Lupe & Brian discuss what they are doing to help stay safe from the coronavirus.
Stress, and what you can control are the main takeaways.
Lupe & Brian: [00:00:00]
Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong.
This is Brian.
And this is the Lupe.
Add this is a bonus episode of your, you know, we’re trying to figure that out,
whether we’re weekly, every other weekly podcast, discussing how to live an
active and healthy lifestyle, despite a diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Let’s just roll with it.
We’re rolling with it.
So, today for this bonus episode, we are going to talk about the Coronavirus.
A lot of questions coming in and we just kind of want to discuss this. Now, for
those of you who don’t know, I ran a rescue ambulance for quite some time, in LA County, and so I have
a little understanding of flus and colds and viruses and personal protective
equipment and how not to get sick and all that good stuff.
[00:00:53] And we just attended a support group where
coronavirus was discussed. I had been reporting on the Corona virus on another
show I’m involved in. So, between the research I’ve been doing for the last
month or so, my experience and Lupe’s experience and research dealing with the
Corona virus and Sjogren’s, we’re going to talk about it.
Yeah. It’s something that we’ve been talking about since, you know, the Corona
virus surfaced, so here we are. We decided to go ahead and do it.
Here we are. For those of us with a compromised immune system. Nothing is
really going to change from the precautions we should be taking.
[00:01:37] Obviously for myself, I’ve been doing a better
job, attempting to do a better job at not touching my face. I have a mustache
and I like to touch it. So, I touch my lips a lot because I’m stroking my
I like to touch it too.
And, um, I’m trying to curve from that behavior.
[00:02:00] So, what I’m doing, even though I don’t have a
mustache, I kind of like touching my face too. I don’t know why, you get
nervous, you touch your face. Whatevs, you know? Um, but I’ve been washing my
hand, definitely, more than I’m used to, my hands are really dry. But I do keep
lotion in my purse. That’s helping me out a little bit. But don’t touch your
face. Wash your hands a million times. Stay away from people.
Let’s reel back a little bit. Obviously, when people are sick, we do our best
to stay away from them because of our compromised immune systems. Lupe has
discussed this on numerous shows, because she’s got a lot of young nieces and
nephews running around and you know how to, it’s not news to kids are.
That’s right. All mucusy and stuff, germs.
And that’s just a form of social distancing. And social distancing is something
that you’re going to start hearing more and more about.
[00:02:57] Quarantining or self-quarantining is social
distancing. We’ve decided we’re not going to stop living our lives. We are just
going to live our lives. A little more aware of personal hygiene, not touching,
you know, common area surfaces without some sort of barrier in between us and
not that a wet napkin, a great barrier, but it is a barrier.
[00:03:18] Um, utilizing hand sanitizer, not touching our
face or mucous membranes or any membrane that’s moist, like your eyes, nose,
mouth. The nose is a prime breeding ground for any virus.
What about like me, I work with a lot of paperwork.
And the paperwork is changing from person to person.
That and you know, you touch surfaces or whatever, the fridge or door knobs or
whatever, and then you know, to flip the page on something you kind of lick
Lick your finger.
I’m trying not to do that, but I mean that’s obviously hard.
A wet sponge on the desk can help with that. I mean, I’m, you know, in a studio
constantly adjusting and touching mikes and people will reach out and touch it
themselves. But, you know, I’ve got a big bottle of Purell on the desk and, you
know, the jury’s out.
[00:04:10] Do the hand sanitizers work? Or, you know, when
it comes down to it from my studies. It’s not as effective as washing your
hands, hot soapy water. You know, they’re recommending 20 plus seconds. You
know, go a little longer. If you’re counting to 20 and thinking you’re safe,
you know, count that 40 and be assured that you did 20 seconds.
That’s a lot of seconds. Have you counted them?
40 seconds is not a long time. When you’re washing your hands, scrub, get your
nails in there. And worry about your palms in the back of your hand because I
will hold my hands. Example, right now I have my left hand in my right hand, so
I’m touching the back of my left hand.
[00:04:51] It’s weird to sit and think about how we just
interact with our own bodies. Touching your hands, scratching your face,
rubbing your nose.
Wash your hands like you’re a nurse or a doctor.
Yeah. So, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Use the hand
sanitizers. Keep your skin moist because it’s going to dry out because we’re
washing so much.
[00:05:11] Double up on that Emergen-C. Xycam has a
wonderful nasal swab that helps. And there’s so much unknown about the Corona
virus that there’s just so much speculation. And there is a lot of unknown
because this is the first time, we’ve seen Kovac 19.
