Interview II: Text Conversation with a Nurse from Huang Shi City, #5 Hospital near Wuhan: What people use at home and a diary of someone infected with COVID-19


Tina Chen, LAc and Grace Lu, LAc

eLotus_COVID-19 #3

Interview II: Text Conversation with a Nurse from Huang Shi City, #5 Hospital near Wuhan: 

What people use at home and a diary of someone infected with COVID-19 

Interviewed by Tina Chen, LAc and Grace Lu, LAc

 Edited by Debra Nash-Galpern, L.Ac., DiplOM and Donna Chow, L.Ac., DiplOM

Published on March 19, 2020

In a world where there exists storms of manipulation in the media and fake news as well as a lack of sincerity, we at eLotus decided to search for the truth in the fight against COVID-19 with TCM. We care about the people in ways that go beyond the measure of words, and crave the need to know what is really going on. Is the media truthful? And, exactly how effective is Chinese medicine for this pandemic? We are all human, no matter where we come from. There is a human condition we all share and we feel there is a need to get to the heart of the matter. We all have the Hippocratic oath in mind to do what is best for our patients and this is an oath that deserves the utmost reverence if only by virtue of being human.

Earlier last month, our sponsor, Evergreen Herbs, donated a large truck full of masks and medical supplies to a Wuhan Hospital and thanks to this gesture, we were able to connect with the hospital and one referral led to another. Just the look in the eyes of those who were helped made us realize that they gave us more than we could ever give them.

It was an abundance of good fortune and to that end, we found 3 contacts: a nurse, a medical supplier, and a TCM doctor who were very eager and willing to be interviewed to help as much as possible so that their information can spread further than Wuhan and save more people. This interview features our WeChat conversation with a nurse from Huang Shi City. This is by no means a scientific research paper of any sort. It is simply a diary of friends helping one another.

We hope this interviews are able to help you prevent and treat this grave condition should it happen to you, your loved ones, or patients. The love donated was returned  by an infinite-fold. We are grateful for their participation and sincerity. We hope you will pay this forward by spreading the word to your colleagues and community so more people can benefit from the treasure chest of Chinese medicine.

     WeChat Nurse Text WeChat Image

eLotus: Everyone wants to use Chinese herbs to strengthen their immune system.What are some of the formulas you are using there that are proving effective?  

Wuhan Nurse: We are using the COVID-19 Pneumonia Prevention Formula #2. (There are several versions of this.) This particular formula is made into an over-the-counter granule powder by Zheng Tang Pharmaceutical. The ingredients include Huang Qi (Radix Astragali) 10g, Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae) fried 10g, Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae) 10g, Mian Ma Guan Zhong (Rhizoma Dryopteridis Crassirhizomatis) 6g, Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae) 10g, Pei Lan (Herba Eupatorii) 10g, Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) 6g) 

Wuhan Nurse: Grace, this is the prevention formula. 

eLotus: Can the general public take this? Or does one have to have symptoms? 


WeChat Nurse Text 2

Wuhan Nurse: This is what our hospital is giving to us for prevention.  

eLotus: So you work at the hospital? 

Wuhan Nurse: Yes, but not in a hospital with confirmed cases of Covid-19. 

eLotus: We have tremendous respect and admiration for you and your coworkers. We know it is a really difficult situation you are all enduring. I trust everything is beginning to improve by now. 

Wuhan Nurse: Yes, it is. 



Wuhan Nurse: I am in Huangshi, a city very close to Wuhan. 

eLotus: Do you know anyone with COVID-19 who has taken Chinese herbs? We would like to know which herbs are being used and how effective they are. 

Wuhan Nurse: I don’t know anyone specifically using Chinese herbs. Let me ask _____ to see if she does, she has more friends in Wuhan. 


eLotus: We have not yet seen any cases here in our clinics so we are unsure what to best prescribe. 

Wuhan Nurse: I am not in direct contact with patients with COVID-19. 

eLotus: Ok. If you know of anyone, patients or TCM doctors who would like to share their experiences with us, kindly refer them to us. Anything we learn from your experience, we will pass to TCM doctors here in the US so they can be more prepared to treat the light cases. Thank you so much for your help.  


eLotus: We are only beginning to see cases in America. Everyone is nervous. 

eLotus: Los Angeles now has 35 cases. Schools are starting to shut down. 

Wuhan Nurse: Ok. I will.

