Tag Archives: Urszula Pustelak MD

indoors versus outdoors during the Coronavirus epidemic

 

 

I recently wrote as an addendum to my post

 

does cold air kill germs? (thoughts of a fresh air fiend)

 

 

https://rogersgleanings.com/2017/02/11/does-cold-air-kill-germs-thoughts-of-a-fresh-air-fiend/

 

the following:

 

I live in New York City. Here, and elsewhere — in the midst of the Coronavirus epidemic — people are being urged or ordered to STAY INDOORS.

As a blanket recommendation, this seems to me unwise, medically speaking. Common sense and experience tell us that fresh air and sunlight are inimical to germs and to the spread of disease.

 

 

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I would like to make a few remarks along these lines.

Last night, I saw a video clip on MSNBC of the governor of some state telling citizens to stay indoors during the Coronavirus epidemic.

She said that people should stay inside and only go out if they had to — for food shopping or to a gas station, say; or a medical appointment.

By coincidence, my wife had an appointment yesterday with a local doctor, Urszula Pustelak, MD, an internal medicine specialist, whom we both like and respect.

Dr. Pustelak practices holistic medicine. She follows her own advice in her daily life. She told my wife that she has been trying to walk as much as she can during the Coronavirus epidemic. She said she thinks that it is ridiculous for people to be confined indoors. She said that people need fresh air and sunshine to stay healthy and that germ or disease transmission is not likely in the open air. (I was not there and am reporting the conversation second hand. I believe my wife said that the doctor made it clear that what she meant was: in the open air, assuming that one keeps a distance from others while walking.)

 

 

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I have been walking quite a bit during the past couple of weeks — during the period when the Coronavirus epidemic became an emergency — and have been in some respects leading a more healthy life.

On Thursday last week, April 2, I walked for around five hours, probably twelve miles, or more.

Yesterday, Monday, April 6, I woke up not feeling well. I had felt the same on Sunday. It felt like I had the flu. I had a slight cough, was sweating and felt slightly feverish, felt achy, and so on. I Googled Coronavirus symptoms and I didn’t seem to have them (e.g., shortness of breath). Still, I couldn’t help worrying, am I infected? After all, I have been going out fairly often; and I took the subway a couple of times last week.

 

 

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It was a beautiful spring day. I decided I had to get out for some fresh air. And SUNSHINE. But people have been warning me to be careful: Don’t take the bus or subway. And, I take a bus to Brooklyn, to a point from which it is easy for me to walk to Manhattan.

Why not walk closer to home? Because I wanted to go to one of my favorite places in the City, Battery Park, and to be able to walk along the river, inhaling the fresh air and breezes; and enjoying the sunshine.

I walked for around four and a half hours, twelve or more miles.

When I got home, I drank a lot of water, took a nap which was extremely refreshing, and woke up feeling wonderful. All of my symptoms from the morning had disappeared. No aches; no feeling hot or sweaty. I felt a sensation of wellbeing, of my blood tingling. I felt vigorous and energetic, whereas for the past two days I had felt the opposite.

 

 

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On my Manhattan walks, I am finding that the City is almost deserted; there are very few people in Midtown or Downtown. I try not to get close to anyone, but of course, one does pass a pedestrian now and then on the sidewalk or on a walkway or path. I try to keep a distance. I do not (unlike most people) wear a mask.

In other words, I am trying to be somewhat careful. But, it has occurred to me, what is the risk that I am going to spread the disease (or catch it) in the open air without being part of a group? — I feel that it is very low.

I don’t go into take out places, say, to get a snack. I don’t eat during my walk. I will stop in a deli to get a bottled water or soft drink.

 

 

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I am not an epidemiologist or an expert on medicine or health. However, I feel that it is common sense that staying indoors all the time is not healthy under any circumstances — including the present public health crisis.

And that fresh air and sunshine (as well as exercise) are a good prescription for keeping disease at bay — any disease — as well as for physical and mental health.

 

 

Roger W. Smith

    April 7, 2020

 

 

 

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the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday