Everybody is awash in fear and panic nowadays. A tiny yet deadly thing, a virus referred to as COVID-19, has suddenly appeared out of nowhere, to turn our daily life into an astounding nightmare.
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Human-to-human transmission has driven the rapid spread of Coronavirus throughout the world, the global death toll is rising every day and infection is constantly increasing.
Travel restrictions were implemented on an unprecedented scale at a global level. We have been strictly asked to stay at home and keep distance even from our family members. And now, unexpectedly, food security is being threatened in some parts of the world. People might start dying from hunger or malnutrition before they actually die from the disease.
Frankly speaking, humanity’s future is so bleak right now with the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus. It’s rather like going down a dark tunnel where we can barely see and we don’t know when a glimmer of light will start to flicker.
Shall we really expect this epidemic to be as severe as the Spanish flu of 1918?
We already fear the worst is yet to come regarding the impact on economic growth, consumption levels, prices and stock market returns.
Are we going to experience another economic downturn just like what happened during the global financial crisis of 2008?
Apparently, apart from economical outcomes, the world today is better prepared to mitigate such damage than before, due to the more evolved health infrastructure. However, Containing and eliminating Coronavirus is the responsibility of each of us not only of our governments. we all believe it’s a big challenge. Yet, we have no choice but to face it and keep fighting until this nightmare is over.
This article will provide some advice and guidance, to help you fight your fear, stay healthy and overcome the challenges related to Coronavirus and lockdown restrictions.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a severe epidemic caused by the new coronavirus that has emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Its symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. But, it is diagnosed only with a laboratory test.
COVID-19 can be spread from person to person which highers the impact on local and global levels and makes it a public health emergency of international concern.
According to the World Health Organization, The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
What’s more, only older people and those with weak immunity or underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer who are more likely to develop serious illness.
there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19 so far. Thus, prevention is still the main priority.
However, some therapies are now under investigation for trial purposes. They include treatments that were first developed decades ago to fight Malaria and autoimmune diseases, antiviral drugs that were developed for other viruses, and Plasma therapy.
For instance, The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is conducting a nationwide study to measure the efficacy of plasma therapy.
This therapy uses Convalescent plasma which literally means plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19. It contains antibodies that are given by transfusion to help the new patients fight the illness and possibly shortening the length or reducing the severity of the disease.
This therapy has been used for more than 100 years to treat a variety of illnesses from Measles to Polio, Chickenpox, and SARS.
Why is social distancing crucial for limiting the coronavirus epidemic?
Social distancing and lockdowns include mobility reductions associated with travel restrictions, temporarily suspending all public transportation and advising residents to remain at home to mitigate transmission of the disease.
Studies have found that, in the absence of vaccines or antiviral drugs for COVID-19, the effective and earlier implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as social distancing could significantly limit the epidemic and bring it under control.
Indeed, the more people stay at home the fewer people will catch the disease, and the better hospitals can help those who do. This way, the number of infections and that of deaths could be reduced.
Therefore, We are all concerned and we should be extra-vigilant and prepare so that we can help lessen the risk for everyone.
What health problems might affect your life during the lockdown?
Is your country deep into the most ambitious quarantine in history?
I know how it feels because we all have been told to strictly hunker down in our apartment or our house. No more trips outside and no more social contact!
That’s why, our physical, as well as mental health, might seriously be at risk.
Indeed, it has been scientifically proven that isolation and lack of social contact may cause boredom, frustration and even depression in some extreme cases.
Lack of clear and transparent information from governments about the dangerousness level, risk and outcome of the disease, alongside potential loss or decrease in incomes, provokes fears, anxiety, and anger, which leads to uncontrolled stress.
Actually, in response to stress, the cortisol, which is a hormone produced by the adrenal cortex glands, appears in increased levels in your body. This hormone is known to have a blood sugar-elevating effect and is highly associated with abdominal fat.
On the other hand, food shortages may cause nutrition problems considering that you will likely face deficiencies in essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Lack of daily physical activity, since you are stuck at home, can impact your digestion and make you gain extra weight.