Wuhan Nurse: Let me ask around.

eLotus: Thank you for your help. 

Wuhan Nurse:  You are welcome. 


Wuhan Nurse: We are a hospital that only accepts pending cases. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, patients are transferred to another hospital. Patients in our hospital are taking antiviral medications along with COVID-19 Chinese herbal Pneumonia Formula #2 along with Lian Hua Qing Wen capsules. 

eLotus: Lian Hua Qing Wen capsules? That is not a classic formula. Can you share the ingredients with me? I found this online. 


Wuhan Nurse: You can’t buy this in regular drug stores anymore. 

eLotus: Is this the right formula? 

Wuhan Nurse: Let me check. I had one at home prior to the outbreak. 



eLotus: How wonderful you have it already premade. We have to mix the formulas, one-by-one, here in the United States. 

Wuhan Nurse: Prior to the eruption of COVID-19, my child had a fever and the doctor prescribed this same formula. 

Wuhan Nurse: The effect was pretty good.  

Wuhan Nurse: Here are the ingredients: Lian Qiao, Jin Yin Hua, Ma Huang (zhi), Xing Ren, Shi Gao, Ban Lan Gen, Guan Zhong, Yu Xing Cao, Huo Xiang, Da Huang, Hong Jing Tian, Bo He Nao, Gan Cao.   

eLotus: Thank you for sharing. 



Wuhan Nurse: You are welcome. 

Wuhan Nurse: We use this formula along and Pu Di Lan liquid for most common colds here. 

Wuhan Nurse: They work well together. 

eLotus: Thank you. Your information will be of tremendous help to us here. On behalf of the TCM practitioners in America, I thank you for sharing so generously. 


Wuhan Nurse: You are welcome. Thank you for all your help. (She is referring to the donation of masks and medical supplies). 

Wuhan Nurse: Here is our hospital’s protocol (We only check for fevers). Take Qing Hua Qing Wen capsules, 4  caps, 4 times a day.  Abidol, 0.2g (2 pills) oral, TID, or Oseltamivir capsules (75mg)1 pill, oral, BID; or Moxifloxacin 400mg (1 pill), oral, once a day, or Cefdinir, (100mg) 1 pill, oral, TID.We recommend patients quarantine at home if their symptoms are mild enough. We do not recommend mild cases being treated at the hospital, as the hospital is reserved for patients with more severe and complicated cases. The same guidelines can be followed for medication use at home, though in the hospital, it would be in the form of an injection. At home, patients can rest and eat more comfortably so as to recover faster. 

Family members of ill patients should keep their home surroundings as sanitary as possible, by regularly disinfecting their environment, to avoid getting the infected person’s germs.  It is best if the patient is quarantined to one room.  Also, it is recommended that the door to the room of the infected individual stay closed, and, if the weather is temperate, their window may be opened.  The infected person should wear a mask when around others in the household. Furthermore, everyone in the household should wash their hands thoroughly and frequently.  Ample sleep is recommended, along with drinking a lot of water and milk, and consuming fruit, eggs, and lean meats. 

The infected individual should take their temperature twice a day, and monitor for a continuous high fever (>38.5 degrees C). They should also self monitor their symptoms of cough, muscle pain, chest stuffiness, and respiratory difficulty to see if it is improving. If symptoms get worse (unremitting high fever, chest stuffiness, restlessness, breathing difficulty, impaired cognition), the patient may need to be transferred to a hospital to receive more advanced care. 


Wuhan Nurse: So far there is no cure for this virus. Hence, all we can do for the time being is to treat the symptoms.  Herbal formulas and protocols are constantly being revised and updated for efficacy. The latest formula issued by our government is Version 7,  ‘Guidance for Corona Virus Disease, 2019’.  One can refer to it and review the protocols from Fang Chang Hospital; a hospital that only accept mild cases.  This may provide a clear idea on how to address prevention. 


Below is a conversation between the nurse and an actual COVID-19 patient.

A: Thank you. Would you tell me who is the president? Please reply when you have time. 

B: I am. How may I help you? 

A: My wife and I just returned from a hospital stay. We quarantined ourselves at home, as we were previously in the hospital, but we were discharged, as there are acute patients that are being admitted all the time.  However, our doctor was unable to assure us that we are no longer contagious.  Hence, so as not to infect our neighbors, our whole family is just staying at home for the time being. However, as we have not been home since the 13th, we do not have any food or other necessities. Can you help? 


