Resources for Learning about COVID-19

to Support our Communities

compiled by Larken Bunce for Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism

lasted updated 4/15/20; will be updated as more resources become available

larken@vtherbcenter.org for comments or suggestions--for herbal consultation, contact VCIH via the link above

Public Health & General Coronavirus Info  

Coronavirus Act Now (continuously updated maps for each State calculating the dates by which interventions must occur to avoid healthcare overwhelm)

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand - 3/16/20 Report from Imperial College of London which clarifies the dire, global implications of NOT responding with extreme social distancing measures, immediately and consistently and for months, not weeks. Here’s an article that gives a summary of the long report. Very worth reading at least the summary.

The Sober Math Everyone Must Understand About the Pandemic (tells you how to calculate impact on your particular community based on various scenarios--important read)

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now (with detailed statistical models)

How Cancelling Events Saves Lives in One Chart 

What's your Risk of Inadvertently Allowing the Death of Someone in Your Community due to COVID-19?

Harvard's COVID-19 Resource page - specifics re: preparing for extreme social

distancing (staying home) and/or isolation, as necessary

Setting up a decontamination station in your house - from UC Boulder professor

of microbiology

Notes from UCSF Expert panel - March 10 (many lauded this as the most useful doc available early on for general readers in terms of real info about the virus itself)

Asymptomatic/Pre-symptomatic Transmission is Likely Driving Spread of Virus

How Long will Coronavirus Live on Surfaces or in the Air Around You?

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Fighting Sanitizing Products

Should we make and use homemade masks? (short answer: these are not enough to protect healthcare workers and fully-functiong protective equipment is vital for these front line folks; for non-essential workers/healthcare folks,  cotton masks are better than nothing in this emergency, but only about ⅓ to ½ as effective as N95 masks): Article 1 (demonstrates potential harm when used in healthcare settings); Article 2 (from a filter company, but cites research examining efficacy of various materials) & Article 3 (rationale for public use of masks to further flatten curve)

Are Warnings Against NSAIDS in COVDI-19 Warranted?

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (considered a reliable, up-to-date, extra-governmental source of info)

CDC, WHO, Vermont Department of Health

Community Care & Mutual Aid

Coronavirus Facts: What You Need to Know if You Have Chronic Illness or Are Immune-Compromised, Susan Jara

Street Medic Practice during COVID-19 Pandemic, Street Medicine Institute

#NoBodyIsDisposable Know Your Rights Guide to Surviving COVID-19 Triage Protocols, toolkit for people facing potential triage discrimination based on disability or weight

Decolonizing Community Care in Response to COVID-19, Jade Begay

Coronavirus, Climate Change and Community Care, Susan Raffo

Time to Redistribute those Stimulus Checks, Baby, Susan Raffo

In a Disaster that Calls for Isolation, Your community will Help You Survive, Alissa Walker

Coronavirus Wisdom from a Social Justice Lens, Healing Justice podcast episode with medical information, invocations, grounding practices and dialogue from the March 7, 2020 webinar: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Preparation for People Living with Chronic Illnesses in the United States; many resources linked, as well

Peace         and Justice Center Mutual Aid resources (Burlington, Vermont and

beyond)

Local Mutual Aid Group FB page for Vermont

Vermont COVID-19 resource list - community generated; includes links to surveys to ask for and offer community support for Montpelier and many other communities

Rural New England COVID-19 Mutual Aid and US Mutual Aid Directory- as above, with broader reach and more additional mutual aid resources

Managing Logistics of Isolation/Home-working/Unemployment

Up-to-Date Financial Information Resources from the NYT: Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis & Coronavirus Stimulus Package: FAQ

Opportunities for free internet access while isolating (and more time to pay bills)

U.S. Labor Department allows unemployment benefits for Coronavirus

Student loan interest suspended during coronavirus outbreak

Mortgage Relief Options Are Available To Homeowners Affected By Coronavirus Safety Measures

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings

Herbal Approaches

**Be sure folks seek testing and all appropriate medical care that is available! This is the time for collaboration and integration. Please don’t suggest folks choose herbs over any recommended medical treatment or that taking herbs means folks can be less careful with exposure of themselves or others. While we imagine herbs may have a valuable supportive role to play, no one knows enough to say anything definitive and we need to stay humble here.

That said, we don’t know how or when we’ll be called upon to support ourselves and others, especially if the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed (or simply continues to be inaccessible by many). The following information may help us to show up with as much skill as possible.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of herbal info, as I simply can’t read everything that’s out there. Additionally, many resources are also now repeating what’s already been put together with a slightly different spin. This displays the diverse beauty of herbalism, but also means we have an increasingly thick garden to weed through when we are all short on time. I’m doing my best to continue to highlight resources here that offer something distinct, from herbalists I know and trust. This will obviously then be a limited sampling. If you find something that knocks your socks off in terms of value-added info, feel free to reach out so I can check it out! The American Herbalists Guild is actively gathering an unfiltered list of herbal resources, so do check that out for further reading.

