While the COVID-19 pandemic was temporarily overshadowed by political distress, social movements, and the holidays, it is still very much top of the news headlines. California, which was doing well to mitigate the spread initially, now has the highest number of total COVID-19 cases (356,178 cases) as of July 15, 2020, according to the California Department of Public Health(1). It seems that re-opening California too soon may have led to a surge of new infections throughout the state and as of Monday some counties have responded with sheltering in place again. While Santa Cruz remains open with restrictions on certain services Santa Cruz Core remains open and able to help. The continuous education and research people in our community and across the nation are doing is allowing us to be informed and take the appropriate steps to stay healthy. After all, knowledge is power! What can we do to improve our self-care and protect our vascular system? Well here are things you can do.
Updates on Transmission
According to the California Department of Public Health, COVID-19 is mainly transmitted from person-to-person via respiratory droplets from sneezing and coughing. This is why social distancing and the wearing of masks (CORRECTLY) is so important. Following these simple guidelines greatly reduce our chances of becoming infected. Remember to cover your cough, keep a safe distance from those displaying symptoms, and wash your hands frequently. Hand sanitizers are very useful when a sink is not available. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
Contaminated surfaces are also a vehicle for transmission of COVID-19. It is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (such as door handles and tabletops) multiple times a day to reduce the risk of transmission. According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), 0.1% sodium hypochlorite bleach solutions and 70-90% alcohol are good for disinfection and areas should be cleaned prior to disinfection (2).
New Clinical Findings
Numerous studies have shown that there is a vascular component (pertaining to our blood vessels) to COVID-19 disease progression. A recent article in Science Magazine by author, Catherine Matacic, did a beautiful job of presenting the evidence collected from multiple sources on how COVID-19 attacks the blood vessels. Here she explains how vascular damage from the virus can account for many of its weird symptoms including acute kidney injury and strokes in young adults. This could also explain why individuals with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity are at higher risk for serious illness (3). Acupuncture, personal training, and nutrition counseling can help prevent these diseases.
Matacic explains how COVID-19 can damage the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels in the lungs and distant organs. Damage to the lining of blood vessels can in turn cause them to leak, trigger acute inflammation, and generate blood clots (3). This causes excessive fluid build up in the alveoli of the lungs, where it interferes with gas-exchange and damages lung tissue.
However, this is not all bad news. A better understanding of the progression of COVID-19 gives doctors clues on how to prevent serious complications. Drugs traditionally used to manage vascular disease can now be looked at for managing COVID-19.
While progress has been made understanding the pathophysiology of COVID-19, it is still a very real treat. Rising numbers of cases in California and across the United States are a perfect depiction of just how serious this pandemic is and how important it is for every one of us to do our part to slow the spread. Practice social distancing, wash your hands, wear a face mask or covering in public and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
This article is not meant to send you in a downward spiral of “we are all doomed,” but rather note all that we CAN do! All our services will help boost immunity and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle such as personal training, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and group fitness. Santa Cruz CORE offers flexible personal training and CORE45 group workout classes designed to fit your comfort level. Virtual, in-person, and outdoor sessions are available. Acupuncture helps with stress management which can also help reduce blood pressure thus improving your cardiovascular health. CORE is often able to check clients’ insurance coverage for many of our essential services.
These services that one might have thought of as a bonus or an “extra” are now essential to stay healthy and prevent Covid-19. There is so much we can do on our own to improve our vascular health and lower our risk for serious illness including a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fats, and plenty of exercise. Stay at home whenever possible and avoid mass gatherings. Your health and your life are worth the effort.
- COVID-19. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
- Q&A: Considerations for the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19 in non-health care settings. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-considerations-for-the-cleaning-and-disinfection-of-environmental-surfaces-in-the-context-of-covid-19-in-non-health-care-settings
- Catherine MatacicJun. 2, 2., Charlotte HartleyJul. 14, 2., Jocelyn KaiserJun. 29, 2., David GrimmJun. 25, 2., Cathleen O’GradyJun. 25, 2., & Cathleen O’GradyJun. 22, 2. (2020, June 03). Blood vessel attack could trigger coronavirus’ fatal ‘second phase’. Retrieved from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/blood-vessel-attack-could-trigger-coronavirus-fatal-second-phase