Simple Ways to Reduce COVID Risk

Dear Patients,

An Important Request

With the news of parties at the Lake this past weekend and Governor Kelly putting the reopening in the hands of the counties this week, the landscape of our reopening plan has suddenly changed.


For a moment, I questioned my decision to reopen, but I plan to proceed, at least for now. For our safety and the safety of our patients, please reschedule your appointment if you have not practiced physical distancing for any reason for two weeks prior to your appointment. No questions asked. Just tell Lori you need to reschedule or request to switch to an online or telephone appointment if possible. We are putting our trust in you. Please help protect us.

How Coronavirus Does its Business and How to Protect Yourself

A study has confirmed what many physicians had suspected. Coronavirus damages the linings of the tiny blood vessels in the air sacs deep in the lungs. These tiny blood vessels receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide as we breathe. Damage or destruction of this lining, called the endothelium, causes the difficulty breathing, reduced blood oxygen levels and clotting that can cause strokes, COVID toes and the Kawasaki disease-like syndrome in children. Not surprisingly, endothelial dysfunction is a key characteristic of most conditions that put one at higher risk for more severe COVID-19, such as: obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia. This study also compared lungs donated from people who died from COVID-19 to those who died of the flu. Compared to the flu, COVID-19 lungs had 9-fold more blood clots. Yet another reason COVID-19 is not just a bad case of the flu.

Protecting our endothelium is easy. The foundation is eating a “veg-intense” diet. To that end, I am attaching our Right Food e-book that for the past few years I have offered to all new patients. So, it may be new to longer-term patients. I also want to put a plug in for our local farmers’ markets. They sell the freshest, tastiest, most nutrient dense veggies around. Family and friends of mine who don’t like vegetables, love them when they come from the farmers’ market. Why? Because grocery store veggies are old. It takes farmers’ market veggies 10-14 days to look like grocery store veggies in my fridge and I promise you that rarely happens. Many of the markets have gone to online ordering so all that is left to do is pick up your order. The Brookside Market does a stellar job of encouraging social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing of masks. I go there with confidence. Sign up for their Harvest Report email to pre-order.

Green tea has been shown to support good endothelial function in numerous studies. But did you know that any tea from the plant Camellia Sinensis will do the same? If you don’t like green tea, like yours truly, you can enjoy black, white, Pu-Erh or my personal favorite, oolong tea. Try Upton Tea for excellent quality loose leaf tea. Martin City Coffee is my hands down favorite local place, besides home, for delicious brewed tea, hot or iced. Besides traditional teas, their turmeric and rosehips tisanes, the proper term for “tea” made from plants other than Camellia Sinensis, are delicious and nourish your endothelium. Turmeric and rosehips are well-studied, as is hibiscus. Check out this tasty hibiscus tea blend from a company in St. Louis that is the bomb!

If you are following a supplement program recommended by me for cholesterol, blood pressure, cognitive or blood sugar issues, then you are protecting your endothelium. Be sure to follow it. I am happy to work with you if you are interested in a supplement program to protect your endothelium.

COVID-19 the Teacher

I suspect things could get a lot worse before they get better. It saddens me that almost six months into this, our country has no unified public health or economic plan to address the virus. It’s now about guidelines and individual responsibility, or shall I say individual irresponsibility. We want to get “back to normal” without taking care of our present situation, but denial won’t make COVID go away.

I believe Coronavirus wants to teach us that our happiness, health and prosperity are not an individual matter. When we take care of others, we take care of ourselves. It wants to teach us to face what is before us right here, right now, and take care of it with generosity and courage. I wish we could learn these lessons sooner rather than later, but I think it will be a hard road.

Advice about Resuming Activities

I advise everyone to be selective about resuming activities. I plan to have my teeth cleaned and some crowns placed next week, and later in the month have my eyes examined. I’m babying a pair of broken glasses and need a new prescription before I get new frames. That’s about it. My hair will be a lot longer when you see me next. Please continue to follow your local government rules or guidelines, practice physical distancing and wear a face mask in public.

Until then, stay well.

Bethany Klug, DO

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