I spent two weeks in my hometown with my family, 4 of whom had Covid while I was there. Their ages ranged from mid 50s to my Dad at 90. Here’s my take on Covid after this experience.
I am a COVID Survivor
Let me preface my observations with one important data point: I had Covid 4 months prior and experienced 8 days of mild flu-like symptoms. For details on my experience, check out my YouTube Video below.
I also had an antibodies test the day before I left and received the positive antibodies results a few days later. I felt strong, healthy and ready to help my family get through Covid using similar strategies that I used to successfully recover. My hope was that the antibodies would protect me from getting it again. So far, so good.
At this point in time, the common belief is that the antibodies would only last for 3 months and would only protect oneself from a particular strain. We are still learning about this phase of Covid. Additionally, I qualified to be a plasma donor for Covid antibodies and am scheduled for donation next month. Will I still have the antibodies 5 months later? We shall see.
I Survived Covid! Holistic Practices for Covid Support & Recovery with Sherry Zak Morris, C-IAYT
I knew something was up with my health when I experienced my first symptom of Covid: muscle aches. I also knew that IF I had the virus, I would be learning a lot! So every day I journaled and tracked everything that was occurring. I reached into my toolkit of holistic practices throughout the 8 days of my Covid symptoms, so that I could find relief and give others hope to make it through! I surely did not volunteer to go through this process, but I always believe there is a silver lining. If what I share is useful and helpful to just ONE person, I feel my experience was not in vain. I share my experiences and strategies for coping with Covid, and recovering from it, in this YouTube Video.
How it Started in our Family
I arrived on the day my Dad received his positive Covid test result. He had been feeling run-down and congested for about a week, with body aches at the place of his hip replacement incision. My Dad is the shopper and driver in the family, so yes, he was out and about. He said he did his best to adhere to social distancing and mask protocols, and used hand sanitizer often. We all can speculate where he might have picked it up, but we truly don’t know for sure.
Being prudent, he got a Covid test through a drive-through test site and waited 5 days for the results. Those 5 days were hard on our family as we awaited the verdict. After all, my dad is 90 so we knew that he was surely in the vulnerable category. Thankfully, my dad has no underlying health conditions – except for being 90 years old!
Shortly after my arrival, two more family members came down with symptoms. Their symptoms were more focused on digestive issues with fatigue. My mom, being in very optimal health for an 89-yr old, had very minor symptoms manifesting as body aches in the area of her lower back arthritis. We decided to get her tested because of her age, and her results were positive. Now we had 4 family members with Covid, all at the same time.
My Covid Health Support Arsenal
I brought some of these items in my suitcase to help support my Dad during his Covid journey, and I ended up supporting 3 more patients! I recommend everyone have this Covid First Aid Kit!
Oximeter – This small device measures the oxygen level in the blood as well as the pulse rate. I tested everyone each morning to ensure their oxygen level stayed above the 92 mark. Most days everyone averaged 95-96, but some days we had readings of 92 or 93. When the oxygen level dropped, I encouraged long deep breaths with arms open wide to encourage more breath capacity and light exercise to get the heart and lungs moving.
Yoga for your Lungs – Breathe Wide and Deep with Sherry Zak Morris, Certified Yoga Therapist
Being a Covid recover-er, I know how important our lung health is. Let’s take time to improve our lung capacity and resiliency. I included some photos of what our lungs look like so you can envision how much you can fill them up with your breath! Remember to breathe slowly…no big gulps!!!
Volumetric Exerciser Spirometer – I love this device as it visibly measures lung capacity so you can keep an eye on any degradation. My Dad had his own from his hip replacement surgery, and I brought mine so we did it together. Other family members were encouraged to practice mindful, deep breathing since we did not want to share spirometers. By the way, I will be ordering everyone a Spirometer this holiday season!
How to Increase Your Lung Capacity and Breathe Deeper with Sherry Zak Morris, C-IAYT
Using a Volumetric Exerciser Spirometer that is often prescribed to people before and after surgery is a great way to measure the quality of your breathing. I had the privilege of helping my 88-yr old Dad after his hip replacement surgery. I learned a lot about how the body heals and what we can do to help our bodies recuperate well. In this video, I share the 1st of 4 “take-aways” that I learned being with my Dad. And it has to do with how you, and everyone, can increase your lung capacity, breathe deeper and heal better.
Thermometer – My dad had recently purchased a forehead thermometer and daily temp checks averaged 97 degrees for everyone. No fever was a good sign and we all celebrated our good numbers together. One family member had a few temperature spikes which kept us all watchful.
