Treating the Disease Before it Occurs

March 20, 2020 Joe Brady

Mainland China has reported zero new domestic infections of coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began.

The National Health Commission said it was also the first time Hubei province – where the disease first emerged – recorded no new cases either domestically or from abroad. Nationwide, there were 34 new infections, all of them from overseas.

The number of new deaths was down to single digits, with just eight reported, bringing the total death toll to 3,245. The commission said 23 new suspected cases had been reported and that the total number of infections now stands at 80,928. A total of 70,420 patients have recovered.

Zhong Nanshan leading Chinese pulmonologist

Zhong Nanshan, a leading Chinese epidemiologist, said that without strong intervention the coronavirus would not be eliminated. “I think many countries should take measures [based on] the intervention mechanism invented by China. Upstream control is an ancient way, but effective,” Zhong said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“The core points are the ‘four early’s’: early prevention, early detection, early diagnosis, and early quarantine.” South China Morning Post 3/19/20

Treating the Disease Before it Occurs: Improving Immune Function/ Reducing Exposure

Treating the disease before it occurs has been a maxim of Traditional Chinese Medicine since the ascension of the Yellow Emperor 5000 years ago. Rather than wait around for disease to strike, there are some concrete things we can do to strengthen the body’s resistance to disease. Primary prevention starts with following the CDC’s guidelines for proper handwashing and social distancing practices. One of the best ways to think of social distancing is to imagine that you already have the disease and are trying your best not to infect others. We are better at changing our behavior to protect others than we are at protecting ourselves. Beyond that, there are numerous things we can all do to strengthen immune function so the body has a better chance to survive if we do fall ill.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that they’ve created an international trial to study all the various coronavirus treatments being developed in different countries to determine which ones work the best—a move that will help all of us in every nation.

Disclaimer: This article was compiled by Joseph Brady from three references to inform the readers how COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus, is currently treated in China. For readers who may have such an infection, contact and consult your primary physician, go to the hospital or the CDC immediately. For additional information, please contact the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Prevention Phase: 预防期 

Community. Following the CDC’s guidelines and local state and federal recommendations. 

Practice social distancing and take great effort to keep away from crowds and potentially contaminated areas.

Disinfect the environment with Lysol, bleach, etc., and improve healthcare management.

Individual. Strengthening the Wei Qi or immune function in Traditional Chinese Medicine depends upon tonifying all those functions in the body that contribute to good health. It is far better to face any disease from a position of strength than from a position of weakness. Tonifying Wei Qi is a matter of tonifying the whole system with diet, exercise, meditation, and good hygiene – all great things to focus on while practicing good social distancing. It sure beats sitting around whining and worrying about it all.

Wei Qi (Immune function) = diet+exercise+breathing+meditation

Strengthen Your Gu Qi

Gu Qi is the Qi we get from the food we eat. A healthy nutrient-dense diet is crucial to strong immune function. It is also important that people not gain a lot of weight white restricting activities. Maintain as healthy a diet as you can. Make it a challenge in improving your diet. When stocking up on foods make sure you choose foods that are light on the carbs and heavy on the nutrient density. Water is considered an herb in Chinese medicine. Staying well-hydrated is crucial in the body’s systems of defense against disease. Every virus you wash out of your body is one less virus your body has to fight. Even after someone gets sick, drinking lots of fluids can help the body fight off disease. In a sense, water is the one Chinese herb that western doctors also agree upon because if you do land in the hospital, one of the first things they will do is stick an IV in your arm and force the fluids into you.

Gu Qi is not just the food you eat, but it is how your body converts those calories to energy which is in your muscles. Your regular daily routine of regular physical activity can include taking a walk every day to brighten your mood and getting blood moving by not becoming too much of a couch potato. Practice Tai Chi and QiGong. Practice your yoga. Get out the old Grateful Dead records and dance. Get some productive chores done each day, but don’t overdo it. Take this forced vacation and use it as a chance to recharge your batteries and take stock of life. Nothing sharpens the mind quicker than an emergency situation..