I’m doing my best to stay away from people. And you know what, when we went to
that restaurant on Saturday. I felt a little weird eating food that somebody
Well, yeah, I mean, servers brought us our plates.
I really not comfortable with that.
Chefs, you know, but again, you can’t stop living your life. But when we’re
done, wash your hands, hand sanitizer, you know, do everything you can to
mitigate whatever you touched.
[00:05:55] Staying hydrated is very, very important. You
know, if you look at the statistics, it is elderly with underlying health
conditions that are passing from Corona virus. They are suspecting that people
have contracted coronavirus and felt sick for a couple of days and got over it.
However, there is still so much speculation.
So they’re still carriers. Okay. First of all, a couple of questions. So, when
you come into contact with it, is it by shaking hands? How long do you have it
before you start feeling symptoms?
So the last information I received is, a, coughs, you can catch it from the
droplets. They’re not quite sure how long it lives outside of the host body
because viruses will die if they don’t have a host.
[00:06:50] Cold and flu. it’s not a long period of time, but
they think the Corona virus is lasting a lot longer, alive, outside the body.
But again, there’s still so much speculation. And secondly, again, some people
are, they think are getting it, contracting it, feeling ill for a couple of
days, and they’re getting over it.
[00:07:11] Typically, you’re contagious for 24 to 72 hours
with a normal cold and flu. But again, this is not normal. You know, we’re
doing our best. I shouldn’t even say we’re doing our best to stay away from
people. Cause we did just go out to a packed house, sold out dinner theater
show, which was awesome, by the way. We’ll talk about that on another episode
[00:07:34] But you know, we did wash your hands. We did
bring hand sanitizer with us. We did do things to mitigate that exposure.
You got to keep living. You can’t stop.
Right. And that’s our opinion. You know the Sani-wipes. It’s amazing how many
things we come in contact with daily, if you’re leaving your home. You know you
go out to eat, so you’re handing your card to somebody. They’re swiping it.
They’re giving it back to you. You’re exchanging money. You’re being brought a
bill in a little plastic tray and grabbing a pen that people have been
touching. Hopefully our silverware and dish wear nice and clean.
How about, like, I have to take the elevator, right, or usually I walk, but
sometimes I take the elevator. And I actually use my knuckle.
I don’t use my fingertip.
Using the back of your hand, the elbow bump. You know, there’s tons of things
we can do, but I think the biggest thing we want you to take away from this is
stop and think about the surfaces you’re coming in contact with. The bathroom
door, the office door, anything in a shared communal environment.
[00:08:41] And. When you touch stuff, wash your hands. Do
your best not to touch your face. Do your best to stay away from the crowds.
You know, people are going crazy over toilet paper. And to me, if. I’m beat
going to be quarantined in my house. I would rather have food than, you know, a
year’s worth of toilet paper.
That’s funny. I was going to bring that up to toilet paper sanitizer, paper
towels. What’s going on. Shelves are empty, but you know what? It’s hard. Even
when you wash your hands, you’re touching the faucet. You have to turn it on
And you know you’re drying your hands and you’re grabbing the door to walk out.
I mean, usually after I wash my hands, uh, the paper towel that I dry my house
away with, I use that to open the door. But I mean, there’s just germs
everywhere. You can’t help it.
The thing is, your skin’s an awesome barrier and your skin is intact, no cuts
will protect you from nastiness. But the nasties on our skin, and then we touch
our nose or our mouth or our eyes, and that’s how we can become sick.
Hey, I heard something on the news. And it was something like can you give your
dog’s Corona virus?
They’re reporting that there’s dogs and cats now with the Corona virus.
Now, where did it come from? Because I heard it through the grapevine that it
came from a bat.
That’s one of the theories out there. And again, there’s so much speculation.
[00:10:06] Don’t spend time and energies. Speculating, spend
time and energy on the things you can control. And that’s you, your behaviors
whom you associate with for how long, and we can get through this.
[00:10:19] There is a cold and flu season and everybody is
hoping that Kovac 19 is going to fall in line with that and within a few weeks
we’re going to see less and less people getting sick because it’s warming up
and the seasons passing.
[00:10:35] But, we don’t know that it is. So, this could go long
term. This could go, we don’t know. We don’t know. Pay attention to Italy. They
have probably the most aggressive procedures in place right now. People are
being restricted in Northern Italy to their homes. They can only leave in case
of emergency. There’s not a lot of people on the streets pay attention to them.
