Hello Blue Oak Community,

First, thank you all for your kind words and appreciation as we navigate this unchartered territory!

Important: Arizona is FAR behind in testing and this is why we ‘look good on paper.’

STAY HOME* and, if you must go out, wash your hands a lot (hot, soapy water for min 20 seconds). Assume you have been exposed and stay put.

Also, we know there was a Big Bridge Tournament here a few weeks ago and people there passed it around. Plus, the Gem & Mineral Show had people from all over the world when COVID was already spreading. Once we can test we will see that we have many more cases.

https://tucson.com/news/local/hundreds-of-bridge-players-may-have-been-exposed-to-coronavirus/article_f65ac6dd-8708-5943-b58b-f09563287baf.html

Clinic Updates:

– We are still available/answering phones from 9-5, M-F. Our # is 322-WELL (9355).

– We are reducing the allowable # of patients in the office so we do not have more than one  person in a room. Please allow us to do curbside delivery. 

– WE ARE STILL UNABLE TO ALLOW YOU TO COME IN IF ACTIVE SYMPTOMS. Call us at 322-WELL from the parking lot.

 – All Providers encourage Phone Consults unless you require an in-person visit (LDA; pertinent physical exam; acupuncture visits for certain patients)

 – Blue Oak Providers have availability in their schedules to do 15+ minute phone visits for COVID consults and to follow up on your progress with existing workup/treatments.

– Dr Damon Sage (Acupuncturist) is available for 15+ minute Chinese Herbal Phone Consults ($35/15 minutes plus the cost of herbs).

– We are stocked with anti-viral support and are doing Drive Up delivery – you call ahead, tell us what products you want, pay over the phone, and call again once you are in our parking lot and your bag will be delivered to you. (If you want recommendations, schedule a short phone consult.)

– We have pre-made Anti-viral tinctures for quick pick-up and have almost everything in stock.

– We will be getting PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in 3 weeks. At that time, our goal is to begin limited testing for COVID and we will use a separate entrance/exit or do drive thru.

– Labcorp and Sonora Quest *are* offering COVID Testing that we think will cost around $52 if not covered by your insurance, but we cannot perform until we have PPE. If you have another PCP they may be able to do this in-house (call and ask).

– We have an out of pocket/independent lab that will soon be releasing drop-ship test kits. The cost will be $325 (yeah, we know: ugh). Home testing is done via stool and a finger poke to ascertain antibodies: IgM, IgA, IgG (current illness vs past vs no infection yet). We see that this type of testing will be important when folks want to know if they have had it or not (ie re. re-instating contact with vulnerable populations). – It is our hope that local labs that take insurance will be providing faster tests and antibody testing soon, but as of Friday March 20 when Dr Stark spoke with the LabCorp Medical Director in NC, they have no current plans to provide rapid testing or anybody testing as of now.

Looking ahead:

– Video Consults: You know technology is not our strong point. We are working on it. 

– Treating known or suspected COVID folks

As soon as we have PPE and/or Providers that have shown immunity we can begin treating active COVID patients (we would have a separate part of the office those folks would come and go from). 

We know that Vitamin C IVs can be helpful (see links, below) and we will provide this to ‘active’ patients as soon as we are able.  We are also doing more research on Ozone and UV IVs and will help each patient decide which will be most effective for them.

– Beyond Anti-viral tinctures

We have specific herbs in stock for lung involvement, including some that showed to be effective for SARS (similar virus). We are reserving these tincture ingredients for active patients, as many are now out of stock. Choosing a formula would require a phone consult as the herbs are very specific for certain symptoms and each is customized. 

– Homeopathy:

We have the top 5 indicated homeopathic remedies and also ordered some obscure remedies that may be needed when the illness advances (info out of India, mostly). Choosing the fitting remedy would require a phone consult (or, later, we hope, an in-person visit) to assess and ask you a million questions to choose the remedy.

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Important Links

– Our goal is to provide practical, take-home advice. There’s so much info out there right now.

– If you already have ‘information overload’ then go straight to our links about breathing and meditation, below. 

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Washing hands – COVID-19 – hot, soapy water washing is necessary to dissolve the capsule of the virus. Do for a minimum of 20 seconds.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninashapiro/2020/03/15/soap-and-water-1o1-why-its-best-for-covid-19-and-every-day/#77853d426f60

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FAQs re COVID-19/Coronavirus and info re testing in Tucson

– Testing bottom-line- Drive thru testing requires a screen over the phone first. 844-549-1851 If they feel you meet the criteria, you will be scheduled for a test appt.

https://www.bannerhealth.com/patients/patient-resources/covid-19#Tested

For mild symptoms: body aches, headaches, sore throats, and chills can occur without fever/cough/shortness of breath and you are not yet able to get a test for these symptoms. Stay home and be well. Look at our past emails and content here re diet/lifestyle advice and info on good supplements and herbs; schedule a phone consult if you would like specific guidance. 

