Ep. 171: How to Avoid the Coronavirus–or Sail Through It, If You Get It! with Robyn Openshaw | Vibe Podcast
I don’t think you need to panic about coronavirus, and I explain why in this episode. You especially shouldn’t need to worry if you’re prepared, with the right supplements (that work, without doing harm to your body) and especially if certain nutrient levels are optimal. Everyone should learn these basics, about how to avoid viral or bacterial infections, or minimize their effects.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Get the Recipe for the anti-viral tonic
Watch the viral “Emma video”
Get the 7 Natural Immune Boosters
Get Robyn’s Recommended Vitamin C
Get Robyn’s Recommended Vitamin D3+K2
Get Robyn’s Recommended Vitamin D
- [01:08]: Coronavirus Myths. Robyn explains some popular myths about keeping yourself healthy and safe from the coronavirus.
- [02:49]: This isn’t our first rodeo. Robyn recalls our recent history when mass hysteria was worse than the pandemic.
- [09:03]: Robyn’s Health Elixir. Robyn explains her secret to staying healthy – and it isn’t even hard.
- [15:34]: The Seven Deadly Supplements (to Viruses and Bacteria). Robyn lists her go-to supplements for health.
- [24:55]: Doctor Problems? Robyn explains how she enlisted her doctor to get her daughter’s health under control.
This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Robyn: Hey, everybody. Robyn Openshaw here [at the Vibe show].
I hope everybody’s healthy in your world. It’s still winter. It’ll still be winter for a while, and I thought I’d do an episode on what I do that causes me to not fear the coronavirus or viral and bacterial infections in general.
There’s just been so much talk about getting sick this winter. There’s a lot of people very scared of the coronavirus.
John and I just went on a little five-night trip to Cancun, and I probably saw 20 or 30 people wearing masks in the airport, which is interesting because they probably think that the mask is keeping them from getting germs.
It’s totally useless for not getting germs. You can get an airtight mass to where it’s going to cost you more. It’s not a little thing that doctors wear.
[The masks with] the rubber band straps it to the back of your head — what those are for is if a doctor or a nurse is seeing patients, it keeps them from infecting other people. That’s really all that’s good for by the way.
If you’re listening to this, and it’s later than this mass hysteria about the coronavirus, still listen to this episode.
I’m going to talk about some important things related to your immune function and why you shouldn’t be so afraid of flu and viruses. I’m not saying don’t take precautions. I’m saying, let’s put the risk in perspective.
Occasionally — this winter is one of those [times]. First part of 2020 is when I’m recording this — a big virus comes around and lots of people do news stories on it.
The effect on you as the consumer of the media is that once you’ve seen half a dozen news stories, then you assume that there’s a major clear and present danger to your own personal health. It might not actually be true.
A Brief History of Viruses
First of all, I’d like to remind you of history in the last less than 15 years. Remember in 2002 [when] West Nile virus was going to kill us all.
Remember 2005? You had people out there (who [just] wanted media time) saying that bird flu was going to kill us all. Then in 2009, just a few years later, swine flu is going to kill us all. Ebola in 2014.
2015, Disney measles. That Disney outbreak. 2016, Zika. Last year, all the rage was about measles. I think there might’ve been one measles death in the U.S. It sure makes for a good news story.
Let me just give you a couple of statistics here. This is from Live Science. The new coronavirus, of which you are probably aware, has been called COVID-19.
It’s led to [111,000] people getting sick, and a little over [3,800] deaths at this point. It’s the [beginning of March] right now, 2020.
It’s absolutely nothing compared with the flu or the strains of influenza that have gone through the country and the world this winter.
I asked my friend, Dr. Elisa Song, who has been a guest here on the show, [about the coronavirus]. She is a holistic leaning, but regular traditional, pediatrician.
I asked her, “The four strains that they put in the flu vaccine, how are they lining up this year with the strains [that] are showing up in the population?”
She said this year about half matched. That means that two of the four strains in there showed up in the population. She said that doesn’t tell the whole story because the efficacy is only about 40 to 60%.
You’ve probably figured out that I’m not a huge fan of the specifically the flu vaccine. That’s because I know quite a bit about its track record.
[I have] also published studies about when you get the flu vaccine, you are massively more likely to get infections and viruses of another nature. Nobody’s exactly sure why.
