As numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the life-threatening virus, continue to spike around the country, and numbers rise where they had been declining, we need to exercise more control over the health measures that we can.
Dr. Tammy Penhollow is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, specializing in anesthesiology, pain management, and regenerative medicine. Having over 20 years of experience has helped her to cultivate a passion for regenerative medicine and holistic healing. Dr. Penhollow practices at Precision Regenerative Medicine in the greater Phoenix area.
She says there are 4 ways to have a positive impact on preventing the contraction of COVID-19:
1. Correct and Consistent Mask Use.
The mask is only effective when it covers both the nose and mouth. For those who simply cannot tolerate a mask, a full face shield is less effective but better than nothing. For those who interact with hard of hearing or deaf people who utilize lip reading to communicate, many creative inventions are being developed with 3D printers and clear shield over the mouth portion.
Both of these alternatives may increase compliance in wearing masks in all interactions outside the home and in social situations inside the home, such as with contractors and delivery services. Masks are the single most powerful and effective way to protect others and reduce transmission of this airborne and aerosolized virus.
2. Correct and Consistent Hand Hygiene.
This includes not touching our face and using hand sanitizer regularly when soap/water is not available. Going the extra yard to keep hand sanitizer readily available is essential here.
3. Increasing Strength of Our Immune System.
Doing so enables us to be more resistant or resilient to viruses in general, and COVID19 specifically. That includes avoiding things that weaken our immune function such as lack of sleep, poor diet, excess alcohol, procedural corticosteroids.
Adding habits like taking Vitamins C & D, using mouthwash with peroxide or other ingredients that reduce viral load in the back of the throat, and procedures for pain that use our body’s own growth factors and anti-inflammatory proteins.
4. Combat “COVID Fatigue.
This phenomenon of fatigue as in alarm fatigue, “quarantine fatigue” needs to be addressed. It’s the brain’s way of decreasing sensitivity to warnings and almost a system overload. It’s related to the flight or fight response when we are perceiving threats which results in the surge of stress hormones.
Over time, our brain stops sending out the urgency signals to the threats and we let our guard down and become more lax with our responses. In the pandemic situation, it’s decreased hand hygiene, not wearing masks, taking risks in large social outings without any precautions. Really, it’s a protective mechanism whereby the brain will justify the prolonged situation as not that big of a threat, and we then claim control over a previously fearful situation—saying to ourselves that it’s not that big of a deal, and decide not to respond to the alarm.
If people knew there was a 3rd reason why cases are rising (beyond, one, more positive tests from more testing and, two, a result of re-opening), and it’s something THEY can regain control over, perhaps they may be more likely to take it head-on with confidence and a renewed sense of urgency.
Dr. Tammy Penhollow practices at Precision Regenerative Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona, where develops individualized treatment plans for musculoskeletal and spine interventions with PRP and bone marrow aspirate using image guidance, as well as micro-needling with PRP for skin, hair and anti-aging conditions. She also stays active in teaching as an Instructor in Anesthesiology for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and as a Supplemental Consultant for the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.
A former active duty US Naval Officer, Dr. Penhollow has lived, practiced, and has been deployed around the US and overseas. She embodies the lifestyle she recommends to her patients and is an active hiker, gardener and yogi as well as a French trained home chef and an aspiring sommelier.