And unfortunately, if you get sick nowadays, and your symptoms are anything other than fever, coughs and colds, you are in danger of not being able to see a doctor or receive sufficient treatment.
In fact, because every single doctor and nurse on the face of the earth are now either busy trying to cure Coronavirus patients, or not authorized by their government to receive non-infected ones, some people are dying from other diseases because nobody had time for checking them or trying to save their lives.
Therefore it is very important to follow the ancient saying of Hippocrates: “prevention is better than cure”. Take all the necessary precautions to keep your immunity strong and prevent yourself from falling ill.
If you want to know more about what precautions can keep you safe, just keep reading.
How does lockdown restrictions threaten food security?
Food security is ensured when you have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet your dietary needs for productive and healthy lives.
Indeed, a pandemic such as Coronavirus may cause severe hunger and nutrition problems in neighbourhoods, cities, and countries if enough food is not physically present for the entire population.
Food availability implies that It has to be in markets and shops, grown on farms or home gardens, or arrived as the result of food aid. And it also should be accessible by all households.
The lockdown impact may affect workforces, transportation systems, and supply chains. Because most generally, during lockdowns, what happens is that economic activities are disrupted and industries that rely on imports and exports start struggling.
The flow of food around the world become restricted by different governments because every country would want to protect its own food supply.
Kazakhstan, for instance, according to a report from Bloomberg, has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes. And the same goes for Vietnam and Russia.
Problems might intensify more during the coming months given that food supplies have already started to dwindle and are hard to get locally because Coronavirus is affecting the labour force and creating serious logistical problems. As a result, your community might be experiencing a food crisis.
How to deal with food scarcity during the COVID-19 pandemic?
You may be wondering what to ration during lockdowns and may want to store infinity supplies of food and water to save yourself and your loved ones. However, these kinds of practices are against the public interest and create more panic among the population.
Hence, please avoid the hoarding of food. Buying too much fresh farm produce that easily goes off before it can be eaten is really a waste and will just exacerbate food supply problems.
Instead, I recommend that you buy additional but not exaggerated quantities of fruits and vegetables and freeze them for long-term use.
You can buy more legumes as they are not perishable and are healthy and easy to cook.
Dried fruits are also a good option and are very nutritious.
Ultimately, I also suggest starting installing backyard gardens and plant a variety of fruits and vegetables to secure personal supplies.
Preventative measures for health protection:
It is always preferable to be strategic and proactive so as not to panic when the nightmare comes true. That is why I would like to highlight 2 primary factors that should be taken into consideration and strictly implemented during this critical period:
the first one is related to hygiene precautions and includes all sanitary measures necessary to ensure the cleanliness and healthfulness of your home in order to prevent the outbreak of the epidemic, among which are the followings:
- The need to stay at home and avoid any direct contact with others.
- The use of chlorine or household bleach with water for disinfection
Sterilization including careful hand hygiene (wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer more often)
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible.
- If you have to go out for work or emergency reasons, do not forget to wear your mask and gloves.
- Always leave your shoes outside when you come back. It is a common fact that many people split in the street, hence, if they are infected you will bring in the virus and spread it among your family members.
- Open your curtains and your windows frequently to allow sun rays to warm up your house.
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The second factor is physiological and involves a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle to prevent infection.
- First of all, It is important to know that Coronavirus is not able to survive and grow within certain conditions under which your body is warm, such as good blood circulation and a strong and healthy immune system. Therefore, you should include specific foods, in your eating, that can help you moderately raise your body temperature.
- This list includes onion, garlic, turnip, leek, parsley, broad beans, peas, chickpeas, as well as olive oil, barley soup and some spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Avoid sugar and processed food because it will make you more vulnerable to all kinds of diseases as it is the major cause of a weakened immune system.
- avoid eating junk food, or food without nutritional value.
- choose an eating plan that includes a greater variety of high-quality foods primarily fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cereals.
- Eating less of animal products or ideally switching to a vegetarian diet is highly recommended during this period.
- Masticate your food properly and eat slowly to avoid overeating and facilitate the digestion process.
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated for the whole day.
