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Please share this statement with your networks (Facebook and Twitter), and consider showing your support by allowing us to add your name to the above list of signatories.

Summary

The Naturopathic Alliance has formed to disseminate quality information amongst the public and our profession. A summary of our concerns are as follows:

  • We acknowledge the significant risk to public health and safety posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • We support the recommendations of public health experts and physicians to practice physical distancing and wear masks.
  • We acknowledge the effects on mental health with distancing recommendations.
  • We acknowledge the financial sacrifices required by stay-at-home measures and their impact on the economy.
  • We acknowledge that the most vulnerable people before the spread of SARS-CoV-2 are the most vulnerable to infection and severity of disease.
  • We honor essential workers, those who must live in close personal contact and those who lack access to PPE, and we understand they are overrepresented by Black, Latinx, Indigenous and poor communities.
  • We are concerned with the ability of social media to amplify the most extreme voices by using “truth teller” tactics to gain fringe popularity. We discourage any regulated healthcare professional from using these tactics when engaging with their patients (or the public) as members of a health care profession.
  • We feel that critical thinking and the careful evaluation of evidence is of the utmost importance and that together we all have a role to play in reducing the spread of malicious information that undermines the functioning of our society and communities.
  • We are committed to provide and encourage sensible, accurate public health messaging and be a resource for vetted research while engaging in health promotion to improve patients’ resilience to infection. 

Full Statement

We are an alliance of naturopathic physicians brought together by the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 crisis with a shared desire to disseminate quality information amongst the public and our profession. Given the importance of the current crisis and with a shared sense of responsibility as caregivers, even if many of us are not on the front lines of treating this disease, we felt it necessary to address some common concerns.

Our greatest concern is presenting information that is vital to our patients and their communities, within the bounds of what is currently known and understood about the virus. With the rise of social media, we have concerns about the quality of information so readily available to a largely non-medical audience.

Like all licensed healthcare providers, naturopathic physicians have a responsibility to both treat patients and promote effective health measures among the general public. Especially at this moment of crisis, when people are hypervigilant and distressed, we must carefully consider the accuracy of information we convey as well as the downstream effects of our communications. We therefore present some key pieces of information that are important to address:

To say that this virus is akin to influenza (the flu) is flatly incorrect. Compared to influenza, there are several factors making COVID-19 a more difficult virus to contend with:

  • A longer incubation period when individuals may be asymptomatic means it is more difficult to track the novel coronavirus than the flu.
  • The wide variety of organs affected and severity of damage to these tissues is causing a much higher mortality rate than deaths from the flu.

Transmission, physical distancing, wearing of masks:

  • The incubation period is between 2-14 days. It is currently not known exactly how long an individual can be contagious, but early data suggests a 36-42 day window. The majority of transmissions are occurring through droplet and aerosol spread when an individual breathes, coughs or sneezes. Touching contaminated surfaces is another common method of spreading the virus.

  • We fully support the recommendations of public health experts and physicians to
    • “Social distance” or physical distance by at least 6-12 feet (when no breeze).
    • Reduce the size of gatherings
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds–or use at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your face
  • We agree with the recommendation to wear masks that reduce the risk of spreading or contracting the virus.
    • Given the lack of testing and threat of asymptomatic spread, we do not know who is currently spreading the virus, which is why wearing masks on a community level protects everyone.
    • More robustly-filtering masks such as N95 are in short supply and currently should continue to be prioritized for healthcare providers, but even a well-designed cloth mask with filters will help stop the spread of the virus.
  • We acknowledge the staggering negative effects of distancing on the economy during this time. To ignore the financial implication to the individual, business owners, and the community as a whole would be myopic. Knowing that families are struggling emotionally and financially is a very challenging component of the topic of reopening. Weighing the health safety of those in our community with financial hardships and emotional wellbeing is a difficult task for any society.
  • Little is known about the long-term complications of infection, although diminished lung function from pneumonia and resulting permanent pulmonary fibrosis has been noted. Damage to the liver, kidney, and heart, as well as blood clots and strokes all occur in COVID and may have lasting effects.
  • Although the mortality is higher among all groups except the very young, the people most at risk are over 50 and/or people with pre-existing conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and BMI greater than 40. Together, these comprise an estimated >50% of Americans.

Social justice:

  • Current statistics show the most vulnerable in society before the spread of SARS-CoV-2 are the most vulnerable to infection and severity of disease. This includes Black and Latinx communities, Indigenous communities, undocumented immigrants and the 2.3 million incarcerated individuals in the U.S.
  • Pre-existing conditions which predispose to morbidity and mortality from SARS-CoV-2 include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease – these same conditions occur disproportionately in people who lack access to preventive care and chronic disease treatment, financial resources and communities of color.
  • Likewise, “essential workers” with close personal contact and lack of PPE are overrepresented by Black, Latinx and poor communities.
  • Indigenous communities are already resource-depleted, experiencing lack of running water, poor access to food, scarce PPE, under-resourced clinics, few hospitals, and even fewer ventilators.
  • Racial bias in healthcare has decreased quality of care and trust in healthcare providers and the medical system. Deeply flawed critiques of social determinants to health and the origins of the virus have emboldened racist behaviors and perpetuated problematic and false narratives about people disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Malign influence:

  • There are so many unknowns about this new coronavirus and we believe that is one reason there has been so much speculation and frankly, grasping at straws to make sense of this pandemic.
  • The concept of being “woke” or knowing the “truth” may be tactics to gain fringe popularity. We discourage any regulated healthcare professional from using these tactics when engaging with their patients or the public as members of a health care profession.
  • Western intelligence agencies and organizations that monitor malicious internet activity have studied patterns of spread through social media and have determined that there are bots designed to inflame fears about various topics by promoting and amplifying false claims through social media. Facebook & Twitter amplify the most extreme voices and can foster conspiracy theories and misinformation.
  • The intent of these hostile governments is to weaken our trust in our institutions and one another. This makes critical thinking and the careful evaluation of evidence ever more important. Together we all have a role to play in reducing the spread of malicious information that undermines the functioning of our society and communities.

Conclusion

Although there is so much more we need to learn about the virus, we know that the healthier a person is, the better chance one has of avoiding severe complications from infection with SARS-CoV-2. Our training and job as naturopathic physicians is to help improve the body’s innate strengths–that is our profession’s common area of expertise and around which our primary role in the current crisis revolves.

We the undersigned are committed to provide and encourage sensible, accurate public health messaging and be a resource for vetted research while engaging in health promotion to improve patients’ resilience to infection. The expectation of professional accountability is of the utmost importance as our collective knowledge about the situation is evolving on a daily basis. Our solutions aim to work for everyone, in as equitable a way as we can find. We hope that we all do our best to stay open, curious, work hard and recognize we are connected in facing this calamity.

Action you can take:

Please share this statement with your networks (Facebook and Twitter), and consider showing your support by allowing us to add your name to the above list of signatories.

Join 201  other partcipants.

May 2020 Statement

201 signatures
 

Members of the Naturopathic Alliance:

  • Sean Hesler, ND – Gilbert, AZ
  • Amanda Lucero, ND – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Dorian Richardson, ND – Gilbert, AZ
  • Ginger Nash, ND – New Haven, CT
  • Katie Schneller, ND – Chandler, AZ
  • Juniper Martin, ND – Portland, OR
  • Alex Del Duca, ND – Vancouver Island, BC
  • Adriana Berusch Gerardino (ND student) – Tempe, AZ
  • Jacquelyn Burrell (ND student) – San Diego, CA
  • Kate Miyagi, ND – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Natalie Scheeler (ND student) – Tempe, AZ
  • Sarah Preston Hesler, ND – Gilbert, AZ
  • Gaynel Nave, ND – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Lauren Salisbury, ND, MSAc – Tempe, AZ
  • Cindy Beernink, ND – Toronto, ON

