Historically, pandemics have forced people to break free from the past and see the world anew. This one is no different. The pre-covid era was very fast-moving. There was always a shortage of time. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, learn, and interact with others. The second wave of covid is just reiterating to us the importance of a healthy body and mind. Be it family, friends, neighbours, or for that matter a stranger who just happened to ask for help in social media, every single person is fighting their own battles and yet is willing to be there for others. Small steps by each one of us individually go a long way. Here are a few tips that would help you surf through these difficult times.
1. BE PREPARED FOR TELEMEDICAL HELP
Telemedicine is a general term that covers all of the ways you and your doctor can use technology to communicate without being in the same room. The diagnosis and the treatment happen under the supervision of the doctor via online platforms.
As most of the frontline workers are occupied tending to the needs of critically ill patients, there are high chances your doctor might advise answering your health concerns online if they do not deem your situation as an emergency. Here are a few things can do to keep yourself prepared for one such session if the need arises.
- Keep a device handy that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speaker.
- Make a list of your questions and concerns before your session so that you don’t forget something important.
- Don’t ignore your symptoms. Keep a thermometer, oximeter, and weighing machine accessible in your home. This will help you record any change in temperature, oxygen saturation levels, or drastic weight changes by yourself.
- Always keep one emergency bag ready with basic clothing, some money, food, and water.
2. PRIORITIZE PERSONAL HYGIENE.
Some simple measures such as maintaining physical distance from members of the family, wearing a R95 cotton face mask even when indoors, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue can miraculously help in breaking the chain of viral spread.
- Keep separate towels, bedsheets, clothes, utensils for each member of the family.
- Amidst this intense situation where the BLACK FUNGUS infection is spreading like wildfire among patients who have just recovered from the coronavirus infection, it is very important to look out for the following symptoms.
- Pain and redness around eyes and/or nose
- Shortness of breath
- Bloody vomits
- Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
- Immunosuppression by steroids
- Altered mental status
- Prolonged ICU stay
- Voriconazole therapy
ALWAYS WEAR A MASK
- We now know that coronavirus spreads as an air-born disease, make it normal to wear masks even when people are not around. The appropriate use, storage, and cleaning or disposal of masks are important to make them as effective as possible.
- There are 4 kinds of masks available in the Indian market.
- SURGICAL MASKS
- N95 AND FFFP1 masks.
- Activated carbon mask
- Cloth and sponge masks.
- An N95 mask without a vent and a surgical mask used together is the most effective way to keep the virus at bay. But considering the shortage of supplies, a triple-layered fabric mask should solve the purpose.
- Before buying/making one, make sure it has the following components:-
- An inner layer made of some absorbing fabric.
- A middle filter layer (polyester layer)
- An outer layer made of non-absorbing fabric.
- Check for filtration, breathability, and tight-fitting while buying a mask.
3. WASH WASH AND SANITIZE YOUR HANDS.
You should buy hand sanitizer online which have more than 70% of alcohol or 23% of methanol.
- It is safer to clean your hands frequently than to wear gloves.
- Wearing the same glove in all the tasks you perform risks transferring germs from one surface to another and contaminating your hands while removing them. Thus wearing gloves does not replace cleaning your hands with soap or sanitizers.
- There is no substitute for washing your hands with soap and water. But if this is not accessible, use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. There are many available in the market, choose a sanitizer that suits your skin type.
4. BE CAREFUL WHILE TAKING OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS
- Most of us have surely popped pills for a headache without thinking about the dosage, strength of the drug at least once in our lifetime.
- Medicines that can be brought, by law, without the need of a prescription such as paracetamol, aspirin, etc, are called ‘Over Counter drugs. Most of them come under the categories of pain relievers, cough remedies, anti-allergens, laxatives, vitamins, and antacids.
- The unpredictable work hours along with the added stress of the pandemic can leave many reaching out to OTC drugs on a regular basis. While these drugs are typically safe when taken in measured doses, regular intake can damage the liver and the kidney irreversibly.
- The indiscriminate consumption without proper regulation will cause medicine resistance. This means the body does not respond to medicine when needed.
- Using Telemedical help to consult your doctor before starting or more importantly stopping any such medication.
5. PREPARE A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
For most people, the ‘work from home’ drill has become difficult on the routine given the increase in stress and working hours. In these mentally challenging times, one easy way to keep yourself productive and healthy is to chart out a realistic schedule.
- Once the schedule is charted, focus on each task on hand rather than worrying about the whole day.
- Set realistic deadlines
- Add in cushion time for each task.
- Remember to allocate time for your hobbies and some ‘me time.
6. GET ENOUGH SUNLIGHT, VENTILATION, AND EXERCISE.
- Make sure to open the windows and curtains of the house for at least 4 hours a day to get ample sunlight and ventilation.
- The ultraviolet rays in the sunlight act as a disinfectant and a bactericide. And all the sunkissed photos on social media are proof of the fact that it acts as an amazing mood elevator.
- Breathing exercises such as Simha Kriya ( lion-like breathing) and some yogic postures such as the Sashtanga asana and makarasana are proven to make your respiratory system function to its best and to improve one’s lung capacity.
7. SAY YES TO A HEALTHY EATING HABIT
Most people are guilty of binge eating during the first lockdown. Here are few tips that will save you from guilt in lockdown 2.0.
- Take small bites and chew well, while concentrating on the smell, taste, and texture of the food. Try to chew each bite at least 24 times before you swallow it. This will make sure that you are not overeating.
- Ditch the carb and choose protein-rich food.
- To boost your immunity, chew neem leaves and some organic turmeric on an empty stomach
- Drink immunity-boosting tea and get vaccinated.
- A combination of amla, honey, and amla, honey, and peppercorn when taken a spoonful three times a day acts as a great immunity booster.
- Consume a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and proteins.
Lastly, Your mental health is as important as your physical health. So remember not to be hypercritical of others or yourself as every individual is trying their best to adapt to this new normal.