Autumn is almost here, marking the season of pumpkin spice lattes, suede boots, and leather jackets. Halloween and Thanksgiving will come and go, and then winter will fall upon us. While the holidays are a favorite for time for many, it will be a cold season unlike any other, as experts warn that winter conditions could cause a higher risk of COVID-19 infections.
Winter may be a ways away, but there is no better time than now to prepare our bodies against what is projected to be the worst flu season in recent years. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19 and other flu viruses.
Adopt healthier habits.
It may sound simple, but the best and first thing we can do is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Our first line of defense is always a healthy body. If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. Exercise more; find the time to squeeze in a little 30-minute workout during your day. Walk or bike to work; take the stairs instead of the elevator. Consider taking up a new sport or physical activity. Eat green, leafy vegetables and fruits rich with Vitamin C. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day; invest in one of those time-marked tumblers. Consult with your doctor about the benefits of taking research-backed vitamins and supplements. Avoid self-diagnosing and taking drugs without your physician’s advice. Be vigilant about your blood sugar levels and blood pressure as well. Of course, practice frequent handwashing and taking thorough showers.
Get your flu shot.
While it’s not necessarily a vaccine and won’t offer immunity against COVID-19, a flu shot offers many benefits during the pandemic. It can keep us from getting sick with the flu, can lessen the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, and can be an added protection for people with chronic health conditions, among many others.
Ensure that your home is equipped to handle extreme temperatures.
There are many ways to improve your home’s temperature; you can choose different materials that can help make your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It’s also a good idea to consult with metal roofing experts about your home, so they can inspect if it’s well-equipped for the coming cold. While you’re at it, check the exterior of your home to determine if it can withstand the snow.
Adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Just because businesses, schools, offices, and other institutions are opening up does not mean that the virus is gone. The worst thing we could do is develop a false sense of security while we’re still in the first wave of infections. If you must leave your home, be sure to stay six feet away from others at all times. Wear masks, and make sure that they’re the kinds that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, as much as possible, avoid eating out at restaurants.
Don’t pin your hopes on a vaccine. At least, not for now. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns we may never have a “silver bullet” for COVID-19. Several vaccines are now in the third phase of clinical trials, but an effective one may not be rolled out for years. We need to do every preventive measure we can now to protect ourselves and those we love.
Arm yourself with the right information.
Social networking sites have taken steps to ensure that users are armed with accurate information at all times. Make sure you gather news from reputable sources and fact-check suspicious headlines. Determine if the information came from science-based sources and official channels, like the CDC and the WHO.
Change your perspective.
There is no denying that living in the time of COVID-19 is exhausting and stressful. It’s understandable to want to get away from depressing statistics and heartbreaking losses at global and personal levels. The sooner we understand and accept that this is our new normal for the foreseeable future, the more equipped we will be to handle it. Instead of burying your head in the sand, reach out to people you can trust and who you feel safe with. Talk to them about your anxieties and help each other prepare for the coming winter. Find a community of people who can support you now and when the worst comes.
At the end of the day, we are all in this together. Humanity has survived pandemics before, and it will do again. For now, let us do all that we can for the good of others, especially the most vulnerable among us. Let’s keep our distance, wash our hands, and wear our masks.