A: We need rice, vegetables, alcohol, and masks. We will of course pay, but since we are unable to go out and don’t wish to infect others, are you able to help?

B: In which hospital were you? 

A: Ren Min Yi Yuan, on the ___ floor, department ____.We both had COVID-19. Everyone else in the hospital was suffering withthe same thing. Don’t worry. We are well-informed about how to protect others, and we and don’t wish toinconvenience others except for necessities. We, the people, shall all fight this disease together. Thank you for your support.


A: We would also like to share our experience so the people will know what to expect and can be better prepared. 

B: Yes, we all want to know, the more detail the better. Thank you. 

A:  Initially, it started like a cold. My son, my husband, and I all had a cough. My husband complained of being cold for a few days. Then, I developed a low-grade fever. 


A: I thought I had a common cold. I went to get a shot on the 9th and felt better for a few days. Then, my husband went on a business trip and came back on the 12th, in the afternoon. He told me over the phone that he had fever, so he went directly to the hospital to get a CT scan which confirmed that he had pneumonia. He was sent to the Hankou Zhongshan Hospital. He was refused admission because there were not enough beds.  We went to four different hospitals on the 12th and were rejected until we came to Cai Mian Renmin Hospital. This is a hospital that takes unspecified medical cases when the patient presents with a fever. With a lot convincing, he was finally admitted at 3 a.m. 

A: My husband continued to have high fever. The doctor called me to the office and told me that his condition was very serious and if the fever continued, he may go into respiratory failure. I panicked and started crying. Then the doctor told me that I could buy two types of globulin to enhance his immune system to help fight the virus. 


A: So we bought the globulin injection and that night my husband’s fever was under control. On the night of the 15th, the fever went down, and after that his fever never returned. 

A: However, since I was busy taking care of my husband, I neglected to take care of myself. I believe we were both infected at the same time. When he had the fever, I was rushing back and forth between the hospital and home and was exhausted.  Hence, I went for an exam on the night of the 15th. The result showed that my albumin was low. I had an x-ray, not a CT scan, and there was no shadow. At the same time, I asked my son to have the same exam and his results were normal. So I figured both of us were alright. I never had a fever, only a bit of cough with severe chest oppression and some difficulty breathing. As I have chronic bronchitis, I thought my symptoms were due to this. However, on the evening of the 16th, after taking care of my husband all day, I felt very ill, so I checked myself into the Emergency Room at the hospital. The same young doctor gave me a blood test and an x-ray.  The test showed that my albumin was dropping, but the x- ray came out normal. I was instructed to stay on the same medications I had been taking. I called my husband, and the doctor taking care of him recommended that I have a CT scan. This scan showed that my lungs were infected with COVID-19. 

A: The hospital would not admit me, so I asked my husband’s doctor for help. That was the night that all medical personnel started to wear protective gears and masks. The doctor told me that there were not enough beds and suggested that I check in with another hospital. Since this doctor was able to help my husband improve, I really wanted to be his patient as well, so instead, I stayed in the emergency room through the night of the 16th. At midnight, my fever started. The next day, I asked the doctor, the department chair, and his boss for permission to be admitted, and finally I was granted permission to stay at the hospital for treatment, though they still did not have a bed for me.  


A: Since there was no bed for me, I had to sit in a chair all day to receive IV fluids and treatments. I didn’t want to re-infect my husband so I stayed far away from him. At last, that night, I was assigned a bed. 

A: Finally I was able to lie down and rest, but my fever continued. I applied to buy the same globulin that my husband used and was injected with it for a few days. The two days that I had the fever, it felt worse than eating Huang Lian. I had no appetite, but the doctor insisted that I eat. I tried to convince myself that food is the best medicine, so I forced myself to eat, but ended up vomiting up everything. Later, I forced myself to eat again, and was able to keep the food down. Ultimately, I felt lucky to have learned what worked for my husband so I could request the same treatment for myself. After two days of globulin, my fever subsided. However, because I started treatment so late, my chest stuffiness was very severe. Thus, I felt very dizzy and could not catch my breath. 

A: My husband was discharged on the 23rd. 


A: I was admitted on the 17th and discharged yesterday morning. 

A: Right after I was diagnosed, I asked my son to get a CT. Thank god the results were negative and he only had a cough.  

B: What were the herbs that you used? Can you take a picture and show it to those of us in this group? (The picture shows Lian Hua Qing Wen capsules)