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Living with Diabetes

Basic illness prevention on Coaches Corner

4/6/2020 by mySugr

Basic illness prevention on Coaches Corner

In this episode of Coaches Corner with Scott K. Johnson and the mySugr Coaches, Scott & Kristen talk about basic illness prevention, how to stay as safe as possible, and what to do if you do feel sick.

Knowing the basics and what you can do during the COVID-19 pandemic go a long way toward reducing stress and anxiety during these uncertain times. 


  • How viruses spread
  • What to do at home
  • What if I'm sick?


Scott K. Johnson - Hey everyone, thank you for joining me for Coaches Corner with Scott Johnson and the mySugr Coaches. Listen, so much has changed over the past few weeks. And we know that these are challenging and stressful times for almost everyone. We are full of so much gratitude and appreciation for everyone doing their part to get through this. One small way that mySugr is giving back is by hosting short conversations with our diabetes coaches, all of whom are certified Diabetes Care and Education specialists to talk about staying healthy in body and mind during these unusual times. And today, I connect with Coach Kristen about the basics of preventing illness and what you can do if you do get sick. So let's jump right over to that conversation. Hey, Kristen, thank you so much for joining today. How are you?

Kristen Bourque - I'm doing well Scott, how about you?

Scott K. Johnson - Good, good, So today, what are we talking about? We're talking about being, preventing sickness and staying healthy that kind of stuff right

Kristen Bourque - Yes, especially during this time when we know there's so much going on, we want to make sure that mySugr users know the importance of staying healthy during this time and some tips that we can start incorporating if not already, to remain healthy during this time.

Scott K. Johnson - Awesome, that's great. So maybe jumping right into it. Let's talk about how viruses spread.

Kristen Bourque - Yes, so this is why you hear so much right now about social distancing, right? So is remaining six feet apart from other people, because we do know that the virus can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So it's really important that we remain distant from other people because we also know that with this virus right now that it can be spread from people that actually don't realize they have symptoms. So it's very important to make sure that we are staying and continuing to do that social distancing we've heard so much about.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah and what about you know, as far as when people are we talked about, there could be spread when they're not feeling sick. So that type of thing. Tell me a little bit more about that and what people should do, like what should I do in my everyday life? You know, if people are out there and they're not feeling sick, but they may be spreading this virus around.

Kristen Bourque - Yes, and so since we're of course learning more as time goes on. This is why it's so important that not only the social distancing but limiting our interactions in general. So if we can limit interactions with the people that we come into contact with, but also like the shopping trips that we take, so if it's not a necessary shopping trip, just to pick up one thing, we want to make sure and limit that. Because the fewer interactions that we have with others and come into contact with fewer people, the better chance that we have of limiting the spread of the virus.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, yeah, that's a great point really being intentional about when you're going out and exposing yourself to possible risks, right?

Kristen Bourque - Yes, definitely. And especially right now, as you probably know, like the grocery stores and how they have a lot of, you know, again, a lot of cautionary measures in place, which is wonderful. But again, we just don't know. So we want to just make sure and be very intentional with the steps that we take when we are interacting with others. There are a few other tips that we can kind of practice in our everyday routine as well. So the first one is washing our hands, we've heard so much about washing our hands, right? So we all know right? 20 seconds we want to, and so if it helps you to remember you can sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Also, there's a really fun website to make it a little bit more exciting. It's called So you can go ahead and put your favorite song in there and it actually will tell you how long that song goes through to wash your hands and when you're done so. Hand washing and so just hygiene in general, that's probably one of the best things that we can do. Also if we do have a cough by chance, making sure to be protective of it so you can cost into your elbow versus out in the open. We do know that the virus oftentimes is spread through coughs and sneezing. So it's very important that we take those measures to limit that for other people. Also, another big one, which I have to be mindful of is touching our face. So we don't realize how much we might just move something around real quick, but especially our mouth and our nose because again, if I touch something, I potentially can, you know, again, pass that on.

Kristen Bourque - Also we've touched a lot about the importance of social distancing. So space is so important. Making sure again, keep that six feet distance if you are going to go out and take a walk. If you notice someone going the other way. Make sure and have a nice little distance around them just to keep yourself protected but also the others around you. And then lastly, stay home. We know we've heard a lot about this recently, as we both are right now working from home. But this is one of the best things that we can do to limit the spread of the virus, just making sure to stay in our home. So we know that we're safe and limiting, again, contact, because you and I are again, not quite as high risk as some other people, but we never know. And we want to make sure and keep our loved ones and other people that we come into contact safe as well.

Scott K. Johnson - Are there things that I should be doing at my home? To help keep me safe there?

Kristen Bourque - Yes, this is such a great question because you're right. If we are spending a lot of time at home, we want to make sure and keep this environment as healthy as possible. So one of the biggest things we want to make sure is to disinfect our home. So if we think about although we might be doing limited trips to the grocery store, when we get from the grocery store at home, we want to make sure and disinfect, you know our cell phones, our keys, our you know, handle knobs on our doors. Also, you can even go as far to, you know, disinfect your tabletop after you've put your groceries away, things like that. Just because again, we just don't know if there's anything on those surfaces. And even though we are doing handwashing, we're coming outside and back inside. So it's a good practice to be mindful of.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, great, great reminders there. So let's take it another step further. What if we aren't feeling well? What should we do then? What if we're sick?

Kristen Bourque - That's a very good question. So the number one thing I recommend again, as we all probably know, is to stay home. You know, again, even if it's something where you don't have the typical symptoms, even if you are under the weather in another way we know that people with you know immune systems that are not 100% are a little bit more at risk. So we do want to make sure that we stay home and we get some adequate rest and only leaving the house to seek medical attention.

