Covid Safety, Reassurance, and Cautious Optimism

Happy 2022I had some time to reflect over the break about how grateful I am that I get to be of service to all of you.¬† I appreciate the trust and confidence you’ve all had in me over the past year and 9 months when it’s been hard for all of us to find solid ground at times.¬† Two of the things I am most passionate about are supporting people’s immune systems and reducing stress, and boy have we all needed that!¬† It’s been a lot of work to keep adapting over and over, but it comes from a calling to be of service to all of you and help my fellow humans connect with their natural potential.

I have some thoughts I’d love to share about the new year transition, seeing every moment as an opportunity for a fresh start, setting resolutions from the inside out, and how I’m exploring how to do more of what I am longing for from love.¬† But in the interest of time I’m going save that for my next newsletter and keep this one to the some of the most pressing issues in our community right now: COVID-19 safety in our office, what you can do to recover at home if you or your loved ones get sick, and the most common questions I get about C-19 resources.¬† Getting any kind of virus right now is a big bummer, but there is a lot you can do to prevent getting sick and support your recovery if you or your family does get sick.


Thrive COVID-19 Safety Reminders & ReassuranceI want to take a moment to remind and reassure patients that we like to err on the cautious side in our clinic because we treat patients who are immune compromised, undergoing chemotherapy, and are otherwise at risk for worse symptoms from C-19. Acupuncture is really helpful for those patients, so we want to be able to welcome them to our office. We also want to stay healthy ourselves so we can keep helping as many people as possible.

Thanks to everyone who has been cancelling their appointment if they feel sick or have been exposed to Covid-19.¬† We appreciate everyone being extra careful because community spread is high, the current variant is more transmissible, and the symptoms can be hard to pinpoint–it often starts with a simple raw or sore throat and we all know that this time of year we can get a raw throat from the dry air from our heater.¬† It won’t be this way forever, but right now this is where we’re at.¬† So we’re being extra careful and we appreciate your efforts.

If you are wondering if you should come to your appointment here’s what you should know:The Most Important Thing To Remember:
Please reach out to us if you have any questions about coming in for your appointment. We’re happy to help you figure out what to do.¬† We know it’s confusing.¬† It’s a fluid situation.¬† Guidelines are confusing.¬† And we’re more careful than the guidelines, which I think are great for going to the grocery store, but we’re more conservative than that as I explained above. And if you need to reschedule for any concerns about covid symptoms or exposure, we’re not charging the late cancel fee.

Should You come to your appointment?
Please reschedule your appointment if in the past 10 days:

  • You¬†have had new symptoms that are possible C-19:
    • Including sore throat, fever, muscle or body aches, headache, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste or smell,¬†congestion or unusual runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
  • You¬†have been in close contact¬†with anyone who has possible C-19.

When you arrive we will ask you to confirm this.¬† We know that Covid is everywhere and it’s super contagious right now so your answer is assumed to be to the best of your knowledge.¬† We also still feel confident in our protocols with masks, air purifiers, airing rooms out between patients, and sanitizing.¬† And we’re going to err on the side of caution right now.

Testing to Rule Out C-19:
If you or your close contact are or have tested to rule out C-19 there’s a few extra things to consider right now to be extra cautions.¬† If you have any questions about coming in for your appointment, please check in with us to make sure we’re comfortable.¬† We’d hate for you to waste your time driving here.¬† And as always, check in with your primary care doctor about your individual situation regarding testing.

PCR Tests:

  • The most reliable test is a PCR test when symptoms start or 5 days after exposure if there aren’t symptoms.

Rapid Antigen Tests:

  • New For This Variant: If you have symptoms, it can take several rapid antigen tests over a couple of days to rule out C-19 with confidence, especially early in infection. In other words, rapid tests¬†sometimes are not positive until people have had symptoms for several days.
  • Take a rapid antigen test when symptoms start and 2 days later.¬† Or if you are exposed but don’t have¬†symptoms take¬†the test 3, 5, and 7 days after exposure; continue to watch for symptoms.
  • Some people are reporting that they rapid¬†and PCR test at the same time and the rapid test is negative but the PCR test comes back positive.¬† The good news is that this means that when you took the sample your viral load was low, so it’s a good indicator that in that moment you were not very¬†contagious.¬† The bad news is the rapid test¬†may not be ruling out C-19 and you could become more contagious with time.
  • It can be more accurate to do a throat and nasal swab for rapid antigen tests. The theory is that Omicron is mostly replicating in the throat and bronchus at the start of infection, so just a nasal swab might not get enough virus on it to be detected.¬† But this is off label use for the US rapid antigen tests so some people are warning these conditions have not been studied enough.¬† In an ideal world you would run both a plain nasal swab and a throat and nasal swab if you had enough tests.¬† Here’s some info about how to do a throat and nasal swab.¬† Some of the tests in the UK are designed for this and in the video below they show¬†you how with a person and a diagram:
  • ¬†ūüß™https://www.huffpost.com/…/covid-rapid-test-swab-nose…
  • ¬†ūüß™https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qHTBlxfNes

If you get sick:
Of course if you have C-19, or any virus for that matter, get in touch and we’ll connect you with herbs and supplements to help you recover at home.

This is the best explanation I have seen of the current guidelines for isolation and quarantine: https://dearpandemic.org/isolation-explainer/.  It is confusing so I love the visual flow chart.

What do I think about all this?
A lot of people have asked me how I’m feeling about all this. While I truly wish I could stop sending out messages about this, overall I’m feeling optimistic. I think we need to be extra careful for a month, and then we’ll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and enjoy a healthy spring.¬† After more people have had C-19 there will be more people with natural immunity and I’m hopeful that can slow things down for a bit and we can catch our breath.¬† I also think that we’re being fast forwarded into the new reality and, while it isn’t fun, we will get aligned with our place in it.¬† People’s habits of thinking, expectations, and judgements will change in a way that will be better for our nervous systems.¬† ¬†And since I’m not psychic, we’ll keep adapting as appropriate.


Stock Up Now On Supplies For Health and Peace of MindDid you know there are herbs and supplements you can take that help you recover from viruses and there is lots of good information about what is helpful to recover from C-19? Given the current transmissibility and level of community spread of C-19, it’s a good idea to stock up now to have things on hand for you and your family to support your recovery if you get sick.¬† We’re told to stay home and recover and there are things you can do for yourself to aid your recovery.¬† While I am glad that the current variant has less severe symptoms for most people, I still recommend treating it aggressively because it can go sideways unexpectedly and it’s better to be ahead of it.¬† And it’s a bummer if you get any kind of cold, flu, or virus right now so it’s best to stop them in their tracks and get better fast.

Additionally we just don’t know how common Long Covid is with this variant since it hasn’t been around that long.¬† Long Covid is officially named post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).¬† While this name is a bit of a mouthful, the fact that it has an official name shows you how prevalent it is since western medicine normally takes a long time to identify this type of “hard to pinpoint” illness.¬† Data for the previous variants was showing about 30% of people who got covid, even if the initial symptoms weren’t that bad, developed long haul symptoms that can be really difficult.¬† There’s good data that shows that supporting the body in recovering from C-19 with herbs and supplements greatly reduces the chances for Long Covid.

All the information about what I recommend to have on hand to prevent and treat viruses is here:https://thrive-acupuncture.com/the-golden-window-for-treating-viruses/
Click the link and open and print the the handout on that page.  It has recommended supplements and dosages.  Make it easy for yourself to have on hand when you need it.  Then take a look at what you already have and make a plan for what you want to stock up on.

  • If you want Chinese herbs, probiotics, or the nasal spray we have those in our office.¬† I’m happy to talk with you and help you get the best Chinese herbs for you and your family.
  • All the rest of the supplements are available through our online dispensary–just use the link on the webpage, find your way to the practitioner protocols, and order the¬†supplements you want.

All of these recommendations are good for treating any cold, flu, or virus so these supplies won’t go to waste, especially since it’s a bummer to have any of that right now so you’ll want to stop it in it’s track no matter what it is.

If you need help creating a plan that will work for you let us know.