I think that the obvious hypothesis is when you inject yourself with all these different kinds of dead bacteria, metals, and lots of chemical adjuvants, it really takes a lot for your immune system to process that.
Your immune system is just lower. Your immune system is struggling with all the additional things you’re injected with.
I decided to do this episode when somebody shared a screenshot to me of the New York Times saying how to prepare for the coronavirus. There’s just a few bullets, and one of them was get the flu vaccine.
I just want to point out that the coronavirus is not the flu. There is nothing in the flu vaccine to help you with coronavirus.
When I posted this on my personal Facebook page, somebody said, “It’s protecting you from getting both the coronavirus and the flu at once.”
First of all, I think you probably have about the same likelihood of that happening as you do a meteor hitting you before bed tonight. Also that’s not actually true.
We’ll have it in the show notes if you want to look at a published study that shows that you’re much more likely to get other viruses and bacterial infections if you’ve had the flu shot.
Back to a couple of reference points just to put coronavirus in context. I said there are [111,000] people who’ve gotten sick from coronavirus and just over [3,800] deaths.
The Coronavirus vs the Flu
Let’s point out that the flu has gotten 26 million people sick. [111,000], coronavirus. 26 million, the flu. There have been a quarter of a million hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths according to the CDC.
14,000 deaths from the flu compared to [3,800] deaths from coronavirus. That’s literally seven times more people who’ve died of the flu.
Reuters says that at least one in five people worldwide were infected with the swine flu during that 2009, 2010 H1N1 pandemic. One in five people worldwide were infected with it, but the death rate was 0.02%.
If you’re willing to give New York Times another shot at saying something credible, you have a one in 103 chance (or a 1% chance) of dying in a car crash. That doesn’t keep us from going anywhere in our car.
When a lot of people did get the swine flu — one in five people worldwide — the death rate was 0.02%. Literally, you have a 200 times higher likelihood of dying in a car accident then you did of actually dying of swine flu.
Not to say, “Don’t worry about it. Take no precautions whatsoever.” I do just want to point out that just because we’ve seen a lot of news stories about it, it shouldn’t indicate the amount of panic that we should actually go through.
I do think it’s a great time to talk about one of the subjects that I’m most passionate about educating people about. That is how to be prepared for when you do get a viral or bacterial infection because everybody gets sick now and then.
Let’s talk about some practical tips about how to avoid getting coronavirus and what to do if you do become ill.
I have several things I’d like to just tick through, and every single one of these is super powerful. One of them is a great resource that we built that has been super popular.
The Magical Health Elixir to Fight any Virus
My grandmother had this recipe. Sometimes we call it hot lemonade, sometimes we call it my grandmother’s magical elixir.
We have a few different names for it, but I’ve posted it online, and it’s been not only really popular, but people actually enjoy drinking it.
I highly recommend that after you hear this, you go get this recipe. It’ll be a link in the show notes or you can just write down greensmoothiegirl.com/hotlemonaid. It has like seven ingredients in here.
Every single one of them is either a stimulant for immune function or it has a more of a mechanism of directly killing bacterial and viral cells.
To tell you what it is, four cups of hot water — not boiling water [or] you’re going to kill enzymes in the raw honey.
[Add] a quarter of a cup of fresh squeeze lemon juice. If you don’t want to squeeze it [or] if you don’t have a little citrus juicer, you could just cut most of the peel off, cut it in chunks and blend it if you’ve got a Vitamix or a Blendtec.
Two tablespoons of raw honey. The honey isn’t just a sweetener here. Raw honey is very antibacterial. Have it be local, raw honey.
You should always have that on hand anyways. It’s just a great tool in your holistic pantry because it’s amazing for burns.
I once had second degree burns all over my arm because a friend asked me to help her make gravy. I turned on the blender, and it blew all over me.
I had no scarring from that after I covered my whole arm with raw honey when I got home a couple of hours later and wrapped it up with an ACE bandage. It was awesome.
Hot water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, two tablespoons of raw honey, an inch of fresh ginger root that you peel, a quarter of a cup raw apple cider vinegar. The raw is important. Bragg is a good brand there. It has the mother in it. It’s a living superfood.
