Monday, March 16, 2020

A Mind, Body, Spirit Approach to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones through the Pandemic




by Gary Stamper

Living in California during this viral pandemic, I halfway expected our state to lead the nation in confirmed CoronaVirus cases and deaths. After all, we've seemed to be the nation's trendsetters in so many other ways, why should this be different?.

Thankfully for us, and not so thankful for Washington state and New York City, we are not the early standard-bearers on this.


Together, they have the dubious honors of being the primary entry ports of entry for foreign travelers coming into the U.S., so it's not like California has been doing anything exceptionally right to avoid what's happening in Seattle or NYC. Location, location, location....and luck.

We've had no reported cases here in Napa so far, but, like everywhere, there's no testing, either, thanks largely to an intentionally impotent administration, so there's no way to tell how many cases there might be among us. It's highly likely "they" are among us, and "we" are "they."


Why I'm Concerned

First, the numbers to date: There were almost 4,000 cases reported this morning, up from 1,300 U.S. cases  reported as of Thursday, up almost 400% in 5 days, with beachhead community outbreaks in Washington state, California, and New York. Cities like Atlanta, Miami, Boston, and Denver are reporting dozens of cases each. Total case numbers have grown at a rough average rate of 30% a day in the US since the last week of February. The ordered shutdowns of businesses, events, and even cities and geographical areas are also increasing exponentially.

At that rate, the US will have more than 8,000 cases by next week, 40,000 cases in two weeks, and nearly 150,000 cases by the end of the month. Around 5% of those cases might be critical ones, leaving 7,500 Americans with life-threatening cases of COVID-19. Although the nationwide “social distancing” moves of the last two days — closing schools, theaters, and professional sports events — might cut into this growth, they didn’t help right away in China when even more draconian measures started in late January, noted a preliminary Harvard and Johns Hopkins analysis of intensive care bed needs in a COVID-19 outbreak.

Another model from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that a “moderate” scenario for the coronavirus pandemic, akin to a 1968 flu pandemic, could lead to 1 million people in the US requiring hospitalization this year. A “severe” outbreak would hospitalize 9.6 million people... or more, see below.





In the U.S., like Italy and just about everywhere else, hospitals have limited capacity to treat patients with severe lung illnesses. If the healthcare system gets overwhelmed with an enormous number of COVID-19 cases requiring intensive care, the quality of care will deteriorate and a larger fraction of patients will die than would die in a well-functioning health-care system. And, like Italy, ours is nowhere near being a well-functioning healthcare system. and patients will die from being denied treatment for lack of available resources.

How many people might die? According to the CDC, if we don't get our act together, and quickly, between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic that could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.

Meanwhile, in a politically led climate (no pun intended), The CDC has declined interview requests about the models and are referring requests for comments and information to 
the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the task force, said that senior health officials had not presented the findings to the group, led by Vice President Mike Pence, and that nobody in Mr. Pence’s office “has seen or been briefed on these models.”




A Mind, Body, Spirit Approach


I've been paying attention to living a healthy lifestyle for over two decades, sometimes with more awareness than others. For the past decade, deeply so, and today I'm fully enveloped in immunity prevention and caution, and despite recent knee and hip surgery replacements, I'm in excellent health. 

While I fully expect to eventually get the virus (70% of us will, and I'm almost 75), I also fully expect that because of the mitigation profiles I've implemented, it will be mild and that I might not even exhibit any symptoms (Yes, that's possible, and a lot of people will get through this without even knowing they're infected or with merely mild symptoms. Hey, for all I know, I may already have it, although I seriously doubt it. 

My mitigation is an integral and holistic approach, as is my life, of Mind, Body, Spirit, working together to create a whole.  Mind, Body, Spirit means that our well-being comes from not just physical health, but from mental health and spiritual health as well, as they are interconnected. ONE...three aspects of one being. In one form or another, each and every one of these arose through every ancient belief system and is still in place today.