Strengthen your Qing Qi

Qing Qi is the energy you get from the air that you breathe. Practicing some Qi breathing every day can strengthen your breathing. Strong lungs can mean the difference between life and death when you do get sick. Qi breathing is basically slowing down your respiratory rate to breathe long, slow, fine, and deep. Eighteen-year-old levels of vital capacity is when you are able to take a 20-second inhale and a 20-second exhale. Don’t try to start with that. Start with a five-second inhale in, five-second exhale, and slowly increase the length of time to improve your vital capacity. 

A good app to use to help with the meditation is called Insight Timer – a free app available on your mobile phone that will allow you to set a timer. A gong goes off at each twenty-second interval. You can also play over any music. You can play it with Pandora and make it as pleasant as possible. Another nice feature of this app is that it contains about 2000 free meditation lessons.

Strengthen your Yuan Qi

Yuan Qi is the Qi of genetics. Let’s face it. Some people have better gene profiles that allow them to resist disease better, but even this, can be affected by good habits. Stress-related hormones interfere with immune function. Meditation can help us manage stress much more effectively. During the coronavirus, quarantines are a perfect time to develop a good daily meditation practice.

Chinese Herbal Prevention Strategies

Some of these first practices may sound a little strange to the western mind, but with a little deeper understanding, they are truly quite brilliant. One of the hardest parts of practicing good hygiene and social distancing is compliance. Even experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci catch themselves touching their faces or without thinking to catch themselves shaking someone’s hand. The smell of certain herbs to Chinese people triggers a social distancing response. It acts as a reminder to keep your distance and wash your hands. After many attacks by plagues over centuries, certain rituals, like wearing a perfumed herb bag, became a way to remind everyone “Oh, oh! There is a disease around. Everybody be careful.”

There is also at least some evidence that the aromatic nature of these herbs may actually have some anti-septic, anti-microbial effect.

a. Fumigation with moxa in the room, 1-5 g/m2 for 30 min per day.

This is to be done in conjunction with good disinfectant practices. Moxa is the same herb that Chinese medicine earned a Nobel Prize a few years ago for use in the treatment of malaria. In this case for fumigating an area where there has been illness, the Chinese have burned it as a method of fumigation.

b. Wearing perfumed Chinese herb bags using:

Ding Xiang clove,

Jing Jie fine leaf schizonepeta herb,

Zi su zi Perilla frutescens,

Bai Zhu atractylodes lancea,

Rou Gui cinnamon,

Xin yi hua biond magnolia flower,

Xi Xin Asarum sieboldii, and 

Bai Dou Kou Elettaria cardamomum,

2 g for each, crushed into powder and put it into bags for external use, change a new one every 10 days). 

These perfume bags are available at the clinic and we are open for picking up herbs. Call in advance – 303-744-7676

Homemade perfume bags can be made from common ingredients you may have around the house.

Take an equal mixture of cloves, cinnamon, dried ginger, and cardamon. Grind up and put in a muslin bag or tea bag. Carry around in your pocket and let the aroma remind you to wash your hands.

c. Prescription of Chinese Herbs for Feet Bath

Moxa AI ye artemisia vulgaris 10 g,

Hong Hua Safflower carthamus 10 g, and

Gan Jiang dried ginger 6 g

Soaking the herbs in boiling water and bath the feet into the medical liquid when the temperature is suitable. Soak feet for about 20 min.

d. Prescription of Chinese Herbs for Prophylaxis:

Consistent with the Chinese idea of treating the disease before it occurs there are several herbal formulas that are used for prevention. By introducing certain of the herbs used in treating the disease before the disease is present you give the body a running start in treatment if the disease is contracted. Although no clinical trials have been done with Coronavirus all of these herbs have been shown in other studies to have anti-viral, anti-microbial properties.