- Workout, at home, daily to accelerate the blood circulation and metabolism of your body.
Tips to fight boredom and stay productive despite the lockdown:
Working from home has been considered as a privilege and became the dream of many people since the beginning of the 20th century. However, when the normal conditions of life change, and, overnight, you become sentenced to not only work from home but stay at home the whole day and night, the privilege shall vanish.
Indeed, you might wish to endure the annoyance of being stuck in a traffic jam on your way to the office rather than being stuck at home for a non-specified period. I completely understand your frustrations, and that’s why I want to suggest some tips that you can take into consideration to fight boredom during the lockdown.
Start planning your day:
the first thing to consider is to keep laziness at bay and plan for your journey. No need to make your own life a mess. Instead, keep it organized and try to better manage your time, the only resource that you have in abundance nowadays.
take just 5-10 minutes each night before you go to bed, to strategically think about how you want to spend your day, what do you want to accomplish in terms of your work, what skills do you need to improve. You’ll be able to get significantly more out of your day.
Go to bed early, get enough quality sleep and wake up early. Maintaining your health is very critical this time and you already know the importance of sleep in preserving your mental and physical health.
If you are not used to reading books, this is your opportunity to make it a habit. It will keep your mind active, develop your thoughts and thinking skills, and give you endless knowledge.
Make exercise Fun:
If you are a person who never misses his gym sessions, don’t forget that exercising at home is also possible. Get some resistance bands and start working out. You may also get a stand that turns your normal bike into a stationary one or simply practice yoga.
You can even make it more amusing. You want to know how? Play some energetic music, call all the people living with you and do Aerobics together, or try to learn Zumba dance.
The idea is to simply have fun while making a physical effort to enhance your blood circulation, your digestion process and of course to stay in shape.
Make it even more exciting by rewarding yourself with a super-yummy and healthy post-workout breakfast. You can find some amazing recipes for that here.
Stay virtually connected:
You can think about chat groups with friends and family or online games that you can play remotely so that you can still maintain at least a virtual social contact with your beloved ones.
For example, my cousins and I have created a private group on WhatsApp, where we share funny jokes and we have video calls very often.
Don’t forget to entertain your children:
If you have children, you must keep them entertained during this crisis. Children are by nature hyperactive and need entertainment more than adults. Staying at home for a long period can be harmful to their mental and physical health. Thus, spend more time with them, playing interactive games, telling stories or doing intellectual activities such as crossword puzzles, chess or cards.
Try to create an indoor playground for them. For example, If you have an old spring mattress that you are not using anymore, it’s time to turn it into a trampoline and let your children have fun jumping on it! You may also make a DIY swing, they will love it.
If that is not possible, you can at least cook delicious food together, do Karaoke or play some music and dance or exercise together.
Why not organize a craft workshop, where they can explore their creative skills? Make them paint, model something out of clay or even plasticine. Just go to youtube and look for easy craft ideas for children, you’ll get tonnes of them.
But, most importantly, don’t let them spend the whole time watching TV or playing video games. And don’t forget to keep an eye on them while they are browsing the internet.
Engage more with your family:
The lockdown can be a chance for every one of as to spend more time with our families, to get closer to them, to contribute by simple means to the betterment of their life under the present circumstances and therefore forge deeper family ties.
Talk to your partner, recall happy memories from the past, maybe your childhoods or crazy and funny details about your love story. It’s the best time to understand each other better, to make up and forgive one another if you have been having some problems recently.
Learn how to spend quality time. You can try couples Yoga, it will definitely take your relationship to the next level.
It is also time to improve your intimate life and your love-making experience. Read the Kamasutra book together and let it simply guide you towards the art of pleasure.
Always remember that happiness is all about the tiny moments that you can share with your loved ones. So, why not cook together, make tea and dunk biscuits into it, cuddle while watching a movie, and much more.
The actual confinement is also an opportunity to conduct a life review, to question your beliefs, your achievements, to broaden your vision of things and realize that death can happen when you less expect it. So, maybe you need to review your priorities in life and opt for a healthier and better lifestyle. Meditation and sincere prayer can help you a lot to achieve this.
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