Saving lives is a sacred duty. Dedicated Bay Area dietitian on the front line of pandemic prevention

(Amy Chen, Clinical Cietitian)

Recent data show a surge in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States. The U.S. has reported more confirmed cases than any other nation. In response to the dire situation, public health officials are often adjusting recommended preventive guidelines as new research reveals more about the virus and its symptoms. It is difficult for Amy Chen, who works as a clinical dietitian at a San Francisco Bay Area hospital, to ignore the threat to her own well-being. She is also concerned about unwittingly spreading the virus to her loved ones waiting for her at home. With the professional training she received, Amy believes that saving lives is an important duty. She and other medical professionals are willing to take the risks and see it through this crisis to help those in need.

Prepare for the Worst and Give Your Best

The coronavirus outbreak ravaged the world. Watching the number of confirmed cases and deaths grow exponentially has taken a psychological toll on Amy as she and her colleagues work on the frontline of this pandemic. In a hospital, medical staff are more likely to be exposed to pathogens than others as there is no way to completely avoid coming in contact with patients. To reduce the risk of getting infected, the only thing Amy can do is boost her own immune system. For years, she has practiced qigong at the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy. Persistent daily practice not only calms her mind, but also helps her mitigate environmental stressors. Dr. Hong Tao-Tze, Zhang-men-ren (head of the academy) once said, “Prepare for the worst, and be ready to give your best!” With this motto in mind, Amy is able to remain calm as she keeps up with the latest developments on the coronavirus. She follows standard preventive measures, such as frequent hand washing when entering and leaving the wards, wearing proper protective equipment, refraining from touching her face, and following social distancing guidelines.

Eat a Balanced Diet, Get Enough Sleep, and Stay Happy

During the pandemic, Amy Chen not only pays special attention to her own diet but also reminds her friends and relatives of the importance of a well-balanced diet in warding off diseases. She recommends the consumption of natural, unprocessed whole foods, and making sure there is sufficient protein, greens and fruits at every meal. In addition, she urges everyone to know the origins of their food when making purchases and to pay attention to food safety. During this critical time, avoiding raw food, drinking more water, getting regular sun exposure, maintaining good sleep habits and staying in a good mood are synergistic ways to boost your immunity.

“I stay at work for you. You stay at home for us.”

"Caring for the people around me with a kind heart is what I learned in Tai Ji Men as part of my self-cultivation," said Amy Chen. "Serving others" makes her life more meaningful, and "love" makes her more radiant, especially during this testing time. At the hospital, her colleagues would offer each other words of encouragement and work closely as a team based on mutual understanding. She is grateful for the support from friends, family, and the general public. Pandemic prevention requires everyone to work in unity, just like the trending phrase on social media, "I stay at work for you. You stay at home for us." Only through cooperating with one another can pandemic prevention be effective and enduring.