Coronavirus Outbreak: How To Avoid Getting Sick

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

At this moment it certainly seems like the people with OCD who are constantly washing their hands are the smart ones, but in times of emergency it’s important to keep the proper perspective. In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen weigh in on the public reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, and why it’s important to keep stress levels low to ease the burden on your immune system.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Aman.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to
Dr Daniel Amen: We are so happy you are with us. There is anxiety everywhere.
Tana Amen: It's always about something.
Dr Daniel Amen: People who have OCD and have been washing their hands compulsively are now going, "I told you so. I told you so."
Tana Amen: Well, and the conspiracy theorists are going, "I told you so. I told you so." Everybody's got a theory.
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, it's not a conspiracy that-
Tana Amen: One would think not.
Dr Daniel Amen: We're going to talk about coronavirus this week.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: I know it's on the top of everybody's mind, and it's something that's important from a neuroscience perspective. So stay with us, we are going to talk about how to strengthen your immune system in the middle of a lot of anxiety for people. But first, you have a testimonial to read.
Tana Amen: From Sabrina. She says, "Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your knowledge on brain health. I'm 27 and going through PDD as well as fighting with my husband often. Since I've discovered your videos, podcast and book, Feel Better Fast and Make it Last, I've been using your techniques to improve my mind. Your recommendation to listen to mood-enhancing songs like Clair de Lune has saved my husband and I from fighting in front of our baby. Thank you, and God bless."
Dr Daniel Amen: I love that.
Tana Amen: Isn't that great?
Dr Daniel Amen: That just made me so happy, and when you're happier and you're listening to music like that, your immune system is better, and being panicked actually hurts your immune system. We're going to talk about COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness that we've known about for a long time, from the common cold to more severe diseases, like Middle East respiratory syndrome, MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS.
Dr Daniel Amen: Now, a novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they're transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS from dromedary camels to humans.
Tana Amen: Wow.
Dr Daniel Amen: Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Although, what's interesting about COVID-19 is it's not seeming to affect children-
Tana Amen: As much.
Dr Daniel Amen: ... as much.
Tana Amen: And they think it might be the MMR, right?
Dr Daniel Amen: I'm not sure.
Tana Amen: That's what I've heard.
Dr Daniel Amen: The elderly, don't look at me like that-
Tana Amen: I'm right behind you.
Dr Daniel Amen: ... are more vulnerable. Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand-washing, we're going to talk about that, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, of course you should do that, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illnesses, such as coughing and sneezing.
Dr Daniel Amen: As some of you know, we basically adopted our two nieces. Right after this happened, there was a rumor, turned out not to be true, that several children from China were coming new to their school. All of a sudden, none of the children showed up.
Tana Amen: Yeah. There was panic, and my niece came home and she's like, "I can't go to school, nobody's going to school. There were four kids in class," and literally there were parents protesting outside the school and there was a news van outside the school. She's like, "Can I stay home tomorrow?" " I said, "Let me do some research." Then she didn't understand why I didn't just say, "Yes, you can stay home," she didn't understand. I said, "Because here's the thing. We don't buy into mass hysteria, number one. We're not going to buy into mass hysteria because the masses are often the, you can fill in the blank."
Tana Amen: I was trying to teach her we think for ourselves. I want you to think for yourself and not like everybody else, number one. Just because there are people outside protesting does not make them right.
Dr Daniel Amen: Let me actually ... When I was in my philosophy class at a Christian college, at Vanguard University, my philosophy teacher said the masses are the asses.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's like, "What does that mean?" We talk about it and the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast.
Tana Amen: Right, sheep, sheepdogs and wolves.
Dr Daniel Amen: Sheep, sheepdogs and wolves. What do sheep do? They follow-
Tana Amen: And they don't think.
Dr Daniel Amen: ... the herd. They don't think. They're vulnerable, but if a sheep gets blown off a cliff, as happened in Turkey, the other sheep often may just-
Tana Amen: Walk off the cliff.
Dr Daniel Amen: ... jump after.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: So when we say the masses are the asses, we don't want to demean anybody.
Tana Amen: No, it just means we want you to think.
Dr Daniel Amen: But mass hysteria is often not helpful. Now, of course, we want you to be thoughtful. If you're sick, don't go to work.
Tana Amen: As I was telling her about this, I said, "I always want you to be safe and I'm going to do my homework on this. I'm going to figure out what is going on, but I don't want you to just all of a sudden think that just because there are people there protesting, that doesn't make them right all of a sudden, okay? I want you to slow down for a minute and let's do the research." So we did this together. I said, "I want you to think about something. For a child to come here from China means they've had to go through quarantine, means they've gone through quarantine, they've had to go through this process. It means they're being watched, number one."
Tana Amen: But what turned out was it turned out that some of the moms that heard that this was happening didn't like the quarantine process, they wanted it doubled. Okay? Well, I could understand why they're fearful, but that doesn't make it right. What I was concerned about, and I told her, I said, "I want you to think about this. You don't get to just make decisions like that and then get everyone upset. There's a quarantine process for a reason. I understand their fear, it's their choice if they want to keep their kids home. But what I want you to think about, think about that child that's coming there. What I want you to think about is how they've already had to go to this quarantine process. They're moving from another country and now all of a sudden think about all the kids that are being bullied simply because they are from another country. Maybe they're even American, but they live here, but they're another nationality and they're now being bullied because of this."
Tana Amen: That's what I don't want her to buy into. It's like, "I want you to start thinking for yourself and not thinking like everybody else." So we did a little research and I'm like, "No, you're going to school." There's no coronavirus that has been detected and there was no reason for her to stay home. If anything, we knew that that child had been quarantined, so that was probably safer then.
Dr Daniel Amen: Part of the problem is when you get your information from the news, as we've talked about and I talk about in my new book, The End of Mental Illness, is the news leads with the worst thing because your brain is programmed to pay attention to what's negative, to what's awful, to what's terrible, to what's scary, to what's traumatic. As we record this, there's been 26 deaths in the United States and I would never want to diminish that in any way-
Tana Amen: No, we want you to be careful.
Dr Daniel Amen: ... but there's multiples of that for the flu. Taking care of your immune system is really important, but being angry, upset, not sleeping is in fact damaging your immune system and your ability to fight whatever infection comes your way.
Tana Amen: Right, and it's interesting because one of the things that we would tell you is probably don't travel unless you have to, right, unless it's a mandatory thing, but I do that anyways. When he travels and he wants me to go with him, I weigh it out because I tend to have a weaker immune system than he does just because of all of my health issues from the past. I take really good care of myself, I do everything I can to build up my immune system, but when I travel a lot, I tend to weaken it and I tend to get sick faster than he does. So I'll weigh it out anyways. It's like you're going to be on the go, you're going to be in three states in five days, that's probably not a good move for me. I'll know I don't need to do it, I'm not going to go. So I do that anyways.
Dr Daniel Amen: Because you are more vulnerable.
Tana Amen: I'm more vulnerable.
Dr Daniel Amen: You've heard me talk on this podcast, or us talk on this podcast, about the app, Think Dirty, where you can actually scan your personal products and it'll tell you on a scale of one to 10 how quickly they're killing you. Well, now we find, and my new book has just been released and so I'm traveling a lot to do television and a radio and I have a new public television, so I'm traveling a lot, which means I have to wash my hands a lot, but you don't know what is in the disinfectants, what's in the soap. Is it good for you or not? So I find I get healthy disinfectant and I take it with me.
Tana Amen: Well, we've never been a big fan of overusing disinfectants in a normal situation. This isn't a normal situation, right? This is crucial that you try to protect yourself. We're not in a normal situation right now, so using a disinfectant in this circumstance is not normal. By the way, you always said, "I hope I never have to say thank you," for my prepping, but ... Say it, you can say it. You can say it.
Dr Daniel Amen: My wife is prepper.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's true. Thank you.
Tana Amen: Thank you, because I have water and toilet paper. So you can say ...
Dr Daniel Amen: Her frontal lobes work hard.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Dr Daniel Amen: We'll just say her frontal lobes work hard. When we come back, we're going to talk about how to strengthen your immune system to not only fight off the coronavirus, but also things like cancer. Stay with us.
Tana Amen: If you're enjoying the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast, please don't forget to subscribe, so you'll always know when there's a new episode. While you're at it, feel free to give us a review or five star rating, as that helps others find the podcast.
Dr Daniel Amen: If you're considering coming to Amen Clinics or trying some of the brain healthy supplements from BrainMD, you can use the code, Podcast10, to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at or a 10% discount on all supplements at For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.