Covid Safety and Testing ResourcesA lot of people have renewed interest in better masks, protective eyewear, and access to testing right now.¬† And not surprisingly some of the best people to ask are those that have been doing a lot of covid safety and testing for the past year and 9 months, like me.¬† Here’s my answer to the most common questions I get (I am not affiliated nor do I get any commission on these products):

  • Masks: I’m wearing a KF94 filtering mask right now and anytime community spread is high.¬† I like them because they fit my face, I can get a good seal, they don’t crowd my nose or lips, and they help my glasses not fog.¬† The ones I have that I know fit my face aren’t available right now, but if you search KF94 you will see all sorts of versions of this type of mask.¬† They have similar filtering to the KN95 masks, but they are made in Korea and have a bit more¬†breathability for less stuffiness.¬† The ones I have say they are large size and some have sizes, but you never really know until you try them on.
  • Lanyards: I attach my mask with a lanyard behind my head because I get a better seal and my ears get tired if I have loops on them all day long.¬† I get ones like these, and instead of using them around my neck, I tighten them and put them above my ears and over the back of my head.¬†https://www.staples.com/cliq-it-face-mask-lanyard-gray-each-cl61312gy/product_24466217 ¬†I like the quick release adjustment because I can get it just right–not too tight and not too loose.¬† You can find them lots of places online.
  • Eyewear: Several people have told me they want protective eyewear.¬† I love my Stoggles https://wearstoggles.com/.¬† While I’m sure they aren’t as effective as a full face shield, they look like glasses, have protective shields on all sides, an anti-fog coating, and you can get them with prescription lenses.¬† I have cracked 2 ear pieces over the year and half that I have been wearing them which is a bummer.¬† I am very careful with them but I do take them off when I am not with patients, which is a lot of off and on each day.¬† The price is best if you buy direct from Stoggles but there are knockoffs on Amazon.
  • PCR Tests:¬† I have tested regularly throughout the pandemic and more often when community spread is high.¬† I order these PCR tests with a home collection kit through Labcorp:¬†https://www.ondemand.labcorp.com/at-home-test-kits/covid-19-test-home-collection-kit.¬† The way it works is that you order the test and they send it¬†by Fedex Express, you take the sample by following their simple instructions, and send it back by Fedex Express.¬† Typically you can get results in less than 3 days total from when you order the test, but it is taking a longer right now to process the samples because they are busy.¬†¬†If you started having symptoms and got on the site right away and ordered the test I bet you could beat any local lab for getting test results.¬† Because you are administering the sample yourself, the results do not qualify for some situations to prove you are negative, but they work if you want the information for yourself.¬† You have to answer a few simple questions to see if you qualify to get a test for free.¬† I qualify since I work in healthcare and then my insurance covers them.
  • Rapid Antigen Tests:¬† I don’t have any good secret sources, but my advice is stock up with a small supply for your family.¬† I hear people ordering from Amazon are getting their packages earlier than promised.

Did You Know We Moved?
Our new location is:¬†2880 Cleveland¬†Ave, Suite #5, Santa Rosa, CA¬†95403Take a moment right now to update the address¬†in your phone and make a note with our new address¬†in your next appointment.¬† ¬†We’ve updated google maps and all the other online places we could find, but if you have our old address in your phone or your search history, your phone might take you there instead.

As you can see on the map, we’re just on the other side of the freeway, a short distance from our previous clinic space.¬† For most people the drive time is same same but different¬†and all the map apps do a good job of navigating you here.¬†¬†We are just south of¬†the Wells Fargo Bank¬†on Cleveland Ave.¬† Or a¬†few blocks north of the Staples on Cleveland Ave and 2 driveways¬†north of the Thai market.

 


Upcoming Events

So many patients have been telling me they are¬†struggling with stress, anxiety, and low moods lately.¬† And yet others have told me they’re feeling optimistic.¬† How are people having totally different experiences of the same world circumstances?¬† The secret has to do in understanding their thinking and their connection to spirit.¬† If you want to explore how to understand¬†your thinking in a way which allows for more ease and resiliency as we adjust to this round of changes, and many more changes that are sure to come our¬†way, please come join us this Tuesday.¬†
Weekly Virtual Zoom Conversation
Tuesdays 4pm – 5pm PST every week
Hosts: Julie Gleeson, Founder of The Art of Living Inc, and
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc from Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness Corp.
Click this link to our event page for more info and the link to register.
We’re so confident in how helpful this conversation¬†is that the first month is FREE,¬†so you can come check it out without any pressure.¬†¬†Click this link to our event page¬†for all the information about the community and the link to register.

 
Here’s to cautious optimism and resiliency to start the new year!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

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