By Sherry DiBari

Can elderberry help boost your immunity to COVID-19?

A group of Old Dominion University nursing students thinks so. And they decided to educate others about elderberry, in addition to other prevention strategies, in a creative way.

The seven students created a TikTok-style video to promote nutrition and self-care in their group project for Professor Kameo Snyder's nutrition of nursing practice course.

After one of Snyder's lectures about the abundance of false information regarding COVID-19 prevention and treatment, the students decided to focus their project on food- and supplement-based strategies to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

With the large number of Virginians already impacted by COVID-19, "we hoped that these prevention strategies could help people stay healthy and avoid infection," student Daniella Pascanik said.

Pascanik had the idea of using a popular trend on TikTok, a social media app, to catch and drop items in the video as the students provided information on various topics.

"We hoped this would keep our audience engaged and interested in the information we had to offer," Pascanik said.

The video, which covered cultural considerations, adequate sleep, stress prevention, flavonoids, elderberry, melatonin and vitamins, was planned through email and Zoom conferences.

All of the students believe their nursing careers will be affected by the coronavirus but are optimistic for the future.

Kaylee Leach feels research will create options for patients.

"There will be even more preventative measures and treatments that I will be able to offer to patients as a new nurse," she said.

Pascanik believes the pandemic sheds light on the importance of the health-care field.

"I feel as though my career will be even stronger when I graduate," she said.

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