Then cayenne pepper. There’s different heat units in different cayenne pepper, but I use the good stuff. You want to use as much as you can tolerate. Be liberal with the cayenne pepper if you’re willing to.
Two cloves of fresh garlic. You blend all that stuff up. Don’t worry too much about the amounts. You can add more lemon juice than that if you want to. I add a lot more than that just because I love the taste of the lemon juice.
Blend it up really well. Pour these in pint jars, put lids on them, and freeze them. Make sure you put a label on it that says antiviral tonic or whatever you want to call it.
When you go to use it is going to be when your little one comes to you and says, “Mommy, my throat hurts or my head hurts,” or they’re lying around acting sluggish. [Use it] as soon as you see those first symptoms come on.
I’ve really trained my kids. Don’t tell me that you’re sick two days in. If you need help, tell me right away as soon as you start feeling it come on.
These little tricks that I’m telling you about, these natural remedies, many of them are tested and are scientifically proven to have a beneficial effect to help you get well if you’re sick.
In many cases, as this bacterial infection is starting to proliferate in your body, it can help your immune system get on top of it, so you never really go down for the count. You never really get very sick.
I cannot even count how many times I’ve been able to knock something down right as the symptoms are coming on. I use my grandmother’s magical elixir [and] maybe some of the other things that we’re talking about here.
You don’t need a ton. Just one cup in pint jars. It’ll give you some peace of mind. When you feel those first symptoms coming on, remember there’s no way that you’re going to want to get in your car and drive to the health food store if your little one is sick or if you’re feeling crappy.
What you’ll do is you’ll say, “Oh yeah, I’ll do that as soon as I take a nap. ” All you care about is you want to lie down to take a nap.
You wake up four hours later, and now that bacterial infection really has control, and you got fever and chills. You’re not going to go to the health food store.
I can’t overemphasize. I talk about this a lot, and I’m going to tell you about a very viral video that I made. I’ll point you to that as well. It’ll be in the show notes.
[The video is] about these supplements that I have on hand. Don’t microwave [the hot lemonaid]. If you feel a sore throat coming on, you starting to feel that headachy weak feeling coming on, get the pint jar out of the freezer and put it in a pot of hot water.
It’ll just thaw some it. You don’t have to thaw all of it at once. It’ll give you a few doses. You don’t want to microwave it because you’re killing nutrients. You’re killing all of the enzymes when you heat it on the stove or heat it in a microwave.
Just put it in a pan of hot water, and in 10 minutes you’ll have enough of it that you can go ahead and drink it. I told you about where to get the hot lemonaid recipe, greensmoothiegirl.com/hotlemonaid.
Robyn’s Favorite Supplements
Also in the show notes, I will link you to probably the most popular resource I’ve ever made. It is a list of the seven supplements that I have on hand. I’m going to go through what they are.
You can certainly write them down right now, but you’re going to want to go get this anyway because I’ll show you which brand I like best. In some cases, get whatever brand that you want. I’ll tell you what I specifically like about some of these brands.
The first one to have on hand is beta glucan. There are literally hundreds of studies showing that taking beta glucan will strengthen your immune system.
My son and I took it when we wanted to get a cat. We’re both allergic to cats, and I had read that it has a really great effect for people who have mild cat allergies. It certainly did help. We’ve been cat owners now for several years.
By the way, beta glucan is the one of all of these that you can literally just take it all the time. It’s not a cheap supplement, especially not the brand that works for us and that caused us to be able to have a cat.
I’m kind of loyal to that brand because it actually really worked for us in some very special ways. It’s kind of expensive, but you can take this year round. These other ones you want to take for a week, maybe two weeks.
You want to cycle off them. I don’t have a problem with these other six. Maybe you take them a couple of times in the winter just to strengthen your immune system because we’re all being exposed to viruses all winter long.
Whether we get them or not is purely a function of whether our immune system is strong. One of the things that makes your immune system strong is if you don’t have a lot of assaults on your immune system.
The other thing is you eating healthy diet, you’re oxygenated well, and slightly alkaline. When you’re acidic [or] when you have very little oxygenation going on because you’re not drinking your green juice or your green smoothies, and you’re not exercising, you are far more at risk to get a viral or bacterial thing.
The number two supplement is vitamin C. I have something very important to say about this. You could go listen to episode 94 with my colleague, Dr. David Friedman, about this in more detail if you want.
