now being called CoVID-19. It all started in Wuhan, China and now it’s spread through more than half of the countries around the globe. In the United States, confirmed cases have almost doubled since this time yesterday (between March 6 and March 7, 2020), so I am spending some of my birthday, and the day after, working on this piece for you.

I am most definitely not a medical doctor, and no part of this article is meant to replace a doctor’s advice or orders. If you think you are sick with this virus, please visit your doctor/urgent care/ER. I am simply a citizen who likes to be well-informed and I think you might benefit from this knowledge, as well! While I am a Wellness Advocate and do promote non-toxic, healthful cleaning products, I have to remind you that doTERRA products are not intended to cure, diagnose or treat any disease.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a widespread, very huge family of virii. There are several different classifications of them, like alphacoronavirus, betacoronavirus, etc. The one that is all over the news and making so many people sick is a betacoronavirus, but in the grand scheme of things, it is only really important for researchers and some doctors to truly understand that and what it means. For you and me, there’s a much easier way to understand this virus.

Coronaviruses are the main family of virii that cause the flu. Yes, we get flu outbreaks every single year. They usually start sometime in the fall, peak near the end of winter or start of spring, and end sometime in the springtime. Most of us have at least some natural immunity to these flu viruses because our bodies have been fighting them off every year for our entire lives. Sometimes, though, a new cousin in this virus family emerges from the shadows and all heck breaks loose. We went through a similar time with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), Avian Flu (Bird Flu, H5N1), Swine Flu (H1N1) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). All of these, including COVID-19, are known to have come to the human population through zoonotic transmission, meaning that it came from animals and was transmitted to humans. Because it normally attacks animals, our immune systems aren’t specifically equipped to deal with the exact virus and it tends to cause a more severe illness in us than other strains that we are used to fighting off every year. Simply because we aren’t used to fighting it off. While it is similar to other types of coronavirus, it is also different in enough ways that our bodies can have a hard time recognizing it and fighting it off before it has a chance to make us really sick.

What Are Good Preventative Measures?

There are several things you can do to minimize the chances that you will become infected with this virus. Most are pretty easy, too!

  • Be a diligent hand-washer. Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds each time. That’s about how long it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song slowly and calmly. If you are in doubt, use the time-honored “one-mississippi, two-mississippi, three-mississippi” until you reach “twenty-mississippi”, then rinse the soap away and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Some of my favorite cleansers are:
  • Clean your house and clothing with products that will be effective sanitizing agents. I know the CDC and WHO recommend cleaning with bleach and a specific list of products that they have promoted. I’m not going to tell you not to use those products because, to be honest, they do what they feel is best for the people under their charge within the limitations that they have on their position and office. I can tell you, though, that their recommended products are only a small list of products that have the big money, backing, and the good fortune of being produced by pharmaceutical giants who can afford to shell out the big bucks to stay in the commercial spotlight. You should most definitely clean your home and laundry with products that you feel comfortable using to sanitize your home during this time. Personally, the only cleaning products that I trust to use are shown below (hint: you can mix the Cleaner Concentrate with isopropyl alcohol in the dilution stage)

Who Can Get It & How Sick Will I Be?

Anyone can get it. Those who are immunocompromised are more at risk, naturally. Generally, at-risk people are those who are undergoing chemotherapy, the very old, the very young, pregnant women. More severe illness is likely to be seen in those with preexisting conditions that could exacerbate the illness symptoms, like diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, COPD, asthma, and the like. If you think about it, that’s just like our regular flu that we face every year and it’s really common sense: if you already have a condition that makes it hard to breathe, hard to regulate your body, or makes coughing harder on your body, you are more likely to have a lot more issues with the flu. It’s the same with COVID-19, but the caveat is that COVID-19 is known to cause more severe symptoms in people who DON’T have preexisting conditions, much less those who do.

What Should I Expect If I Get Sick?

Expect to fight the flu. It will probably be a doozie of a flu! You’ll most likely feel lethargic and tired, achy, fight a fever, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. Lots of coughing because this virus causes what the old-timers used to call a “chest cold”, but on the level of the flu instead of a mild cold. If you do start coughing, you want to keep coughing as much as your body tells you to. You might have trouble breathing, or feel like you are wheezing or rattling in your chest. If you feel this, you should go to your doctor, urgent care or ER for care because the odds are you don’t have the equipment at home to help clear your lungs. The good news is that most people aren’t going to need that level of care. Most of you are going to be fine dealing with it on your own at home, but if you are having any doubts at all, please go get medical attention asap! Call before you get there and let them know your symptoms and that you are on the way so they can get ready for you. If you get sick, severely or not, please take common-sense measures to keep other people from catching it from you. Things like covering your coughs and sneezes, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, even wearing a face mask when you are around other people (even a kerchief or cloth around your face is better than nothing). If you are caring for someone who is sick (or you are sick yourself), make sure to protect yourself from becoming ill by frequent hand washing, sanitizing, hydration, face and eye protection and avoiding all contact with body fluids, Wear gloves when handling dirty tissues, clothing, bed linens, etc. Sick people should stay hydrated at all costs! Dehydration only compounds illness onto illness! Chicken soup/broth, bone broth, Gatorade and good old fashioned plain water are great choices for hydration. Do what you can to keep a sick person’s spirits up! Laying flat is as bad for your lungs as it is for your mood… sick people should sit up as much as they can tolerate, and walk around when possible. With this illness attacking lungs, pay attention to elevation and prop yourself or your loved ones up when it helps keep their airways clear.