Mind
A person’s mental health and wellness can be nurtured through meditation or through any activity that clears the mind of negative thoughts and inhibitions. That does not mean we ignore real problems or stop acknowledging them. It means that we can face them openly, that we recognize their potential impact on us, and that we're capable of changing our mindset or our thinking mentally and emotionally as needed. If the change you need is difficult, I would suggest working with a coach, or even a therapist. There is so much to be gained in having another person hold the space for you as you do personal and even professional exploration. My meditation practices changed my life

Body

Nurturing Mind, Body, Spirit would not be complete without the care of one’s body and preparing to meet difficulties such as a compromised immune system and having a healthy body. There are many ways to do this. Nurturing your body also involves eating the right kind of food, daily exercise, and remaining strong so your body can fight off what it might encounter now and in the future. Climate change almost guarantees more pandemics. I'm taking immunity-building supplements that I'll talk more about below. In spite of so much information available about the benefits of this,  we see so many people who do not take time to care for their bodies.

Spirit

As a teacher of and a 20+ year meditation practitioner (primarily Buddhist Tonglen and Mindfulness practices), even during stressful times, I am pretty much able to remain grounded and calm (yes, even in relationship). I believe in something bigger than me and adhere to indigenous practices that stress our connections to each other and to our planet, that we are all ONE, and not separate from one another or from nature, that all of it is the expression of God, Spirit, or whatever you wish to call it. One of our problems today is that we have fallen out of love with our planet, our environment, not realizing it is part of us and we are part of it, not separate, but ONE. We need to fall back in love with the planet again, as if it were us because it is.




My Caronavirus Mitigation Protocols

Now that we have examined Mind, Body, Spirit as an integral part of being healthy, let's take look at what I actually do to potentially stave off or, at least, mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus should I actually be infected.

My primary goal is simple: Don't get infected!

Along with the CDC and WHO warnings to wash your hands, don't touch your face, etc., and social distancing, I have been seriously eating organically full-time (as much as is possible) for about 12 years and unless you've done the same, you're not going to able to replicate that in your own mitigation protocol.

Another part of what I've been doing is taking carefully curated hi-grade supplements (not all supplements are created equal) for my general health and that seems to have been working fine. The exception has been chronic prostatitis, which I've gotten under control in the past year through tighter modifications of my basically non-inflammatory diet and I finally discovered a fairly expensive supplement that actually works. My urologist is skeptical but he can't come up with another reason for my improvement and nothing he recommended worked. My win.


When COVID-19 became a threat, I immediately started doing research around how do I avoid catching this or, at least, minimize the impact of getting sick. Will it work? I have high hopes and if I only get a little sick, I'll be perfectly happy giving part of the credit to my COVID-19 Protocol. That really big question cannot possibly be answered without a study, but I'm also perfectly content in knowing my immune system is running at top efficiency. Everything else, as is often said, is "just giving it up to God."
 

The suggestions for the supplements I chose come from a trusted website I've been following for a decade and know well. Chris Martinson, the founder of the website, is a PhD (Duke), MBA (Cornell) is a biochemist,  an economic researcher and futurist specializing in energy and resource depletion. Peak Prosperity has been in the forefront of furnishing accurate detailed information that you couldn't get from official sources about the COVID-19 when it first emerged in December 2019 and he's been dead-on the whole time. 

The initial list of immunity-building supplements came from his Medicinals, Herbals and Supplements Megathread (#2)  posted below. Please feel free to examine it yourself.


