Ways to Stay Healthy in the New Normal
One of the many things that the coronavirus pandemic made us realize is the importance of taking care of our health at all times. As we gear up to face the new normal, there is a possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases with the easing of quarantine measures. Therefore, it is best to know how we can protect ourselves, our family, and our community from this as well as from the dangers of other pathogens that may come our way. After all, prevention is always better than cure, isn’t it?
Boosting the immune system
Just like in many things, a healthy community starts from a healthy individual. Our bodies, luckily, have their own first line of defense—the immune system. The immune system has the overall function to “protect the body from possibly harmful substances by recognizing and responding to antigens.”
Our body elicits an immune response to defend the body from pathogens that may be harmful to our wellbeing, which in turn helps us fight off illnesses and infections through proper treatment. Boosting one’s immune system is easy especially for people who do not have medical conditions or disorders that may affect how their immune system works.
Here are some simple steps that you can do to make sure your body’s first line of defense is at its best:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Get adequate sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Manage stress
- Lessen alcohol intake and smoking
- Practice proper hand hygiene
Washing your hands after going outside and touching high-touch surfaces should be second nature to us all by now. Our hands are a Petri dish of all sorts of microorganisms that’s why it is important to make sure that they are clean all the time and to avoid touching your face most especially your eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands.
After going outside to do groceries or run some errands, take a shower and put your clothes in the wash especially if these came in contact with high-touch surfaces or other people. While the chances to contract the virus through your clothes are low, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Disinfecting household items and high-touch objects
Since experts found that the coronavirus can stay on surfaces for an hour or so, disinfecting has become a new norm in the daily routine of most people as one of the preventive measures against the dreaded virus. With that, here are useful tips on how to disinfect your home, your grocery items, and your gadgets:
- Dirty solid surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, faucets, toilets, and light switches should be cleaned with the use of detergent or soap and water solution before disinfection using household disinfectants or diluted bleach solutions.
- For soft surfaces, remove first any visible contamination then proceed to clean with appropriate cleaners for each kind of material. These soft surfaces include carpets, rugs, drapes, and more.
- Handle linens, clothing, and other fabrics with care. Wash your clothes using laundry soap or detergent. You may also consider soaking your clothes in solutions with disinfectants before washing.
- Grocery items
- For items that are sealed and cannot be repacked, the first thing to do is check for holes to prevent the solution from contaminating said item. Once checked, spray solution to the packaging then spray it with water afterward before wiping it off with a clean cloth.
- Repack sealed items like meat and pasta and put them in your food storage. Fresh produce, on the other hand, need to be washed and wiped thoroughly before storing it. You can use water or create your own vegetable wash by mixing vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and water.
- Cellphones, tablets, remote controls, keyboards, and other electronics should be cleaned using alcohol-based wipes or alcohol sprays which contain at least 70% alcohol solution.
- Accessories and gadget cases should also be regularly cleaned along with your electronic devices every day.
As more business establishments open and public transportation gradually resume, a persistent reminder by the government is to maintain social distancing in public places at all times. The distance between one person and another should be a minimum of one meter.
It is important to practice social distancing because close contact with an infected person for a prolonged period heightens your risk of contracting COVID-19. The virus can spread when aerosols from an infected person’s mouth and nose land on the mouths and noses of nearby people and inhaled into the lungs.
As much as possible, keep your distance from other people when in public spaces like groceries, malls, and public transport.
President Duterte has declared in a televised address last May that social distancing and wearing of masks will be the new norm in the country until a vaccine for the coronavirus disease becomes available.
Wearing of facemask
Just like social distancing, it is also mandated by the government for people to wear face masks or other face coverings when they are in public places. An explanation provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as to why wearing face masks can be helpful to slow the spread of COVID-19 is the existence of asymptomatic patients. These are individuals who carry the virus but are not exhibiting any symptoms and may be spreading it without knowing.
By wearing face masks, you can protect yourself or alternately, protect others from the virus.
Don’t forget to dispose of your disposable masks properly by placing it in a plastic bag before putting it in the trash. For those who use a reusable mask, you should handwash it with bleach solutions and let it air dry.
As much as we all want to stay in the safety of our houses to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19, most people have jobs to attend to and errands to run that are not doable at home. In the new normal where things will most likely be back to the semblance of what they were before the pandemic, we have no choice but to step outside once in a while.
However, as listed above, there are so many things you can do to ensure your safety and of those around you in these trying times. Face the new normal with confidence by practicing healthy habits and maintaining your distance from other people when outside.