Please, please, please! AVOID ANTIBIOTICS unless your doctor prescribes them for you for this illness!

COVID-19 is caused by a VIRUS. Antibiotics fight bacteria. Plainly, antibiotics will only do more harm than good if you have a viral infection and take antibiotics for it. In addition to not killing the virus inside your body making you sick, the antibiotics can kill off helpful gut flora bacteria and give you diarrhea. So please, only use antibiotics if your doctor tells you that you need them and take them exactly as prescribed.

Since the treatment of a viral infection is mostly supportive, the focus is on making you feel better as your body fights the virus. The biggest thing here is hydration. I can’t state it enough! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink whatever you can tolerate best. Get as much water into your system as you can. The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. If you get dehydrated, that is another problem entirely and can be life-threatening! Don’t get dehydrated!
  2. Your body will filter out as much virus load as it can and send it out in your waste. The more waste your body produces, the better. You want to urinate often, and the color should be a transparent light yellow. Anything darker than that indicates you need more hydration. Even if you can’t handle food, do your best to stay hydrated.

If you can’t maintain enough hydration, you may need to visit urgent care or your local ER for IV fluids to help you. You can tell if you are reaching critical dehydration if any of the following apply to you: your urine turns a very dark color; you feel weak; your heart rate is abnormal; your respiration is abnormal. Don’t wait: go immediately for help. Water is always the top choice, but Gatorade is a close second, especially if you are having trouble getting solid foods into your system. Other good choices are juices (white grape is awesome if you are able to eat, go for apple if you can’t eat so it helps to maintain your blood glucose levels), green tea and Pedialyte. Avoid caffeine where possible and please try your best to avoid carbonated beverages, especially while you are sick. Teas should be made weak so there’s plenty of water in there and if you have trouble tasting the beverage, try dipping a toothpick into your favorite doTERRA ingestion-safe essential oil (it will have a Supplement Facts label on the bottle) and then swirl it in. When you swirl in a toothpick of EO, keep in mind that mint type EOs like peppermint are good for congestion and ginger can help calm nausea.

Symptom Help

I said before that when it comes to a viral illness, the only option is usually going to be supportive care while the body fights the illness. Supportive care includes things that make symptoms feel better. Here is my go-to list of things I keep stocked up near anyone who is fighting a flu-like illness in my home:

  • onGuard Throat Drops to soothe the throat, Breathe Respiratory Drops to help feelings of congestion and Ginger Drops to soothe irritated tummies.
  • Breathe Vapor Stick to help feelings of congestion and it is also nicely cooling when you are feeling hot!
  • Peppermint Touch to rub on the back of necks and bottoms of feet of those who are feeling hot.
  • F.L.O.O.M. rollerbottle that gets rubbed over lymph nodes and/or the bottoms of the feet while you are feeling sick. To make F.L.O.O.M., get an empty roller and add in 10 drops (5 drops each for kids under 10 and pregnant women, 3 drops each for elderly and 1-2 drops each for infants), each essential oils of Frankincense, Lemon, OnGuard, Oregano, and Melaleuca (Tea Tree), then top off with a carrier oil like coconut oil. This blend is to help boost your natural immune system.
  • Ginger Essential Oil and toothpicks to swirl into glasses of water for a quick and yummy flat ginger drink when tummies are nauseous.
  • Infrared thermometer for touch-free temp checks
  • Pulse Oximeter to check for elevated heart rates or lowered blood O2 levels
  • DigestZen Touch to rub on tummies that are nauseous or having stool issues
  • Diffuser beside the sick person, stocked with useful essential oils like onGuard (suspended vapor in the air actually helps to clean the air!), Breathe (for feelings of congestion), DigestZen (for upset stomachs), Lemon (also cleans the air nicely and is a great pick-me-up). Not only do the essential oil vapors help support us through some yucky symptoms, but they also provide a nice, humid mist that can alleviate some breathing difficulties.
  • A notepad and pen to keep track of symptoms, times of symptom onset and relief, times of administering medicines, etc. Sick people tend to forget, and so do exhausted caregivers! Notes are great reminders.
  • Plenty of tissues and a small trash can or trash bag for dirty tissues.
  • onGuard Sanitizing Mist and make sure it is used after every sneeze, cough and nose blow. A few backup bottles wouldn’t hurt!
  • Deep Blue Rub for sore muscles can make a big difference!
  • 1-2 different sets of clothes and blankets. Someone with a fever should be dressed and covered lightly, whereas without a fever you might feel more comfortable in warmer clothes or a heavier blanket. Comfort is key here so you can rest easy and get better sooner!
  • Entertainment! Books, tablets, cell phones, laptops, game consoles, etc, with charging cables plugged in. Getting annoyed and bored while you are sick is a great way to be miserable, fast. For very little kids, try giving some extra screen time and encouraging them to enjoy some puzzle games while you sit for a few. Strict screen time routines can always start back up when they are feeling better and you have rested some. Mess-free or low-mess craft projects are also very fun for small kids who are sick! It is a way to keep them occupied, keep their minds off of feeling sick while keeping them seated or propped up in bed.
  • An extra big pillow to hold. Coughing is a big part of this illness and coughing a lot over many days not only exhausts you, but it is also a huge strain on your muscles. Holding a big pillow tight against your stomach and diaphragm while you cough can provide some relief to those sore muscles and make it a little easier to keep coughing.