Scott K. Johnson - And how do I know if I'm not feeling well, like of course, the first thing I might be worried about is like, Oh my gosh, Is this it? Do I have the big you know, am I dealing with COVID-19 or is this just a common cold or something else? Is it really you know, we hear a lot about I don't want to overwhelm the medical staff and things like that. Is it as simple as just staying in touch with my doctor and medical team?

Kristen Bourque - Yeah,

Scott K. Johnson - over the phone that kind of thing.

Kristen Bourque - I would definitely recommend that, you know, and again, I completely understand because I think nowadays, we're always a little bit extra cautious if we start coughing or something like that. So yes, is making sure to be in touch with your health care team. And they are starting to do more testing, which is wonderful. But just being mindful of your symptoms, I would recommend if you have a thermometer at home to begin taking your temperature, especially if you notice any symptoms. And again, you know, it's hard because I feel like some people will have symptoms that they've mentioned, and then some people not so much. So it's really hard to know. So if you are feeling under the weather, I would just contact your you know, again, primary care physician and see what the necessary steps to take are in regards to if they recommend a test or not.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, that sounds great. What are some other things that we should be mindful of as far as staying hydrated and resting, things like that?

Kristen Bourque - Yes, so as we know, rest is the best medicine. But we do want to ideally to stay of course hydrated especially if you are under the weather, whatever we have come down with, especially with diabetes, we want to aim for at least eight ounces of fluid every hour. So we really want to be making sure to stay very hydrated. Oftentimes, blood sugars maybe a little bit higher too, during this time when we are under the weather or we're fighting some illness. So that's also important to make sure to monitor blood sugar a little bit more frequently, just to keep an eye on it. So making sure to stay hydrated and monitor a little bit more often.

Scott K. Johnson - That's great. One big thing around insulin so if you're using background or long-lasting insulin, be sure to take that even if you're not eating something. But as Kristen mentioned, just stay on top of your blood sugars checking every three to four hours and staying close in touch with your medical team and what about the, you know, we're seeing a lot of people wearing masks and things like that outside. If you're not able to stay at home and you're not feeling well, I would assume it's a great practice to wear a mask, right?

Kristen Bourque - Yes, that's actually a really great point is that you know, typically the recommendation right now is to only wear a mask if you're sick and especially as we know, they're in high demand. But yes, that's a really great way especially if you have some sort of a cough or sneeze to make sure to cover that mouth area. So that you are not potentially spreading anything to other people. And you actually bring up a good point is even though you know, we recommend staying home as much as possible there are some people especially if they live by themselves, that maybe have to make a quick trip to the store and don't have other people to help them. So you know, it is important that if you are going to make that trip out that you practice good hygiene, make sure to wear a mask, gloves as possible as well too, if you'd like and that's actually also a good point, too, if you have any neighbors in the area, and also just ask them, especially if they live by themselves, ask them if they need any help, especially the older adults, because you just never know. And it might be, you know, again, it just appreciated for them too.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah another, that's a great, a great piece of advice. Any thoughts on if I'm, if I'm not feeling well, and I have family around or in the same household any thoughts on how I can keep them and me safe, you know, as far as like, I don't know, dishes or things like that.

Kristen Bourque - That's such a great point. So especially if you're not sure, you know, at this kind of time, I would just recommend to make sure again, proper handwashing and like you mentioned, Scott is not sharing any glassware or tableware anything like that, that potentially could pass something on. But yes, I would just make sure and still kind of do those proper techniques that we talked about, you know, if you do have a cough or sneeze, make sure you're covering it well, because again, that's the last thing you'd want to pass it on to someone else. And there are certain situations where we're not able to remove ourselves from, you know our living situation or whatnot. So, yeah, just kind of keeping that in mind.

Scott K. Johnson - Great, yeah, well, we've covered a lot of great information and great tips, anything else that comes to mind that you want to talk about?

Kristen Bourque - So yeah, a couple more things. I just want to mention about disinfectants because I feel like you know, going to the store, it's hard to find a lot of things nowadays. So keep in mind that, you know, like a bleach solution with water or any kind of disinfectant wipes works great. Also, rubbing alcohol, ideally, the CDC recommends at least the 70% or above, but we think about rubbing alcohol more with maybe stuff that is like medical, you know, if we have a cut or something like that, maybe, but there's something that can use around the house also to disinfect. So if you're able to get your hands on that, that's great. And then lastly, hand sanitizer ideally 60% alcohol or higher. Again, I know it's a little bit more challenging to come by. But that's a great thing, if you are, say in between, you know, a store and going home, you can use that in place of handwashing for the time being, but it does not replace it altogether.

Scott K. Johnson - Great, great points. All right, well, thank you very much. This was a wonderful session today and we will be back with you again, very soon for another installment of Coaches Corner. So thank you very much, and we'll see you again soon, bye. All right, thank you for that. I hope you enjoyed that and found some useful information with Kristen. And on Wednesday afternoon 3:00 p.m. pacific time we will be catching up with another mySugr coach Maggie Evans to talk about healthy habits at home. So ways to stay happy and healthy and sane, peace of mind while adjusting to this new routine that everyone is kind of coming to grips with in working from home. So thank you again for joining, please send your feedback in let us know what you found helpful, what was not so helpful, anything that you'd like us to do differently. Thank you all for doing your part. Those of you that are staying at home, thank you for doing that. Those of you who are the essential workers out there, thank you so much for doing your part there and those of you who are healthcare responders, thank you so much for helping take care of those who need to care out there. And we will see you on Wednesday afternoon, bye.


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