Creating Good Habits!
Vitamin D and Zinc – Both of these supplements support the immune system, and a strong immune system is needed to fight the virus. To keep myself strong, I started off my day with a hot “Airborne” drink, which is loaded with Vitamin C, in addition to making sure everyone took their Vitamins!
High Nutrition Foods – “You are what you eat” and “Let Food be thy Medicine” are two mottos to remember when going through Covid. My mom is the cook in the family and she provided a nutritious, well-balanced dinner every evening that we all enjoyed and appreciated. Those daily dinners were a great bonding time for us all where we shared symptoms and complaints, and supported each other mentally and emotionally. In addition, I did try to get my family to try my Ayurveda Kitchari (the chicken soup of Ayurvedic cooking) and made a big pot to share. However, my family settled for the more familiar Campbell’s Chicken and Rice soup. You can’t win them all!
Essential Oils – I chose two dōTerra essential oil blends that I felt would be of most benefit. “Breathe” is great for opening up the sinuses and helps with breathing. And just one drop of “OnGuard” in water helps fight germs. I also used these oils to test the taste/smell senses as sometimes these senses disappear with Covid. Although I had suffered this symptom, so far none of my family members did.
Life Force Practice – I encouraged everyone to move and get some fresh air, as most of them were sitting around watching movies for hours on end. There is nothing wrong with binge-watching, but the body needs to move to bring in the oxygen needed for recovery. When the weather was nice, we went outdoors for some sunshine and fresh air. Nature always brightens the spirits, and that is just as important as tending to the physical body.
Latest Family Status Check
I extended my stay until I felt everyone had rounded the corner on their Covid symptoms. After two weeks, my Dad and Mom were feeling “back to normal” and the other two family members were close behind. We all agreed that Covid symptoms come, go and change during the 1-2 week period common to this virus. Keeping close tabs on everyone’s health status on a daily basis was key to ensure no one had a turn for the worse.
Covid Thoughts in Retrospect
I was asked “What do you feel about the lockdowns and mandates now that you and your family went through Covid?” I am not one to go to extremes, and thus I feel when and if we can, we should try voluntary approaches that reflect our specific life situation. One size does not fit us all and that goes for mandates too. Here are thoughts to consider:
- When you have a family member that is in the vulnerable category, take more precautions to avoid their exposure. Think about your holiday gatherings and make wise decisions.
- If you have a job where you must go in to work, practice safe distancing, wear a mask and sanitize often. Remember to practice gratitude for having a job!
- On the other hand, if you have a job where you can stay at home, take advantage of that option during this winter season.
- If you own a business where you serve the public, be forthright and diligent about your Covid preventative practices so that your customers feel safe in their decision to support you and your business.
- Take stock of your health. If you’re not in good health, admit that and be prudent in your decisions to go out into the community.
- However, if you are in good health, keep your immune system strong with healthful practices like rest, sleep, exercise (Yoga!) and good nutrition.
- When in doubt, err on the side of prudence.
Yoga Therapy and Covid
Yoga Therapy incorporates holistic practices that support the health of the entire being – physical, mental and emotional. Many of the strategies I used to help my family get through Covid emphasized this fundamental “whole being” concept.
- Mental Health – A person in fear will not be as able to ward off an illness as a person who stands in confidence.
- Emotional Health – A person who feels someone is looking out for them and tending to their needs will feel loved, cared for and secure.
- Physical Health – A person who takes responsibility for their health by practicing good nutrition and exercise habits will recover faster.
I wish you all good health!
Sherry Zak Morris
Founder of Yoga Vista
To watch a video related to this Topic, click on an image below:
Note: The videos listed are included in all YogaVista.TV subscription plans.
Online Workshops related to this Topic:
Online Workshop: An Introduction to Ayurveda and the Doshas
Want to reboot your health status? Do you feel tired, experience hot flashes, have heartburn or sluggish digestion? Do you have difficulty sleeping? Learn what these symptoms mean and what lifestyle and dietary adjustments can be made to bring life into balance with the study of Ayurveda. As part of this Workshop with Lulu Peelle, you will complete a questionnaire to learn about your dosha (mind/body constitution). This will empower you to observe, practice and change the life patterns that cause you stress and imbalance. Extensive handouts are provided as ongoing resources for this valuable life-long practice of health and wellness.
CREDITS: Author, Sherry Zak Morris, Certified Yoga Therapist
Editor, Maria Perez, Certified Yoga & Group Fitness Instructor