Green Tea – the Divine herb

Ban Lan Gen anti-viral herb currently under clinical trials as tea or pills

Chuan Xin Lian another anti-viral herb

Gan Mao Ling commonly available formula contains Ban Lan Gen and other anti-viral herbs

Zhong Gan ling commonly available formula contains Ban Lan Gen and other anti-viral herbs

Pneumonia Prevention #1肺炎预防1 

Modified Jade Wind Screen

Huang Qi 黄芪 (Radix Astragali) 15g,
Bai Zhu 炒白术 (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae), dry fried 10g Fang Feng 防风 (Radix Saposhnikoviae) 10g
Mian Ma Guan Zhong 贯众 (Rhizoma Dryopteridis Crassirhizomatis) 10g Jin Yin Hua 金银花 (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae) 10g
Chen Pi 陈皮 (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) 6g
Pei Lan佩兰(Herba Eupatorii) 10g 

Suitable for: Prevention of pneumonia due to viral infections, and the flu. 

Another Variation (depends upon presentation and herb availability)

Huang Qi Astragalus Mongholicus 12 g,

Bai Zhu roasted rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae 10 g,

Fang Feng Saposhnikovia Divaricata 10 g,

Guan Zhong Cyrtomium fortunei 10 g,

Lian Qiao honeysuckle 10 g,

Chen Pi dried tangerine or orange peel 6 g,

Pei Lan eupatorium 10 g, and

Gan cao licorice 10 g. 

Taking the medicine above yielded decoction once a day for adults, and for 5 days as a treatment course.

If for children, cut the dose to half.

Medical tea: 

Zi Su Ye perilla leaf 6 g, 

Hou Xiang Agastache leaf 6 g, 

Chen Pi dried tangerine or orange peel 9 g,

Cao Guo stewed amomum Tsao-ko 6 g, 

and 3 slices of ginger. 

Soak the herbs in hot water and drink the water just like enjoying the tea.

Acupuncture Treatment for Suspected Cases: 

The purpose is to strengthen the immune system, to help alleviate early symptoms, and to shorten the duration of the virus. Points: Bilateral Zusanli (ST 36), Qihai (CV 6), Zhongwan (CV 12)
Method and Frequency: 

Moxa Zusanli (ST 36) on both sides for 15 minutes. Moxa Qihai (CV 6) or Zhongwan (CV 12) for 10 minutes. (alternating from treatment to treatment). 

Twice a day, once in the afternoon and once at night. 

Chinese patent medicine: 

Huoxiang Zhengqi capsule or Huoxiang Zhengqi Shui (in half dose).

What to do if you feel sick

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing these symptoms please first call your health care provider’s office to ask if you need to be evaluated in person. If it is necessary, your health care provider will order testing.

If you feel sick, you can call the Denver Health Nurse Line at (303) 739-1211.

Watch the Video Is it the Flu or is it coronavirus by Denver Health

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment recommends the following action: 

Anyone who has symptoms or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged to:

  1. CALL OR EMAIL a health care provider first. If the provider recommends you get testing or care, follow the provider’s advice BEFORE going into any health facility. Ask your provider about private lab sites where you can get tested.
  2. DO NOT go to an emergency room to get a test for COVID-19 unless you are having a medical emergency. For COVID-19, that means severe respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.
  3. DO call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are having a medical emergency. Tell the dispatcher your symptoms. 

People who come to be tested at the state laboratory testing site must bring:

  1. An order from their health care provider (written or electronic) confirming they meet the testing criteria and need to be tested.
  2. Photo identification that matches the name on the provider’s order. Undocumented individuals can use any photo ID; it does not have to be government-issued.

Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from the Coronavirus, including:

  • Older adults, especially those over age 80.
  • People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease.
  • Older adults who have chronic medical conditions are at highest risk.

People at higher risk should take action now to be prepared for this virus if there is an outbreak in their community. CDC has the information you need to prepare.

Coronavirus Making you Nuts?

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Colorado. “As we learn about more cases of COVID-19 and all the measures that are being taken all over the world, you may find yourself growing increasingly anxious. Our mental health and physical health are not two separate things.

Good List of Resources

If you feel like you need more support during this time of uncertainty, visit our resource page.

If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.”

Crisis Hotline. Anxious about COVID19? Text SHARE to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. It’s completely free, confidential, and available 24/7.

Visit for more information.

