“You are what you eat.”

Jean Anthelme Brillant-Savarin, a French lawyer, epicurean, and father of the low carbohydrate diet, penned these words in the 18th century. As we struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, we search for personal ways to influence our health and our immune system to combat this pestilence. Food choices are an overlooked variable that may alter our fate.

Our human engagement with infections is played out ...

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I feel like I am reliving a bad dream. The race to find a treatment and/or cure to SARS-CoV-2 is reminiscent of decades of practicing gastroenterology while hepatitis C roamed the hospital wards as a death sentence for many. I found myself recently recalling a patient whose story ends with science finding a cure.

 As I peered around the ICU curtain, I could see a motionless ill man. I ...

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"Good fences make good neighbors" is a memorable and salient line from Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Walls." While the context of its meaning is a plea for the importance of privacy, it is a useful phrase for the COVID-19 pandemic as we all try social distancing as our physical defense and protective barrier from the Coronavirus. Six feet away from one another and swathed with a nose and face-covering mask ...

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I was quite young, but I could sense the unease in my mother when she first sent me off to elementary school amidst an uncertain risk of paralytic polio in the 1950’s era. She maintained her frightened countenance until 1960 when the Sabin vaccine miraculously appeared.  Many years later, my wife, a pediatrician, had intubated a young patient with measles who needed ventilatory support. A few days later, she ...

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The summer of 1979 is permanently etched into my memory. I walked into the intensive care unit as a newly minted intern. I walked over to ICU-Bed 1 to be introduced to my first patient, a frail teenaged boy who was tethered to a ventilator. “He is day 30 with respiratory failure from disseminated coccidioidomycosis,” my internal medicine resident informed me. “He is your responsibility now, and don’t f*** it up.” An ...

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