The CliffsNotes is that most vitamin C that’s being sold out there is pretty much garbage. It’s ascorbic acid, and it’s used by using hydrochloric acid with high fructose corn syrup.
Do you really want to take a vitamin C that’s a derivative of corn syrup? It’s not likely to do you much good if any. It actually could be quite toxic.
You can click on the link in the show notes if you want to go get these seven supplements. I do not sell these supplements. I’m just showing you the brands that I like.
I give you my favorite brand of vitamin C because [the supplement] is six or seven different very high vitamin C superfoods rather than ascorbic acid.
It’s made from like amla berry, camu camu and I think elderberry, probably some rose hips. I love that, and I have it on hand. I take it immediately if I feel any symptoms coming on.
Number three, you’ve got to have zinc to have a strong immune system. Having some zinc lozenges are great. That’s a great thing to do once you get sick. You may also want to supplement with a good zinc supplement.
Pure Encapsulations brand is what I take orally. I don’t just take it when I get sick. Zinc lozenges are great for your throat if you have a cough, if you have a sore throat.
Number four, colloidal silver. I have a favorite brand because they break down the silver particles into nanoparticles. You’re just going to get a lot more surface area kill by literally a multiplier effect — something like a hundred times more surface area.
Just spray it under your tongue like 10 times and do this every hour or two as you feel symptoms coming on and the whole time that you’re sick. I really think it’s important to have a really great colloidal silver on hand.
Use it immediately when you start to feel it coming on. Colloidal silver is very well documented to kill even very difficult viral and bacterial stuff like MRSA.
Number five, Goldenseal. I’m partial to this herb because I grew up taking antibiotics several times a year. I constantly got strep throat. I would get well, and it seems like I just turn around and get strep throat again.
I don’t think my mother was educated on the subject to know that the antibiotics themselves were probably a lot of why I kept getting sick.
I got strep throat when I was 27 and pregnant with my second child. I was like, I am not going to go get on antibiotics. By then I was more educated. I didn’t want to be on antibiotics.
I’d rather be sick for a month than be on antibiotics then and now. Especially pregnant, I didn’t want to do it. I took golden seal, which is a good antibacterial herbs. It worked, and I’ve never had strep since then.
I’m pretty much permanently positive for strep. I remember they did a vaginal swab when I was giving birth, and they came running in saying “You have strep!”
I said, “No, I don’t. I’m just permanently positive for strep.” It’s in my body, but my immune system stays on top of it. It’s probably permanently in my body or at least up until the last time that I was tested which was when I was having a baby.
Maybe I’m not still, but for years and years and years, any strep tests would come back positive. However I wasn’t sick. That’s a good sign. Goldenseal is a great herb to have on hand.
Number six, kyolic garlic. [There are a] number of different brands you can get at your health food store or. I think the one that I link you to is an organic one. Get organic if you can. Kyolic garlic releases lower in your intestines. It’s not going to give you garlic breath or anything.
Number seven, oregano oil. I’m a big fan of organic essential oils. I think that oregano oil is extremely powerful, and it’ll really knock down viral stuff, not just bacterial stuff.
The thing about antibiotics is the vast majority of when you get sick, it’s viral, not bacterial. Antibiotics don’t work on viruses, and some of these natural supplements do. Got a symptom? Take some of these supplements to have on hand.
Now with oregano oil, you want to have food in your stomach, and you want to have gel caps because if you put a drop of oregano oil on the back of your hand, that’s going to burn.
You’re going to probably feel nauseous after it goes down. Worst of all, the taste is terrible. It’s absolutely terrible. If you have little gel caps, you can just put one to two drops of oregano oil in and take it. Very powerful, but please don’t just lick the oregano oil. I warned you.
Your Kids Need Supplements Too
I made [a] video four years ago, and we’ll put a link to it in the show notes. It’s not long. It’s five, six, seven minutes at the most. I tell a story of when my older daughter, Emma, was in college. She texted me, “Mom, I’m dying.”
I tell you what I did because I didn’t want her on an antibiotic, but she had not told me she was sick until day four. She was three hours away at college.
This might be our most watched video ever for sure. It’s like top three. I just looked at it, and it has two and a half million views; 36,000 shares; 9,000 comments on it.