Maria Droste Counseling Center. Our providers are now able to connect virtually with their clients in their homes, using a secure video platform! click here for more info.

Access to Resources

Helpful Links:

Denver Health Coronavirus Education

Consumer Reports reliable info on Coronavirus

Consumer Reports has been by your side since 1936, and we are with you today as each one of us navigates a host of decisions to keep our families safe. To meet that challenge, our scientists, journalists, and public policy experts have shifted their focus to tackling the coronavirus outbreak — and will continue to do so until we see this crisis through.

We have created an online Coronavirus Resource Hub so you and your family can access the latest safety and health information about COVID-19. This resource is free and available to everyone, so together we can combat the misinformation and confusion as this health crisis unfolds. Please share it with your family and friends.

Getting Your Physical Activity Outdoors

Tips from the National Institute Of Aging

Exercising outdoors has many benefits and can be especially helpful for your mood if you are currently spending a lot of time inside. Weather permitting, take time today to go for a walk or a bike ride and get some fresh air. Practice social distancing from others while outdoors. When you return home, make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe before you get moving:

  • Carry your ID and emergency contact information. If you’re alone, bring your cell phone.
  • Wear light or brightly colored clothing during the day and reflective material at night.
  • If you listen to music, keep the volume low so you can still hear bike bells and other warnings.

Share this information with others on social media:

Heading outdoors to exercise while home because of #COVID19? Watch this quick exercise safety video before you go: #Exercise #PhysicalActivity

Employment Resources

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) today announced assistance for workers and employers during temporary closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance includes information for employees filing for unemployment insurance claims.

If you have been laid off due to a business closure related to COVID-19, are experiencing wage reductions or are working fewer hours, you can file a claim with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Please be patient when awaiting a response, as they are experiencing an influx of claims. 

Workers in certain industries are eligible for up to four days of paid sick leave when experiencing flu-like symptoms AND awaiting test results for COVID-19. The covered industries are leisure and hospitality; food services; child care; education, including transportation, food service, and related work at educational establishments; home health if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals and; nursing homes and community living facilities.

The Colorado Restaurant Association has provided business and employee resources for those affected by business closures. Resources include:

  • Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses: click here. Businesses should complete this form to trigger Federal Government economic disaster relief in our state. 
  • Job Attached Unemployment and the workshare program: click here.
  • Legal considerations related to COVID-19 from Messiner Reeves: click here.
  • Sanitation recommendations from Auto-Chlor: click here.
  • For a full list of unemployment, underemployment, and other assistance, click here.
  • Colorado online application for food stamps and other various sources of assistance programs such as help with child care, cash assistance, and access to health care coverage: click here

Evictions & Utility


Housing UpdateMayor Hancock has directed sheriff’s deputies to suspend serving eviction orders. 

Denver’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program offers help to Denver residents facing a housing crisis or hardship to help prevent eviction or displacement. You can get help paying your utilities or up to 80% of your rent. For help, dial 3-1-1 and press 6. 

Companies such as Xcel Energy and Denver Water have also announced that they are suspending utility shut-offs for non-payment while we remain in a state of emergency.

Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. Find the closest hot spot to you here. Xfinity is also pausing data plans (giving you unlimited data for no additional charge), refusing to disconnect customer’s internet service if the customer contacts them about their inability to pay their bill during this time and increasing the speed of internet for low-income customers. 

Denver Public Schools Offering Free Breakfast and Lunch

DPS has suspended schools until Friday, April 6th. During the closure, students and family members can receive free meals at eight locations in a “grab-and-go” system. Breakfast is available from 8-9 a.m., and lunch is available from 12-1 p.m.

The locations are: 

  • Abraham Lincoln High School, 2285 S Federal Blvd,
  • Joe Shoemaker School, 3333 S Havana St
  • Place Bridge Academy, 7125 Cherry Creek N Dr
  • Denver Center for International Studies Baker, 574 6th Ave
  • North High School, 2960 Speer Blvd
  • Manual High School, 1700 E 28th Ave
  • The Montbello campus, 5000 Crown Blvd
  • The Evie Dennis campus, 4800 Telluride St