A Doctor’s Personal Protocol

If you knew just about everything there is to know about prevention during a pandemic, what would you be doing to protect yourself? Besides wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and instituting a routine of regular handwashing, that is. In a recent interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s best-known expert in infectious disease and a 2020 Time magazine Top 100 influential person, was asked for some details on his prevention regi­men. Dr. Fauci touted the immune-boosting basics – getting regular exercise and adequate sleep.

The 79-year-old former runner says he tries to get a 3.5-mile power walk into his busy schedule almost daily. But, interestingly, you won’t find any exotic pills or powders in his medicine chest. Indeed, Fauci eschews immune-supportive supplements in favour of two humble vitamins – D and C. “If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection,” he said on Instagram Live. Indeed, studies have confirmed that untreated vitamin D deficiencies raise a person’s risk of contracting a viral respiratory tract infection. As for vitamin C, the doctor describes it as “a good antioxidant,” one that supports the immune system and various functions at the cellular level. The National Institutes of Health also showed in 2017 that vitamin C appears to both prevent viral infections and support the respiratory system. Dr. Fauci suggests supplementing with one or “at most” 2 g of vitamin C per day.

Suspecting a long cold winter, Dr. Fauci’s final suggestion is a wise one – to “hunker down” and await the arrival of a safe, proven vaccine.