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General lifestyle suggestions to stay healthy during COVID-19 pandemic ~

Maintain a rhythm of life with sufficient sleep and an active relationship with the sun. Spending time in the sun: Besides Vitamin D production, sunlight promotes the immune system in more ways.  

Get adequate sleep.  Less than 6 hours can make one more prone to infection.

Exercise should be adjusted to individual fitness levels.  As with any recommendation, exercise in moderation.  Too much exercise can weaken your immune system temporarily.  Daily walking can be safely recommended to most individuals.  Of course, maintain the recommended 6 ft distance from others. 

Dietary recommendations: These include abstaining from alcohol, moderating sugar consumption, and eating whole, fresh foods, when possible, with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Drink warm or hot beverages (see link below, re tea).

Stress management: Stress can lower immunity and should be minimized.  Tools for stress management:  Meditation App: Insight Timer.  Especially, deep breathing exercises are best – see link below).

Other interesting reading from the German alternative medical community:https://goetheanum.co/en/news/the-corona-virus

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From UA Integrative Medicine Department

Written by fellow Bastyr Grad, Lise Alschuler, ND

** Re Vit D, Echinacea, Elderberry/Sambucus and Cytokine Storm ** – There is a lot of conflicting info out right now. 

To be safe, right now we suggest that if you are taking D, Echinacea, or Elderberry (Sambucus) and you develop a cough, shortness of breath, or fever, discontinue them until symptoms subside. We are not suggesting limiting intake in non-symptomatic people or with mild symptoms, at this point. https://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/news/  and click on this link for the pdf:  ‘Integrative Considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic’ 

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American Herbalist’s Guild

One of the most comprehensive resources we have seen. Great stuff, but, information overload!

https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/covid-19-resources?fbclid=IwAR3IMXoLGdsnaSDHuG2Bd3-uaqdYX9qnSuUze17K8JZ7REvzKQr8DejrSYw

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More Naturopathic Physicians’ advice. We respect this fellow Physician’s information.

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Breathing & Meditation

5 Shaolin Qi Gong Breath Exercises to Strengthen the Lungs

Fear & Meditations to calm:

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Specific research links– 

Videos and Research re Vitamin C (oral and IV)

http://www.drwlc.com/blog/

ORTHOMOLECULAR PREVENTION AND TREATMENT FOR NEW CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 INFECTION (lots of info re Vitamin C)

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Drink tea! Black is better, as is Puer

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1142193/

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China COVID-19 study: blood type O are more resistant, type A are more susceptible to infection

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May not be everyone’s cup of tea; we agree with the environmental perspective ~

Tibetan Medicine and Covid-19

https://www.shrimala.com/post/tibetan-medicine-and-covid-19

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Loss of sense of smell as a possible symptom of COVID-19

https://www.entnet.org/content/aao-hns-anosmia-hyposmia-and-dysgeusia-symptoms-coronavirus-disease

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Ibuprofen – okay or not?

Mixed opinions on this.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/18/818026613/advice-from-france-to-avoid-ibuprofen-for-covid-19-leaves-experts-baffled

Blue Oak says, re fever: If you have a fever do not suppress it unless it gets over 104. In this case, do Wet Sock Treatment or run tepid baths or use tepid cloths over the body. If you must, try Tylenol first (NAC helps detox any minor damage to liver)

 Wet Sock Handout:
 https://mcusercontent.com/d1f2f3116fd753fd4da51156f/files/8268c1b5-3738-4ec1-b0b3-1672c0428f24/wet_sock_tx.doc

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How long will this last?

The Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus outbreaks could become seasonal woe, some researchers suggest

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-outbreaks-could-become-seasonal-woe-some-researchers-find-11584955802

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More science papers you should be reading about the Coronavirus – 

https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2020/03/coronavirus-latest-scientific-research.html?utm_campaign=hutchnews&utm_content=1584742624&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

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Re. Safety of meal take out/delivery – 

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide | Serious Eats

https://www.seriouseats.com/2020/03/food-safety-and-coronavirus-a-comprehensive-guide.html

Tucson restaurants who are offering take out delivery

https://tucsonfoodie.com/2020/03/19/tucson-takeout-delivery-options/  (frequently updated)


5 Points Market & Restaurant (our favorite for healthy, local, delicious food)      (delivers within 5 miles; otherwise, curbside pickup)

We care about you! Stay well and reach out if you need our help.

With love,

Dr Stark & Dr Mehrabani