Q What if there is a second wave of COVID-19 this fall? What can I do to reduce my risk of getting ill with COVID, or any other viral infection?
The best approach to health, always, is to avoid getting sick. In case that sounds sassy, what I mean is that health is a force that requires tending. Don’t take it for granted! If you read my column you know I stress eating good food, practicing good sleep and hygiene habits, drinking water, getting exercise—the basics. Your body/mind/spirit require tender loving care and a good deal of maintenance. Invest in your self-care, and make good choices, as often as possible.
We do know that COVID-19 usually causes mild symptoms unless you have underlying health weaknesses. The more “co-morbidities,” the more vulnerable you are. Many of these health-slaying conditions are preventable (clogged arteries, chronic bronchial infections, diabetes). Making more informed choices now can help restore, and preserve, your precious health.
For one thing, make sure you’re getting adequate sleep, which can increase your resistance to all infections. Less than seven hours of sleep a night over time will inhibit your production of natural killer (NK) cells—potent white blood cells that fight disease. Sleep also allows melatonin to be released into the body, which supports immune function and helps control inflammation in viral infections via its antioxidant properties.
And wear a mask when you go out in public. Why should we still be wearing masks when in crowded spaces? Because of asymptomatic spreading of COVID-19 and many other viral illnesses. Seriously ill people are likely contagious for at least 10 days after symptoms appear. Even people with mild cases can be contagious for several days.
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