Latest Signatures
201Valbona BajramiND
200Jamine BlesoffND
199Viviana Arturo
198Lynn Ciccone
197Lorna CicconeND student
196Beth QuintanaND
195Beryl BrittonND (Student)
194Diana QuinnND
193Herpreet SinghND (Student)
192Laura Villa
191Kathleen FlewellingND
190Vivian KwanND
189Stacie WolfeND
188Jennifer GibbonsND
187Emma NortonND
186Tara NyackND
185Kara CrispND
184Erika ArandaND (Student)
183Jenn Schuppe BothamND
182Georgi StoychevND (Student)
181Nick FedeleND
180Mairead MasudaND (Student)
179Kim AbogND
178Amy ChadwickND
177Nina Walsh ND
176Miela Gruber ND
175Nima Rosepiper ND
174Michelle Suber ND
173Michael R. Smith ND, BCB
172Matthew Fisel ND
171Lupin DeMuth ND
170Lynn Muirhead
169Louise Tolzmann ND
168Emer McKennaND (Student)
167Krista Weikel Delaplane ND
166Sarah Chappelle ND
165Barbara Kreemer ND
164Kim Georges
163Kristin Wing ND
162Nathalie Paravicini ND
161Casey Carpenter ND LAc
160Rian Herscher ND
159Wendy Rogers ND, LAc
158Chere Edgar ND
157Colin Race ND
156Kellie Dunne
155Zora DeGrandpre MS, ND
154Heather Buckle ND, FABNO
153Laura Staver ND
152Joannie Tang
151Victoria Nguyen ND
150Kaley Burns ND
149Heather DeLuca
148Carly Erickson ND, MSM, IFMCP
147Romy Sanders ND
146Ivan Quintero ND
145Leora Rosenberg ND
144Krystal Plonski ND, LAc
143Lynn Troy ND
142Pamela Frank ND
141Connie Kinnebrew
140Tyna Moore ND, DC
139Corina Going ND
138Julie Llinas – Hebron
137Eric Yarnell ND, RH(AHG)
136Aimee O. Bonneval ND, LAc
135Heather Dawnstar-Guess CNA
134Ashley Renee Burkman ND
133Debi Walker ND, RN
132Sarah Trotta ND
131Korene Mosher ND, RN
130Kathie Sue Golden ND
129Malea MacOdrum ND, LAc
128Craig Fasullo ND
127Bridget Dean ND
126Danielle Q Currey ND, CST-T
125Adam GrattonMSc ND
124Amy Cole ND
123Lauri Brouwer ND
122Lauren Young
121Nicole Shortt ND
120Sage Wheeler ND
119Jana Nalbandian ND
118Regan Tessis ND
117Stephanie Vickers
116Sarah Grammaticos ND
115Marwa Dabbagh ND
114Christina Hinchcliffe ND
113MJ Atkins BScH, ND
112Martha Keith ND (student)
111Chantal Carpenter ND (student)
110Nancy Clare Murphy CLT
109Jennifer Strider ND
108Michael Mason-Wood ND
107Sarah Zambarano ND
106Meghan O’Reilly ND
105Crystalin Montgomery ND, LAc
104Michael Long ND
103Vanessa Ling ND
102Lisa Klasman ND
101Terri-Jo Ciocca
100Shelly Ordon ND
99Hannah Lafayette-Brooks ND
98Desley Hatfield
97Ruth Santiago
96Sandra Chapman
95Magdalena Jenkins NT
94Stefanie Kerwin
93Stacy Bowker ND
92Allison Apfelbaum ND
91Elizabeth Sandell ND
90Judith Gyarfas
89Brenden Cochran ND
88Tara Levy ND
87Brian Plante ND
86Ryan Best ND
85Ariel Touchet LAc
84Abida Zohal Wali ND
83Mike Hunt
82Emily PrattBSc ND
81Ian Breakspear
80Paul Theriault VNMI
79Jeff MartineauBScH (ND student)
78Jennifer Grochocinski ND (Inactive), MPH
77Nicole Roberts ND
76Brock McGregor ND
75Jennifer Lush Meyn
74Dennis Lucero BSN ADN CNOR
73Jennifer Henry ND
72Susan Deeley
71Jan Ashton-Ross
70Madison Laird
69Jo Kyle
68Heather Sandison ND
67Cory Reddish ND
66Jill Whalley
65Jiselle Griffith ND
64Rochelle Waite
63Nirala Jacobi ND
62Ashley Girard ND
61Dugald Seely ND, MSc
60Ashley Girard ND
59Que Areste Estavia
58Leighanna Jagels ND
57Ruth Urand ND
56Leslie Solomonian ND, MPH (cand.)
55Sandra Murphy ND
54Lorinda Sorensen LAc
53Jennifer Huddleston PA-C
52Carol Rainville ND
51Kenneth Luby ND (retired)
50Carlos Quezada DC, LAc, RN
49Ariana Macartney
48Nichole Shiffler NMD
47Maly J Strietzel ND
46Ashika Deskins
45Cyndi Gilbert ND
44Samantha Levy
43Peter D’Adamo ND
42Alejandra Salcedo
41Moisés Álvarez
40Jamie Hernandez RN
39Katie Pickworth ND, MS
38Joshua Corn ND, MS
37Danielle Langston
36Eleni Krommidas
35Jose Molina ND
34Laurie Menk Otto ND MPH
33Berlin Wright ND
32Mark J Romano ND
31Leah Linarelli
30Elliot Zyglis
29Carla Briante ND
28Rachel Burnett ND
27Bronwyn Carlblom NMD
26Brionna Johnsen
25Anthony Frank ND
24Chelsea Roodvoets NMD
23Ryan Abdelnour
22Saloumeh Rounaghi
21Patty Tang ND
20Keith F. Zeitlin ND
19Adrienne Stewart ND
18Amoreena Tibray CMA (AAMA)
17Liz Sutherland ND
16Brian Carrell
15Beth Allen ND
14Amanda Abbinanti
13Sharilyn Rennie ND
12Marcus Miller ND
11Tania Neubauer ND
10Aline R. Potvin ND
9Andrea Premazzi ND
8Orna Izakson ND, RH (AHG)
7Kiné Fischler LAc FABORM
6Hal Huff ND
5Erika Krumbeck ND
4Elana Roumell ND
3Caroline Budhan
2Deb Moskowitz ND
1Amy ChadwickND