In it, I talk about these seven supplements that I’ve just listed for you. I talk about how I dealt with the doctor. I made her go to the student health clinic because at this point, she was passing out in the shower.
She hadn’t eaten in a few days. She said her throat was so swollen she couldn’t swallow. You might be thinking, “Oh my gosh, get the girl on an antibiotic.” I would agree with you when it’s gotten the whole upper hand.
I would agree with you if it were a bacterial infection, but I don’t want the almost guaranteed and often very significant long-term negative effects of the antibiotic unless I know there’s an actual bacterial infection that it can work on.
I want to make sure that you know that I would give my child a antibiotic, but it’s going to be very rare. I have not given any of my children an antibiotic in the last 25 years.
Partly it’s because they don’t get super ill anymore. This thing that happened with Emma five years ago is the last time one of my children got very sick.
I won’t go into detail, but I go through how I talked to this doctor because I don’t want to insult the doctor. I don’t want to say something to the doctor that implies that his work is not valuable or that I mistrust him or whatever.
I talk about how I sort of enlist him in helping my daughter. I point out that I’m aware that most infections are viral, and I don’t want to give her an antibiotic unless he can do some tests and tell me that it’s bacterial.
I made him do the test he wanted. I told my daughter, “You’re going to go there, and he’s going to want to send you out the door with an antibiotic.”
We’re overdoing it a vast majority of the time and taking way too much risk. The vast majority of the time we just take an antibiotic hoping that it’s bacterial. It’s not, you just wiped out most of the good bacteria in your gut. You had no chance of it helping you feel better.
One of the things that I learned — and I will tell this story as long as anyone will listen — is to not wait until you get sick to have these supplements in place. Definitely get my list of seven.
If you have children who live away from home or have a child who would really like to be healthy and agrees with you in the way that you approach health and wellness (f you’re more holistic leaning like me), [give them these supplements].
Maybe they can’t afford the supplements. This is a great Christmas gift. This is a great birthday gift. It’s so thoughtful because you can put it in a pretty box.
After this happened, I got a gallon Ziploc bag and I wrote on it, “Antiviral supplements take immediately when you feel symptoms.” I wrote that on the gallon freezer bag with a Sharpie marker.
All of my kids had these seven supplements on hand. If they ever text me that they’re not feeling well, I say, “Do you have your supplements?” When they move I say, “Do you have your supplements handy? Are they where you can get to them closely?”
When you feel the symptoms coming on, you’re not going to go on Amazon and start ordering supplements and wait two days for them to come by. That infection could be quite entrenched.
Please, please, please go to the show notes and look this up. Get these supplements on hand. It’ll really give you peace of mind. It’s money well spent to just get these supplements so that you have a game plan when you or someone in your family gets sick.
If you get on it early and you can knock this thing down naturally, you might be avoiding some courses of antibiotics where you’re going to end up with gut problems for potentially years. It’s the result for many people who take antibiotics.
I’ve saved the best for last. Okay? This is last, but not least. It’s not on the list because this isn’t something that you take when you get the virus. This is a supplement that most of us should actually be taking every day.
Vitamin D and Why You Need It
I consider it one of the most important supplements you can possibly take unless you live in Southern California or Florida and you’re getting outside every day. Some people like that will have optimal levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D isn’t really like the other vitamins. It’s a more kind of a hormone than a vitamin. Optimal levels of vitamin D are more correlated to a strong immune system and resistance to infectious disease than any other thing.
Hundreds and hundreds of published studies show that if you have enough vitamin D, [your health will be optimal]. Guess what? Almost nobody does, especially people living in North America, especially fair skinned people.
If you have vitamin D in the optimal range, which is between 100 and 170, then you’re not going to be the one that gets sick. If you do get sick, it’ll be a sniffle for you.
Guess what? Most of the people get the coronavirus, it is no big deal. A little fever a couple of days, and they’re much better. It’s very few people who [have] the coronavirus [and] get very, very, very sick.
The vast majority of them are the elderly. There have been no deaths of children nine and under [from] the coronavirus. Just a little bit of context there.
Again, getting enough vitamin D is probably the most powerful thing you can do to avoid getting sick with viral and bacterial stuff in the first place. If you do get something [taking vitamin D will help you] be able to sail through it and not end up on antibiotics or not end up in the hospital.