[00:11:02] We can obviously pay attention to what information
is coming out of China. And if we start seeing it slow down in China, then
maybe this cold, cold and flu season idea is legitimate.
I have another question for you, Mr. B. So, these masks, what are they called?
Do they really work?
You know, people are saying that they’re not working. They can’t work. They can
help. If you happen to be with somebody who’s coughing, who is sick, but those
same droplets, you instead of breathing them in, they’re landing on surfaces,
they’re landing on your hands and you’re touching yourself. It can help if
you’ve got awesome hygiene practices, in place, as well.
[00:11:46] And you know something else, everyone’s like
going out, running out, buying it N95 masks, which is awesome, they’re good to
have. Do you know how to properly put it on to protect yourself? In a
professional environment, when I was in the ambulance and in the hospital, we
had to go fit test every single year. If you have facial hair, the mask is going
to be less effective.
[00:12:06] But the mask is just one tool in the toolbox.
It’s the washing of your hands and limiting what you touch and how you touch
yourself. That is going to be the biggest benefit.
So I saw this video on Facebook and it was a lady, I don’t know who it is, I
don’t know where it was. She was giving some kind of, um, so it wasn’t news
conference and it was funny because she was saying, don’t touch your face.
Don’t touch your face, don’t touch your face.
[00:12:35] And then what does she do? Because she wanted to
flip the paper. She licked her finger and then she turned the page and I was
laughing so hard. Because it’s just second nature,
Right? It is and changing those behaviors and habits is difficult. And that’s
in my opinion, why more people are going to get sick because breaking those
habits is very, very difficult.
But going out and buying toilet paper and paper towels. that’s not doing
Yeah, no. If you are listening to the show, you most likely have Sjogren’s, um,
at the very least. If you also have just a cold or just the flu, you would have
a harder time getting over an additional virus like Kovac 19 right now. So, you
know, if you are feeling ill and under the weather, stay away from people. Stay
away from family.
[00:13:26] Make sure if you’re using a communal bathroom in
your own home, you’re wiping things down. And if your spouse or partner is
sick, make sure you’re doing the best to distance from them because the more
compromise the body is, the harder it’s going to be to fight this. And those
seem to be the people who are suffering longer and, or, you know, paying the
So if we start feeling sick, do we go to the doctor or do we ride it out a
couple of days?
You know, right now, they’re saying, hang tight. Fever and extreme difficulty
breathing seem to be the underlying telltale sign that it’s more than just a
cold or flu. So, if it’s your typical congestion, don’t get alarmed. Call your
doc and say, hey, look, this is what I’m thinking. This is what I’m feeling.
[00:14:13] Because not every hospital will accept you, can
accept you, can even test right now. They might go, hmm, give me a call back
tomorrow. Let’s take a peek. Take your temperature. If you do not have a
thermometer at home, get a thermometer. You know, 100.4 is where, you know, you
should really start being careful.
[00:14:33] If respiratory issues are coming into effect with
that high temperature, then yes, call your doc and ask them what the best
course of action is. They’re going to know where you can go, where you can’t
go, what should happen? You know what, I’m not even going to say that because I
don’t want to speculate.
[00:14:51] But, there’s going to be certain hospitals in
your area that are better equipped to deal with you if you do go and get tested
and come back positive than others.
So for me, what I’m trying to do right now, I’m trying not to stress, although
sometimes it’s hard depending on what’s going on in life, right?
[00:15:10] But try not to stress, because that usually puts
you into flare. I carry stress on my shoulders. I start grinding. I mean, you
just don’t know. And I want to stay on my meds because, not because it’s going
to protect me, but because I know that what I feeling has nothing to do with,
because I’m not taking my meds, you know, so I’m not feeling this because I’m
not taking my meds.
[00:15:35] And also in addition to my meds, I’m drinking a
lot of water, more than usual. And I’ve been going to the bathroom way too
much, but, uh, I just want to stay hydrated. Um, I’m staying up on my vitamins
or I should say I started taking my vitamins again. Cause you know, you get
tired of that to. Vitamin C.
[00:15:58] I’ve been eating a lot of oranges. I bought some
really good ones at Trader Joe’s and I’m having at least one of those a day. So,
eating clean, I’m doing whatever I can to protect myself.
And because I’m in the house with her, I’m taking multivitamins, a lot of C,
vitamins with zinc in them, just to help me stay healthy so I don’t get sick
and make her sick.
And you know what, this time change, it doesn’t help. Because you lose an hour
and about a week or two after the time change, man you feel sluggish.
