Staying Healthy During the Pandemic
Staying healthy in 2020 has presented unique – and endlessly frustrating! – challenges. What can each of us do to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy?
You should recognize now that being healthy amid a pandemic has certain fundamental truths:
- WEAR A MASK! This may save your life- but more importantly, this is a key way to keep your loved ones safe as well. This has been PROVEN to be effective in fighting the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus.
- WASH YOUR HANDS! A LOT! Good hygiene including careful washing of hands, use of disinfectants when hand washing is not possible and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean helps stop the spread of the virus. Our doorknobs and door handles have never been so clean!
- Physically distance, especially indoors. Many people are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic and still able to spread the virus. Protect yourself and others by keeping your distance.
There are also a few things that may have a potential benefit, although not proven like those above:
- Studies have shown mouthwash can kill the virus. Regular use of mouthwash may reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus. A simple step with benefits of a healthy mouth and potentially lessening the likelihood of the spread of the virus – win, win!
- The use of dietary supplements containing zinc and vitamin C may boost your immune system. Talk to your health care provider to discuss whether this is a step you should consider.
But what else do we need to remember for our health in these trying times?
- Times are tough – you and others may be feeling stress on a level that is beyond anything before experienced. Remember KINDNESS in these tough times – kindness for yourself first and kindness for others. We are all struggling in different ways, whether from financial stress, concern for our safety, or from anxiety over the new restrictions in our lives. Recognize that we may need a little extra patience, a little extra consideration for the needs of others.
- Take time to mentally unwind in the best way for you – be it from being outdoors, reading a book, laughing at a comedy show or through meditation. Take the time for you.
- Exercise is key! It will help you mentally and physically. Walking is a great way to work out with no equipment needed apart from a good pair of shoes. There are lots of hiking areas around – explore some new ones with your family.
- Do not forget your routine health examinations, routine vaccines for you and your family and your routine screening tests! Doctor’s offices have made changes to adapt to the new restrictions to keep you safe. Do not hesitate to seek care if you are ill. Likewise, it is now safe and recommended to have your routine screening tests like mammography, low dose screening CT chest and colonoscopy. Cancer is not taking a break during the pandemic – screening is still our best defense.
- Get your flu vaccine this year and get it early – before October if possible. Flu and COVID 19 may make for a scary and deadly winter.
Keeping healthy takes work – now more than ever. Focusing on the things we can do something about, helps. Be kind, be safe, be proactive – our wishes for your best possible health.