Solid overviews with actionable suggestions, especially accessible for friends/family/mutual aid:

COVID-19 Community Care, Herbalista Free Clinic (an excellent gathering of resources and recipes for basic home and community care, as well as for folks doing on-the-ground organizing)

COVID-19 e Implementaciones Tropicales, Olatokunboh Obasi

Resilience is in our Blood, Linda Black Elk and members of Sitting Bull College community

Immune & Respiratory Herbs: A Resource for Tribal Communities During COVID-19, Elise Krohn, Valerie Segrest, Renee Davis, Rhonda Grantham, and Sofie Geist

Herbs to Consider for Coronavirus, Rosalee de la Foret

An Herbalist’s Protocol for Attending to Viral Respiratory Infections, Dave Meesters

COVID-19: An Herbalist’s Perspective, Guido Masé, Charlotte Lindrooth, Deb Soule, Tammi Sweet (slide presentation and Facebook Live video)

Get Radical, Boil Roots: A Kitchen Witch’s Guide to Wellness in the Time of COVID-19, Gina Badger and friends

What to Do Right Now, Sophia Rose

COVID-19, Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding, Aviva Romm (CN: not trans inclusive)

What’s the Deal with Elderberry and Cytokine Storm?, Larken Bunce

The short answer: I and numerous other herbalists and integrative docs (such as 7Song, Rosalee de la Foret, Stephen Buhner, Orna Izakson, Sam Coffman, Rupa Marya, and Paul Bergner who’ve posted online in response to the same barrage of questions) feel there is benefit and no likely harm when elderberry is used in the context of a larger protocol, appropriate to the person and their needs. This may indeed mean NOT using it in *some* folks with auto-immune conditions and/or when there is already plenty of pro-inflammatory cytokine activity, as in active, feverish infection. Hopefully this is the kind of specificity we’d all employ as herbalists and can convey to worried friends or clients. Click the link above for the detailed long-form answer.

For clinicians, due to use of less-accessible plants, need for deeper herbal medicine knowledge and/or technical scientific knowledge:

Guangdong Province: Chinese Medicine Protocol for Pneumonia Due to Novel Coronavirus, Shelley Ochs and Thomas Avery Garran, tr. (1/29/20)

This and many of the following articles are coming directly from China from practitioners treating COVID-19 with herbs, acupuncture, moxa and conventional medicine. Some herbs will be less familiar or available to non-acupuncturists and general herb-users. Also high dose (though usual for Chinese medicine) decoctions are being used. However, the energetic pattern progressions described here, along with assessment presentations are very helpful. We can/should do our best to follow this lead, while considering analogous herbs that we have access to and, perhaps, more relationship with. This one is my favorite, but the others have similar useful differentials with some slightly different plants/formulas.

Expert Consensus Statement on the Prevention, Diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 Infection in Children, Wang Yongyan, Wang Xuefeng, Ma Rong, translated by Heiner Fruehof (3/7/20)

How is COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) Currently Treated in China with TCM? Jon Chen & Lori Hsu (2/10/20)

Medical Records from a Young and Brave Female Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor on Fighting the COVID-19 Chen Juan, Huang Di, Wang Shi Qi, Cai Xiang, tr. Jon Chen (3/11/20)

Coronavirus and TCM, John Chen et al, 2+ hr video (3/21/20), excellent!

Video Interview with a Front-Line TCM Doctor

Report from the Frontline in Wuhan, Liu Lihong

Institute for Traditional Medicine - a great resource for learning about Chinese herbs for the purpose of understanding the above formulas

Coronavirus resources, Paul Bergner

includes a variety of useful resources and free courses, updated 4/11/20:

  • Consideration for Vulnerable COVID-19 Patients
  • Herbal Medicines and the Cytokine Storm
  • Acute Viral Respiratory Infection Prevention and Natural Therapeutics (powerpoint)
  • Botanical Medicine in the Stages of Fever

One Herbalist’s Thoughts on Coronapocalypse, Thomas Easley

Herbal Medicine and COVID-19, Todd Caldecott

Offers an integrative perspective using Ayurvedic principles and herbs from Chinese, Ayurvedic and Euro/North American materia medicas

        An Herbalist’s Notes on COVID-19, 7Song

Herbal Energetics of Fever with herbalist jim mcdonald on HerbMentor Radio

a deep dive into effective fever management through an energetic framework

        Coronavirus: An Invitation, John Slattery

        Integrative Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Alschuler et al

                a quick and digestible review of potential practices, supplements and

herbs that might be of use with rationale and some research to support

Herbal Treatment for Coronavirus Infections, Stephen Buhner

lots of pathophysiology here which will be helpful to understand the virus; herbal suggestions based on Buhner’s research and data pooling is interesting, but we need to take care in not over-extrapolating with a novel virus; also many suggested plants are not widely available and dosing suggested would also be difficult for many to afford; worth reading and potentially choosing a few key herbs that we can include in formulas with other more-available plants

Features, Evaluation and Treatment of Coronavirus

medical information from Italy, offered as an open-sourced mini-book, last updated on 3/20/20

        medRxiv 

preprint server for COVID-related articles, hosted by BMJ, Yale, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - a treasure trove of the most current research available before print (though, also often before peer-review, so be critical); full PDFs downloadable

Potentially Helpful Recipes* (previously shared in the VCIH newsletter)

*For folks with auto-immune conditions or other chronic illnesses, some of these herbs/formulas might exacerbate symptoms or be contraindicated. Check in with an herbalist about tailoring strategies to your individual needs.

Additional Awesome Self-care Supports (more coming to this section soon--check back)

        People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) DIY Acupressure Video

Series (English & Spanish)

DIY “Air Moxa” video, Elizabeth Ropp, LAc

Trauma Informed Practice During the Coronavirus Pandemic mini-guide for self-care, Chicago Torture Justice Center

Beauty & Inspiration

        Wash Your Hands, a prayer and meditation by Dori Midnight

        Pandemic Animals coloring pages free download, Ricardo Levins Morales

Art: Pandemic Animals by Ricardo Levins Morales, flower lungs by Travis Bedel