Yep. So again, this episode is not to alarm anybody. You can go to the CDCs website;
you can sign up for a weekly update just on Corona. There is a map that the
John Hopkins University is updating, and that’s kind of more just numbers and
location of number of people sick, a number of people, deceased, number of
people recovered, most importantly.
[00:16:56] And again, this shouldn’t, I think the reason
coven 19 is so alarming is the fact that there’s so many unknowns because more
than 18,000 Americans died from the flu, the regular flu this year, this last
flu season. And the number of dead due to Corona virus is so much less than
So do you think that the media is sensationalizing it?
I think the media is sensationalizing it. I think government’s declaring a
state of emergency and making that public, but not talking about what they’re
doing and what we can do and, and all of that is, you know, exacerbating the
[00:17:37] Get your news from relevant sources, I. E. the
CDC, The World Health organization. You know, don’t get it from Billy Bob on
Facebook, definitely don’t do that. And don’t stress. Focus on the things you
can control, I. E. your hygiene, your personal habits. Whom, and for how long
you associate with in close proximity and pay attention to the areas that have
been dealing with it longer than we have.
[00:18:07] You know, the information coming out of China is
proven not to be reliable. However, Italy and the EU and how they’re handling
it and how people are recovering and remember more people are recovering from
this than not. So, take a deep breath. And when you do go to the store, buy a
little extra food in case we do get travel restrictions on us here in the
States. You know, have the things in your home that you might need if you
couldn’t leave for a little while.
[00:18:37] That’s going to provide you peace of mind and
reduce the amount of stress, knowing that you can be self-contained. And take
care of yourself.
Absolutely. I got two boxes of cup of noodles. That should keep me good.
Not for this episode, but we do have weeks of food, weeks of water. If we could
not leave our houses starting tonight, we would be fine for quite a while.
We might not be happy eating rice and beans for the 39th day.
And no chocolate frosted donuts.
We’ll be eating, that’s the important thing.
Just take what the media is saying with a grain of salt. Get your information
from reliable sources. And again, focus on the things you can control.
Now, drum roll please. So, I have an announcement to make., it has nothing to
do with Sjogren’s, nothing to do with the Corona. But I wanted to let you guys
know that, yippee, I got another job. Um, I start on the 16th and I could talk
about it now because I already gave my notice. And my last day is probably
going to be this Friday.
[00:19:42] So this episode is going to air, maybe Thursday
and so the following day will probably be my last day, if they don’t let me go
sooner, which I hope they do. But the reason why I talk about stress, is my job
isn’t hard, but it’s a little bit stressful, sometimes, because of the people,
because it’s, you know, hurry up and change this and do it now, and you know,
stuff like that.
[00:20:05] So, I chose to remove myself from that situation
and it wasn’t easy, obviously, because you know, you have to go out and find
another job, but this job that I’m going to, I’m really looking forward to it.
I was stressed a little bit over the weekend. And I was carrying stress in my
shoulder, on my head, just everywhere. You know what I mean?
[00:20:28] So, I think if you stress a little bit, you can
make yourself sick. I don’t want to talk about it too much, but I’m excited.
And on that note, I would like everybody to send her a message, whether it be
Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter that says, try yoga. Because every job has some
level of stress, and if you do not have a mechanism in place to help cope and
deal with that stress, we’re going to build back up to, I need to remove myself
from the stressful situation, so try yoga.
Well, Yoga fixes everything, including the common cold. So, it might help with
And you know, it’s really funny, I did read a post that had yoga as a
preventative measure for the coronavirus.
Really, but you’re going to go over there and be all sweaty around people that
have the Corona.
Yes bring your own mat.
So silly. Some things are just silly. But I think that wraps it up for this
episode. Uh, it’s a bonus episode, so, you know, hopefully he’ll listen.
Aye and while we close out, the patient conference, as far as we know, is still
on. We know a lot of conferences have been canceling. I checked their website
today, Monday the 9th and as far as I know, the patient conferences still going
[00:21:50] If it’s going on, we will be there.
So there’s that. Please come by, say hi, come to the conference. We’d love to
interact with all of you and be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or
Twitter or all three.
And I said it last show, but if you are attending the conference, we need to do
a post on Living Sjogren’s Strong, we said we would, but I don’t think I have,
so we could all get together at the hotel or at the conference somewhere, but
Thursday evening in the hotel.
A little meet and greet, say hi to each other.
So I think that will be cool.
That’d be way cool. That’d be way cool.
Until next time, sip constantly and stay hydrated.
And wash your hands.
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