My practice is open and I am working in both Sydney and Orange. Because my patients do not present with acute illness (and since infected droplets from coughing or sneezing are by far the most effective way to transmit the virus) my exposure is low in the surgery. The waiting area only seats one patient, and this enables the distancing principle to be carried out very easily. I am also happy to see patients through phone or Zoom consultations if patients are keen to remain at home, though under the current Covid Medicare guidelines, this may impact the available rebate. In some ways the need for integrative medicine has never been greater.

Whilst I concur with the advice of the medical authorities in relation to ‘social distancing’, self isolation and hand washing, i.e advice to reduce contagion, I am disappointed that there is no message in relation to REDUCING THE SEVERITY of the Covid illness if one is infected.

The anxiety and panic around Covid is because a minority of people become seriously ill. There should be information to saturation level about how our nutrition effects our response to Covid and supplements relevant in helping to prevent hospitalisation.

I spoke to Norman Swann briefly on the radio (20/4) and asked him why he had not been disseminating information about the strong link between obesity and poor COVID outcomes – especially death. His response was “Mia Culpa, Mia Culpa, Mia Culpa.” So improving nutrition and losing adipose tissue – key concerns in my practice – has never been more important!

I am fortunate enough to have watched several lectures from doctors in Europe and Asia/Pacific addressing these issues. From a nutritional perspective I can give blanket advice: evidence from Italy shows that the virus replicates more easily in an ACIDIC cellular environment – and processed carbohydrates and grains are cell acidifiers! Vegetables in particular alkalise cells.

Zinc is important in reducing cellular replication, and one research group in Europe believe that lower zinc levels in older patients is a major factor in their poorer prognosis. My patients would know exactly how much they need since I always test zinc, but it is unlikely that anyone could overdose by taking a supplement.

Several vitamins are also key in our immune system re Covid, but one that is unable to be taken excessively is vitamin C. 2 grams twice daily is very well tolerated. If a patient contracts Covid there is an upgraded protocol that I discuss. Other fat soluble vitamins are also important, and I recommend particular products based on blood tests that I do.

Intravenous vitamin C is being used and has already been trialled with published studies in China. It can significantly reduce the inflammatory cascade associated with infection. I have used intravenous vitamin C for many medical indications for years in my practice and I am disappointed that this is not being used in hospitals in Australia on a routine basis (I do not believe it is being used at all). In addition there are other supplements which can reduce the symptom severity in Covid which I have been discussing with all my patients.

So let us try to improve our health and thereby turn Covid into a less fearsome opponent!