I don’t have a doctor here in the U.S. because I really haven’t had a need for one, thankfully. Dr. Petra Wiechel [is] the clinical director at Swiss Mountain Clinic [where] I hope you’re coming with me May 23rd for two weeks.
I wanted to know how to get your vitamin D levels up. I wanted to know [if] taking supplements gets your vitamin D levels up. I asked that on a page with a thousand functional medicine doctor colleagues as well.
I’ll give you the link to the brand that one of my colleagues on that private Facebook page of functional medicine doctors told me that she has seen repeatedly that really gets people’s vitamin D levels up.
Dr. Petra said [that] a high dose of vitamin D can very quickly lead to a normal level according to the current vitamin D level. If necessary, you can get acute injections of up to 300,000 IU. IU means international units.
You can be injected. If you have a functional medicine doctor, call him or her and ask if they do vitamin D injections.
That might be a good idea if you’re going to be traveling [or] if you have a compromised immune function or both of those things, or you have low [vitamin] D.
You can get in an intermuscular injection or you can orally take 4,000 to 10,000 IU daily. Make sure you write that down. Take 4,000 to 10,000 international units daily. That’s a lot, by the way.
Once you’re in the healthy zone, you don’t need to be taking that much. You’re looking for values of 100 to 170. That’s the ideal range. The units of measure is nmol/L. nmol/L 100 to 170 of those.
Dr. Petra says, “Take 100 milligrams of vitamin K2 with it.” I actually get vitamin D2+K3 as one supplement [on Amazon]. Just make sure you’re getting the right amounts because you probably have to take a bunch of those when they’re combined into one supplement.
We had some people that were worried — about months from now — going on their Swiss Mountain Clinic Liver Detox Retreat with me. One even canceled because of coronavirus.
I hope you understand how over-reactive that is to the actual threat out there. Of course you can get trip insurance as well if you’re worried about it.
Dr. Petra also said to us that if you want a vigilant, strong immune system, absolutely switch off WiFi at night and use it only in doses during the day.
She said that there at the clinic, they’ve done some scientific studies measuring the activity of leukocytes, which are white blood cells. This would be a major biomarker of how strong your immune function is.
She did that before and after WiFi exposure. She said that the difference was really dramatic. Your white blood cells are very effected by those chaotic frequencies coming from WiFi. My WiFi is going off as soon as we’re done doing podcasting today.
Dr. Petra wants us to know that our immune system is dependent on a sufficient zinc level, which I already mentioned. You can get your zinc level measured, but for sure take GreenSmoothieGirl’s Ultimate Minerals. [They] are our number one most reordered product.
Keeping those mineral levels up, including zinc, is important. Make sure that you’re using your Ultimate Minerals twice a day. 70% of your cells contain zinc and depend on zinc.
In the show notes, I put a link to the vitamin D that my colleague told me that she has seen really good results in quickly bringing up people’s vitamin D levels. You can check that out.
You can check out what we call the Emma Video, which is that video that 36,000 people have shared on Facebook, talking about what I do to keep my kids off of antibiotics and what they all have on hand, how that gives me peace of mind, and how I talked to the doctor when she was sick.
That little video is also in the show notes. Just to wrap up, if I’m putting this in the shortest CliffsNotes possible, make sure that your zinc and vitamin D levels are strong. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to take those throughout the winter.
Remember that you may want to take some vitamin K as well because vitamin D is absorbed well only if you also have enough vitamin K. Get a really good vitamin C made from whole foods, not ascorbic acid, and get the silver that I recommend. It’s called ACS.
We give you a link to all of that. Do those things at a bare minimum. I also like the antibacterial and viral essential oils.
Probably the most powerful one is the oregano oil, but you have to put a drop or two of it in a little gel cap. You can also buy them just in the gel caps from the health food store.
I hope this was useful to you. This isn’t something to listen to and think I’ll do this later. This is something to take action on right now, so that you’ve got yourself little care package. Think who in your life would be well served by having a care package like that.
Don’t be afraid of the coronavirus. Wash your hands, drink lots of water, do all that good stuff. Make sure you’re drinking your green juice. Nothing’s better for alkalizing and oxygenating. Again, don’t panic.
See you next time.
[Related Blog Post: What to Do After You’ve Taken Antibiotics]