KALAMAZOO, Mich. — COVID-19 infection and death rates reached new highs this weekend across the nation and in West Michigan, and health experts said they expect the trend to continue.
Dr. Rand McClain, an expert in regenerative and restorative health, said an increase was expected as temperatures began to drop.
“This is particularly a bad time because the rational behind more transmissibility is we’re in doors more. We’re not moving as much. Ventilation isn’t as good. Exercise isn’t what it’s supposed to be,” said McClain, who is the chief medical officer at LCR Health, a restorative health clinic and research center in California. “Yes, we’re more at risk and likely to see an increase.”
Many hospitals, including Bronson HealthCare Michigan, have added new pages to their websites with additional information on COVID-19, including what everyone can do to reduce the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and other viruses.
Bronson’s recommendations to reduce risk of COVID-19 and other viral infection include:
- Wash your hands
- Avoid touching your face
- Social distance
- Wear a facemask
- Follow travel guidelines
McClain said it also is important to remind people to address the importance of their immune systems, and the role it could play in protecting people from contracting COVID-19.
“Just being cognizant of where you might get infected, to avoid that fine line where the dose is important, where you might get infected, but it’s not enough to get sick because your immune system is strong enough there’s other things you can do,” McClain said.
To have a strong immune system, McClain suggests:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating a balanced diet with vegetables, fats, omega 3’s
- Getting a moderate amount of exercise
- Staying hydrated
McClain said staying hydrated is critical to everyone’s health.
“When you’re around heaters and getting exercise, drink enough fluid because your immune system and your general health is dependent on proper hydration,” McClain said. “Keep the fluids going.”
There are also some things people could be doing that actually harm their immune system.
McClain said avoid doing the following, because it could be harming your immune system:
- Eating too many sweets
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Having too much stress
- Skipping the daily teeth flossing
A lot of people don’t realize the role dental hygiene can play on our immune systems, McClain said.
“Dental health not where it’s supposed to be, it can drag your health down. Something as simple as an abscess tooth could make you more vulnerable to the flu and COVID-19,” McClain said.
For people who want to take additional preventative measures, McClain suggests adding in some B, C and D vitamins and Zync, but he recommends consulting with doctors beforehand.