Other Things To Keep In Mind

COVID-19 is a coronavirus that triggers a flu-like illness that usually affects the lungs more than any other part of the body. You may have diarrhea. You may have nausea or vomiting. You may not. You will probably run a fever and feel like crap for a little while. You will probably feel like you are going to cough up a lung at any moment. As with other chest cold type illnesses, keep on coughing. You’ll cough up sputum and phlegm and should spit it out. Coughing up that stuff is your body’s way of keeping it out of your lungs, so keep coughing when you feel like you need to. If you can’t catch your breath, find it hard to breathe or your chest feels abnormal when you breathe, just suck it up and go to the doctor or the ER if you can’t get to a doc. This virus is known to cause pneumonia in some people, so don’t risk it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if you haven’t traveled outside of the country, gone to Italy, China or Iran, or been around anyone who has that you know of. Community spread of this disease is real and happening now so don’t risk it. Do you honestly know the travel and medical history of every person who you were within 12 feet of the last time you went to the grocery store or to church or to the pharmacy?

This virus is at a pandemic level, meaning a global epidemic in many countries. It is affecting shipments, trade, and stocks. Some countries, like China, for example, have totally ceased manufacturing for the time being. Be prepared for long-term shortages. Don’t go nuts and run to the grocery store to stock up on water and toilet paper! Be sensible. If you feel the unwavering desire to stock up on toilet paper, grab yourself a nice big family pack and head home, but don’t grab TEN family packs! That’s a bit excessive. Get canned and shelf-stable foods that will keep for a while. If you don’t need it immediately, it will last a bit and you won’t have to buy it again for a while, but make sure you are getting things you actually use. Frozen vegetables are great, last a long time in your freezer, and are very nutritious if prepared gently like steamed or sauteed. Pasta and pasta sauces will last a long time and go great with steamed veggies. A good source of shelf-stable protein is peanut butter! Unopened jellies, preserves, and applesauce can be kept on the shelf for months, only needing refrigeration once opened. Cloth diapers make GREAT reusable cleaning cloths, cutting down or even eliminating your need for paper towels to stock up on.

Buying sanitizer is great, but don’t get every bottle the store has! Your neighbors also need to get theirs, too. If you are unfortunate enough to have missed out and it’s sold out near you, you can make your own out of 60-70% alcohol and the rest with water. Adding essential oils can make it smell nice and add additional antimicrobial effect if you use the right ones. Aloe or glycerine added to the mix can make it more gentle on your skin. Alcohol like vodka, gin or Everclear, and denatured ethanol can be used as a substitute for isopropyl alcohol in a pinch. Put it all in a spray bottle and use it as a spray sanitizer, shaking before you spray each time.

So, in a nutshell: yes, this virus sucks and it is making a lot of people very sick. If you think you may have it and are having trouble breathing, go to get medical help immediately. If you don’t need immediate medical help, treat it as you would any other flu virus and take care of yourself and your loved ones. Avoid spreading it around and keep your loved ones healthy. Don’t go nuts stocking up on supplies unnecessarily, but also don’t feel bad about getting what you need. Just keep it within reason.

This is an opportunity for our country to love and support each other through a difficult time, so let’s do that and not give in to fear.