Sjogren’s and the Coronavirus

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 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.

[00:00:03] Brian: [00:00:03] This is Brian.

[00:00:04] Lupe: [00:00:04] And this is the Lupe.

[00:00:05] Brian: [00:00:05] 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.

[00:00:19] Lupe: [00:00:19] Let’s just roll with it.

[00:00:20] Brian: [00:00:20] We’re rolling with it.

[00:00:22] Lupe: [00:00:22] So, today for this bonus episode, we are going to talk about the Coronavirus.

[00:00:29] Brian: [00:00:29] 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.

[00:01:15] Lupe: [00:01:15] 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.

[00:01:23] Brian: [00:01:23] 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 mustache.

[00:01:50] Lupe: [00:01:50] I like to touch it too.

[00:01:52] Brian: [00:01:52] And.

[00:01:53] Lupe: [00:01:53] Your mustache.

[00:01:54] Brian: [00:01:54] And, um, I’m trying to curve from that behavior.

[00:01:59] Lupe: [00:01:59] Brian’s blushing.

[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.

[00:02:27] Brian: [00:02:27] 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.

[00:02:45] Lupe: [00:02:45] That’s right. All mucusy and stuff, germs.

[00:02:49] Brian: [00:02:49] 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.

[00:03:33] Lupe: [00:03:33] What about like me, I work with a lot of paperwork.

[00:03:36] Brian: [00:03:36] And the paperwork is changing from person to person.

[00:03:39] Lupe: [00:03:39] 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 your finger.

[00:03:50] Brian: [00:03:50] Lick your finger.

[00:03:51] Lupe: [00:03:51] I’m trying not to do that, but I mean that’s obviously hard.

[00:03:54] Brian: [00:03:54] 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.

[00:04:31] Lupe: [00:04:31] That’s a lot of seconds. Have you counted them?

[00:04:33] Brian: [00:04:33] 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.

[00:05:00] Lupe: [00:05:00] Wash your hands like you’re a nurse or a doctor.

[00:05:02] Brian: [00:05:02] 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.

[00:05:29] Lupe: [00:05:29] 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 else touched.

[00:05:40] Brian: [00:05:40] Well, yeah, I mean, servers brought us our plates.

[00:05:43] Lupe: [00:05:43] I really not comfortable with that.

[00:05:45] Brian: [00:05:45] 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.

[00:06:22] Lupe: [00:06:22] 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?

[00:06:36] Brian: [00:06:36] 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 maybe.

[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.

[00:07:41] Lupe: [00:07:41] You got to keep living. You can’t stop.

[00:07:44] Brian: [00:07:44] 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.

[00:08:00] Lupe: [00:08:00] Money.

[00:08:01] Brian: [00:08:01] 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.

[00:08:15] Lupe: [00:08:15] 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.

[00:08:22] Brian: [00:08:22] Right.

[00:08:22] Lupe: [00:08:22] I don’t use my fingertip.

[00:08:24] Brian: [00:08:24] 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.

[00:09:03] Lupe: [00:09:03] 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 off.

[00:09:17] Brian: [00:09:17] And you know you’re drying your hands and you’re grabbing the door to walk out.

[00:09:21] Lupe: [00:09:21] 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.

[00:09:31] Brian: [00:09:31] 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.

[00:09:47] Lupe: [00:09:47] Hey, I heard something on the news. And it was something like can you give your dog’s Corona virus?

[00:09:54] Brian: [00:09:54] They’re reporting that there’s dogs and cats now with the Corona virus.

[00:09:58] Lupe: [00:09:58] Now, where did it come from? Because I heard it through the grapevine that it came from a bat.

[00:10:02] Brian: [00:10:02] 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.

[00:11:13] Lupe: [00:11:13] I have another question for you, Mr. B. So, these masks, what are they called? Do they really work?

[00:11:20] Brian: [00:11:20] 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.

[00:12:18] Lupe: [00:12:18] 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,

[00:12:44] Brian: [00:12:44] 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.

[00:12:55] Lupe: [00:12:55] But going out and buying toilet paper and paper towels. that’s not doing anything.

[00:13:00] Brian: [00:13:00] 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 ultimate price.

[00:13:50] Lupe: [00:13:50] So if we start feeling sick, do we go to the doctor or do we ride it out a couple of days?

[00:13:55] Brian: [00:13:55] 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.

[00:15:03] Lupe: [00:15:03] 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.

[00:16:09] Brian: [00:16:09] 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.

[00:16:21] [00:16:21] Lupe: [00:16:21] 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.

[00:16:31] Brian: [00:16:31] 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 that.

[00:17:20] Lupe: [00:17:20] So do you think that the media is sensationalizing it?

[00:17:24] Brian: [00:17:24] 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 situation.

[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.

[00:18:44] Lupe: [00:18:44] Absolutely. I got two boxes of cup of noodles. That should keep me good.

[00:18:49] Brian: [00:18:49] 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.

[00:19:00] Lupe: [00:19:00] Yeah.

[00:19:00] Brian: [00:19:00] We might not be happy eating rice and beans for the 39th day.

[00:19:04] Lupe: [00:19:04] And no chocolate frosted donuts.

[00:19:07] Brian: [00:19:07] We’ll be eating, that’s the important thing.

[00:19:09] Lupe: [00:19:09] Right on.

[00:19:10] Brian: [00:19:10] 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.

[00:19:19] Lupe: [00:19:19] 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.

[00:20:36] Brian: [00:20:36] 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.

[00:21:01] Lupe: [00:21:01] Well, Yoga fixes everything, including the common cold. So, it might help with the Corona.

[00:21:06] Brian: [00:21:06] And you know, it’s really funny, I did read a post that had yoga as a preventative measure for the coronavirus.

[00:21:16] Lupe: [00:21:16] Really, but you’re going to go over there and be all sweaty around people that have the Corona.

[00:21:20] Brian: [00:21:20] Yes bring your own mat.

[00:21:22] Lupe: [00:21:22] 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.

[00:21:33] Brian: [00:21:33] 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 on.

[00:21:50] If it’s going on, we will be there.

[00:21:52] Lupe: [00:21:52] Definitely.

[00:21:53] Brian: [00:21:53] 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.

[00:22:04] Lupe: [00:22:04] 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 you know.

[00:22:18] Brian: [00:22:18] Thursday evening in the hotel.

[00:22:21] Lupe: [00:22:21] A little meet and greet, say hi to each other.

[00:22:23] Brian: [00:22:23] Yeah.

[00:22:23] Lupe: [00:22:23] So I think that will be cool.

[00:22:25] Brian: [00:22:25] That’d be way cool. That’d be way cool.

[00:22:27] Lupe: [00:22:27] Until next time, sip constantly and stay hydrated.

[00:22:31] Brian: [00:22:31] And wash your hands.


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