COVID-19: Special alert from Virginia

You’ve been in my thoughts all weekend. I’m sure like me, you’re worried about what to expect as this unprecedented health crisis unfolds. And it is unfolding quickly and changing daily.

It’s important to stay aware… in particular of what is going on in your local area. But I also ask you to stay alert to what is happening in the larger cities. Because what happens there could ultimately trickle down to other areas — quickly.

For instance, I have a close friend that lives in the suburbs of Boston. As of Friday, they had just canceled schools in her area. This morning (Monday, March 16, 2020) the whole state had imposed restrictions on gatherings of more than 25 people and restricted restaurants to take-out only.

Her husband’s normal one-hour commute into Boston for work had been reduced to 20 minutes, and public transportation was empty. I suggested she plan to stock up on food she’ll need in the event a statewide quarantine is imposed like they did over the weekend in Spain and I expect they will do shortly in France.

I spent the weekend stocking up in anticipation of spending an extended amount of time at home. Food was mostly plentiful (except frozen vegetables, they were cleaned out) but household cleaners and items like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, napkins and baby wipes were completely gone.

I recommended at the end of January all my readers stock up on masks and gloves (if health compromised), disinfectants, cleaners and hand sanitizer. Sorry, but I honestly could not have anticipated the run on toilet paper… but the others, I knew would fly off the shelves as soon as worries about the coronavirus started to escalate.

In fact, The New York Times is reporting that as of the first week in March, sales of hand sanitizer were already 73 percent higher than the same time last year.

And, it’s no wonder… the CDC, in offering advice about reducing risk of contracting COVID-19, has stressed that hand sanitizer works as long as it has a high alcohol content.

So, in anticipation of the shortage, I had already bought some, but I am really concerned about how others will keep the germs away — especially as it’s now known that this virus has started community spread.

But there is a definite downside to hand sanitizer you need to be aware of…

If you’re using hand sanitizer, here’s what you need to know…

While hand sanitizer is a great solution for keeping your hands (hopefully) germ-free on the go, it does come with some drawbacks. If you’re making it part of your protection strategy against COVID-19, you should be aware of them…

The CDC says that if you’re going to use hand sanitizer, you need to go with one that is high in alcohol (at least 60 percent).

Here’s the problem with that…

Skin damage, infection and killing off beneficial bacteria

When you use anything on your skin too often, it can lead to irritation and cause your skin to break down.

But when you add a high level of alcohol to that equation, the problems can become even worse — leaving your skin dry, cracked and open to a host of germs that can make their way inside your body and cause infection.

Isn’t this exactly what you’re using hand sanitizer to try to avoid?

To top it off, alcohol doesn’t just kill bad bacteria and viruses. It can also kill the good bacteria that inhabit your skin and work to protect you.

As Dr. Trevan Fischer, surgical oncologist and assistant professor of surgical oncology at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, puts it, “If you’re beating down a natural defense the body has, you could be causing some chronic risk over time.”

And, there’s still more…

Studies have found that applying alcohol to your skin can reduce its barrier function, making the membrane more permeable to allowing harmful chemicals (such as the nitrosamines found in cosmetics) and resistant bacteria to slip in.

So, with all of those negatives, should you skip the hand sanitizer?

Under current circumstances I’m not recommending it.

The official CDC guidelines instead say to use good old-fashioned soap and water whenever possible, but when you just can’t wash your hands (like when you’re nowhere near a sink or running water), using hand sanitizer is still the right choice.

The key is that if you can get to water and soap, it’s hands-down the best choice.

When washing, just be sure to take the advice of the FDA and Harvard doctors and soap all surfaces of your hands, from the inside of your fingers to around your nail beds and up to your wrists. Also, make sure you wash for a full 20 seconds — about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.

I know that seems like simple advice, but it’s coming from the experts, and right now we need to do what they advise.

But in addition to keeping clean hands and avoiding crowds, the most important part of my family’s strategy is using nutrition to boost our immunity to fight off whatever may come at us.

And please know this, at Peak Pure & Natural® we are fully prepared to weather this storm. Our staff is now setup to answer calls from their homes if necessary. And we have plenty of stock of product and more coming every day.

We are shipping packages every day and are currently keeping up with an increasing demand. The USPS, FedEx and UPS are still delivering, and we have no reason to believe they will stop.

My philosophy in life is hope for the best but prepare for the worst. And that’s exactly what we’ve done — to ensure you continue to have access to the supplements you love and depend on.

Now, I want to leave you with something a dear friend said to me the other day…

Things are very weird right now, a little scary… and a lot stressful (who would have thought keeping toilet paper in the house would become a challenge?) We may have to put things on hold that we like to do, stop going out so much and miss seeing friends in person. But we will get through this together. And that’s what matters.