Someone in San Juan County is being tested by the CDC for possible infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The person’s ID and island of residence has not been released. If confirmed, this would be the first instance of the virus in San Juan County and the second case in WA state.

The Coronavirus is named after the crown-like spikes found on the surface of the virus. In Latin, “corona” means ‘crown.’ You can view microscopic images of the virus on NPR’s site here ~

Information about the virus, symptoms, etc. can be found on the CDC website here ~ , with further information on the virus, published by the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses found here – Researchers have also found that the coronavirus can live on fomites (surfaces) for 9 days Pharmaceutical treatment of this virus is sketchy at best. Read about the difficulty of treating viruses and what research is happening here ~

Lots of folks think living on an island is some sort of safe haven. I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about this and I just don’t believe that to be true. First off, if everyone got sick, we definitely do NOT have the capacity to care for people in hospitals. Probably we would quickly run out of supplies. It’s really doubtful that anyone would want to deliver things to the island if we had some type of epidemic. We could easily run out of food and fuel.

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If I’ve learned anything in the ten-plus years I’ve lived here, it’s that you should be prepared to care for yourself. Whether it’s an earthquake or other natural disaster, government breakdown (that could certainly happen given our current administration), or disease outbreak, a plan is essential! While I know we have some truly dedicated medical professionals on our island, they are limited. There’s also not any prescription drug that will cure you of coronavirus if you get it. This links to the limited treatment options that may be available or under development

So, my plan (if anyone in my household gets sick) is to have my self-treatment items in order. Here’s my list:

  1. Elderberry syrup. Elderberry contains Sambucol which has been clinically proven to reduce the severity and duration of viruses. For more information, see my extensive reference list below. I keep this brand for myself. Natures Answer Elderberry Syrup ~
  2. Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps oxygenate your blood and supports your immune system. I take about 6000 mg of American Health Ester C in divided doses daily. I like this brand because it’s easier on my stomach ~
  3. Quercetin.
  4. Pedialyte, Gatorade, and Ginger Ale. For rehydration!
  5. Lemon Balm. Strong antiviral properties. Use a tincture or make a tea.
  6. Ginger. Also strong antiviral properties.
  7. Saltine Crackers
  8. White rice
  9. Licorice Tea
  10. Lysine
  11. Saline Spray
  12. Motrin/Tylenol
  13. Vick’s Vapor Rub

If you can think of anything I might have left off, please feel free to write and let me know! P.S. I’m not a doctor. These are my own HOME remedies. Use your own good judgement and wash your hands a lot!


Barak, Vivian & Halperin, T & Kalickman, I. (2001). The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. European cytokine network. 12. 290-6.

Castillo-Maldonado I, Moreno-Altamirano MMB, Serrano-Gallardo LB (2017) Anti-dengue serotype-2 activity effect of Sambucus nigra leaves-and flowers-derived compounds. Virol Res Rev 1: DOI: 10.15761/VRR.1000117

Chen, C., Zuckerman, D.M., Brantley, S. et al. Sambucus nigra extracts inhibit infectious bronchitis virus at an early point during replication. BMC Vet Res 10, 24 (2014).

Ganjhu RK, Mudgal PP, Maity H, et al. Herbal plants and plant preparations as remedial approach for viral diseases. Virusdisease. 2015 Dec;26(4):225-236. DOI: 10.1007/s13337-015-0276-6.

Golnoosh Torabian, Peter Valtchev, Qayyum Adil, Fariba Dehghani (2019)
Anti-influenza activity of elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 54: 353-360, ISSN 1756-4646,

Karimi, S., Mohammadi, A.A., & Dadras, H. (2014). The effect of Echinacea purpurea and Sambucus nigra L. on H9N2 avian influenza virus in infected chicken embryo.

Krawitz, C., Mraheil, M. A., Stein, M., Imirzalioglu, C., Domann, E., Pleschka, S., & Hain, T. (2011). Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses. BMC complementary and alternative medicine11, 16.

Porter, R. S., and  Bode, R. F. ( 2017)  A Review of the Antiviral Properties of Black Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) Products. Phytother. Res.,  31:  533– 554. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5782.

Roschek, Bill & Fink, Ryan & Mcmichael, Matthew & Li, Dan & Alberte, Randall. (2009). Elderberry Flavonoids Bind to and Prevent H1N1 Infection in-vitro. Phytochemistry. 70. 1255-61. 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.06.003.

Zakay-Rones, Z., Varsano, N., Zlotnik, M., Manor, O., Regev, L., Schlesinger, M., & Mumcuoglu, M. (1995). Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)1(4), 361–369.

Z ZAKAY-RONES1, E THOM2, T WOLLAN3 AND J WADSTEIN4. (2004). Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections. The Journal of International Medical Research. 32: 132 – 140.

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