• Dr. Alex Swenson-Ridley

Weighing in on COVID-19--A Proactive Approach

There have been a few times in the course of my relatively short life when I have watched current events with a detached sort of horror and disbelief that this is real life and not some scary movie I paid too much money to go to.

This past week has been one of those times.

We don’t need to rehash all the things that have happened. The news does plenty of that. But I think it’s safe to say every single one of us have been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With that said, I wanted to share my own two cents as an outside the box alternative and functional medicine practitioner, as well as give you some practical tips and information for how you and your family can best weather what is yet to come (it will likely get worse before it starts to get better).

I admit, my initial reaction to the media hype and frenzy that instigated the purchasing of all the toilet paper, baby wipes and hand sanitizer to be found in the United States, was to eye roll and feel frustrated with our reactionary and panic driven society.

I’ll be honest, parts of me still react in that way, but what’s important is to actually understand what the WHO and CDC are attempting to do to quell the spread of COVID-19.

For most of us, the virus poses little threat (and I’ll share more on how to improve your immune system for viral battle even more in a moment). The issue is that if we are not able to slow the spread of the virus our healthcare system will be over run and those who truly need access to things like ventilators and the emergency care that the United States in particular is VERY GOOD at providing, won’t be able to get it.

While I’ve been inclined, as many others, to look at things like cancelled events and trips, extended or indefinite spring breaks, the lack of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, country and community lockdowns and the tumultuous stock market with frustration, horror and fear, the last few days I’ve been able to distance myself enough from the hysteria and gain some non media sourced insights that have what’s happening make more sense than it was a few days ago.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: we all have a RESPONSIBILITY to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In a society that tends to be self focused and disconnected, this can be a difficult concept to grasp. I would also argue (and challenge you) that it means more than following the bare minimum guidelines the CDC and WHO have released (ie hand washing and staying home if you don’t feel well, avoid large gatherings and other people etc).

As a society we have become excessively lazy over the years when it comes to taking responsibility for our own health.

We want the quick and easy fix. We want the magic pill that will make all our symptoms disappear so we can keep on the same path that got us to where we are with our health in the first place.

And we continue on this cycle with no end in sight. All our healthcare system, which is controlled by the money of Big Pharma and for profit insurance companies, can offer is the hope of a vaccine sometime in the future and quarantine if you get infected.

The reality is, most of us will be impacted by COVID-19 if we haven’t been already. Many of us will probably get the virus, if we haven’t already.

So what can you do to take responsibility for your own health in the midst of this crisis?

If everyone put as much time, effort and money into committing to becoming the healthiest versions of themselves they can be as they have into watching media reports, stock pilling toilet paper and reacting to hysteria, the landscape of this pandemic would look much different.

Would it mean no one would get the virus? No. But the numbers and severity would probably look much different if we were all just a bit more concerned with actually taking care of ourselves proactively instead reactively.

Who is the most at risk for dying from COVID-19? The elderly and those with underlying health conditions who are immunocompromised. Unfortunately that’s a bigger and bigger portion of our population with the amount of chronic health conditions we have today--most of which are preventable with lifestyle changes.

If you’re someone who is ready to be proactive in the midst of this crisis and take steps to make sure you’re the healthiest you can be and have the strongest immune system possible for fighting whatever might come your way, read on.

I have decided in the interest of being a responsible citizen that I will not hold any of my usual classes or dinner talks in person for the time being. However, that does not mean they won’t be happening (and for those local to Fairbanks we are definitely still open and adjusting during our normal business hours--an excellent way to stimulate your immune system).

Over the next several weeks I will be hosting a series of Virtual Wellness Workshops designed to give you knowledge, tools and often perspective you need to give yourself and your family the best protection you can during this confusing time.

To be clear, I’m not offering a cure or promising you won’t get COVID-19, but we can take steps to lessen the severity of symptoms or the duration of the virus should we come into contact with it.

These will be live workshops, and will be hosted inside two different Facebook groups. Please join both if you haven’t already for access to everything: The Tribe of Rejuvenated Women and Life Sprout Virtual Workshops.

See down below for a full list of upcoming online workshops (as well as some non COVID-19 options).

Stay safe, take care of yourself, and let’s join together in being proactive in our own health so we can support the health of our community together.

Virtual Wellness Workshops

What You Should Know About Essential Oils: Saturday March 14th, 2 PM

The Sweet Fix To Overwhelm: March 16th-21st

Stress, Hormones and Immunity: March 26th, 6:00 PM

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