In only a few weeks, the world has turned upside down. From news stories to blog posts, Covid-19 has up-ended the daily lives of people around the globe. A lethal pandemic, this is no seasonal flu.
As with past catastrophes and natural disasters, it is all too easy to slip into a routine of seemingly robotic behavior. Reliant upon those in power, it is the voice of government that dictates our decisions.
At The MAX, we want to return the power to YOU.
To be sure, there is both truth and value in the federal recommendations to which we are currently privy. Social distancing, in particular, is a critical precaution to diminish the likelihood of Covid spreading throughout the nation. (6’ is considered the average distance that airborne droplets can travel after a cough, sneeze, etc.)
That being said, the result of social distancing is, inevitably, anti-social crowding. Confined to cohabit within the walls of our home (or for those in healthcare, workplace), our health relies not on government mandate, but on personal precaution.
Understanding Your Role
As a reminder, the majority of persons infected with SARS-Coronavirus-19 will NOT become severely ill. Given the nature of its symptoms, only vulnerable populations (the elderly, immuno-compromised, and those with underlying respiratory conditions) are likely to face worsening progression of the virus, up to and including death.
With that in mind, Covid-19 is unprecedented among modern major illness for the rapidity with which it spreads. Though extreme, cautionary measures are not intended so much to halt its growth entirely as to prevent it infecting these vulnerable populations.
To protect yourself and your loved ones, please practice the following:
Sanitize Your Surroundings
Though research is ongoing regarding the spread of SARS-Coronavirus-19, it is generally accepted that person-to-person transmission is the biggest culprit. To reduce the spread of airborne particles (e.g., through coughing and sneezing), it is imperative that surfaces be disinfected as often as possible.
Unfortunately, studies differ in the length of time that the Covid virus can remain active after leaving its host. As a precaution, an EPA-approved cleaning agent should be used on all high-traffic surfaces, whenever it is used or as frequently as needed. Remember to think small: light switches, chair backs, door handles, remote controls, cellphones, computer keyboards, etc, are often overlooked when it comes to household cleaning.
Practice Hand Hygiene
Gone are the days of a quick rinse and dollop of suds. Uniquely designed to pull away the build-up of germs and bacteria, soap molecules are your best defense when it comes to protecting against illness.
For best results, vigorously rub soap across the entire surface of your hands for at least twenty seconds. Make sure to get between your fingers, under your nails, over and around your palms, and an inch or two above your wrists. Use warm or hot water to ensure that soap is completely washed away.
When access to soap is limited, an alcohol-based sanitizer over 60% will suffice to kill Coronavirus germs. While this is not a substitute for hand washing, it will serve the time being until your next opportunity to wash up.
In addition to de-germing your hands, make every attempt to avoid germing them up in the first place! Refrain from touching your face (where the residue of microscopic particles will happily enter through your nose and mouth), and use elbows or sleeves in place of hands whenever possible.
Remember, Covid-19 can spread before symptoms appear. Even between friends and loved ones, proper hand hygiene and cautionary distance is your best barrier against infection.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Even in times of health, a healthy diet is your body’s best defense against illness. Especially in the midst of a quarantine, proper nutrition and adequate exercise are critical to ensure that your immune system can fight invaders.
When shopping, fill your cart with whole-grain carbs, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats to aid satiety. Stock up on fruits and vegetables, and consider fortified foods to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals. Do a bit of research to determine which nutrients your specific medical and mental health require.
Consider adding fish to your diet. Try to select varieties that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury. Limit consumption to once/twice weekly, or as dictated by your doctor.
Choose whole grains and complex carbs. Bereft nutrients, processed and refined carbohydrates will give you a quick burst of energy and little else.
Avoid processed and sugary foods/beverages, as these will disrupt insulin production and increase your body’s release of stress hormones. If you’ve ever heard the term empty carbs, this is it.
Practice moderation, not substitution. Marketed specifically to low-sugar, low-fat, and low-sodium consumers, man-made alternatives lack a scientific bill of health. Whenever possible, choose natural.
Fill up on fruits and veggies. Not only will plant-based fiber help regulate blood sugar and aid in digestion, but a colourful plate will boost your body’s natural immunity and directly impact your mental health.
Move! Though your gym class may be cancelled, there are more benefits than risks to getting a breath of fresh air. Take a walk, hike, or lap around the block to get endorphins flowing and calories burning.
No matter who you are or where you live, the Coronavirus is closer than you may think. Please, consider the consequences of spreading this novel sickness. With proper hygiene and health, we can all protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.