  1. Coronavirus: Sanitation, PPE and Self Quarantine Megathread
  2. Coronavirus: Medicinals, Herbals and Supplements Megathread
  3. Coronavirus: Home Prep, Deep Pantry & Gardening Megathread
Supplemental Immunity Protection

In addition to the standard supplements I'd been taking, the following is a list of the supplements in my protocol with a short description of what each does. These are for protection and immunity building and I would continue taking them post-infection to possibly reduce symptoms.
  • Vitamin C: 2000mg daily, up to 4000 If I suspect I've been compromised
  • Chlorella:  emerging research shows that it could help shuttle toxins out of your body and improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, among other health benefits
  • Garlic: raw or cooked, an anti-inflammatory, and a proven immunity booster
  • Vitamin D3:  modulates the innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection,
  • Mushroom Mycelium:  highly active in supporting natural immune function. pure mycelium and fermented substrates each offer unique yet complementary health benefits.
  • Zinc: helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. 
  • Turmeric & Curcumin: Powerful anti-inflammatory benefits as well relieving aches and pains,
  • Magnesium: has a strong relationship with the immune system, in both nonspecific and specific immune response, also known as innate and acquired immune response
  • Probiotics: Probiotics can help to boost the immune system and ward off inflammatory responses in the gut. ... Probiotics also keep the gut healthy, to ensure the immune system functions well. Epithelial tissues in the intestines form a barrier against pathogenic microbes and other harmful substances present.
  • B-Complex: essential for the health of the brain and nervous system. Vitamin B-6 helps the body make new red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It also helps keep the immune system strong,
  • Quercetin: known for its antioxidant activity in radical scavenging and anti-allergic properties characterized by stimulation of immune system, antiviral activity, inhibition of histamine release, decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines, leukotrienes creation, and suppresses interleukin IL-4 production.
  • Mediation and Stress Reduction: Okay, it's not a supplement, but it's just as important, if not more so, than any of the above. Stress can lower your resistance to fight off disease and viruses. Find a way to reduce your stress.


Post-Infection Protection

There is no vaccine for the new virus and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19, so treatment consists of supportive care to help relieve symptoms and, for severe cases, care to support vital organ functions, the CDC says.

About 80% of people recover from the disease without needing special treatment, according to the WHO.  For most patients, that means drinking plenty of fluids and resting, just as you would for the cold or flu.
At the first signs of symptoms of the Flu or COVID-19, I'll immediately self-quarantine and add  Elderberry Syrup to my protocol jumping to highest dosage recommended.  This is for symptoms relief only.

In one clinical study, 15ml of Elderberry syrup reduced the symptoms of a cold and the duration of the cold/flu in individuals who were traveling by airplane. Some research suggests elderberry may increase the production of specific cytokines, chemicals that tell the immune system to rev up and fight off an infection. 

Elderberries are also chockfull of antioxidants such as vitamins A and C and various flavonoids – botanical compounds that protect cells from oxidative damage – which may help keep colds and cases of flu under control. No clinical data shows the benefit of taking elderberry syrup every day.

Note that none of the protocols above have been listed as "cures" and I make no medical claims, but only that they may be helpful in building immunity (wouldn't you like to be one of those that don't get infected?), or easing your experience if you unfortunately do. So don't worry about claims of fraudulent cures here. I make no such claims.

Good luck to you and your loved ones. Be smart, be safe, be careful, be kind, and be ready for this to be a life-changing event. We're all going to be playing a lot of catch up when this is over. Let's get through this as the warriors of the heart we are meant to be.

Big Love,

Gary

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Gary Stamper holds a Masters Degree in Shamanic Intuitional Practices and a Doctorate in Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies, and is an ordained Shamanic Priest. Gary is also a Certified Level II Reiki Practitioner, a Pastoral Counselor and a Certified Shamanic Breathwork™ Facilitator. He also has a certificate in "Generating Transformative Change in Human Systems" and is an acknowledged leader in creating altered states of consciousness. 

 

He is the author of "Awakening The New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior," a book about men's work and conscious evolutionary spirituality. Gary lives in Napa, CA. where he is the President of the Napa Holistic Chamber of Commerce is the founder of Old Dog New Tricks, an integrally-informed Life Coach practice that supports men in being compassionate badasses after they retire.

 

Gary believes that living a life of purpose is what makes our lives meaningful and that one of humanity's purposes should be to wake up in the spiritual realm and grow up in the manifest realm.