How do we go about our daily life now that the COVID-19 Delta variant is upon us? What are some of the safety measures we can take to mitigate the situation?
These are just some of the burning questions that millions of people across the world have when it comes to this global problem. Luckily, medical experts have provided us with a wealth of information concerning treatment resources, which we’ve distilled here for your convenience. Even though we are still learning more about the virus, we want to share nutrition insights that may be helpful to our readers.
Strengthening the Immune System
In order to handle this epidemic, you need a healthy body and a strong immune system. So, how do you go about strengthening it? Well, the usual route is the best:
- Exercise as much as you can
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat a balanced diet – if you are low-carb or Keto, supplement with a multivitamin
- Reduce the intake of alcohol, cigarettes, and recreational drugs.
Stock Your Pantry
Fruits and Veg
- Fruits and veggies do not last long, and in the event of a protracted lockdown, you want to start thinking about buying frozen, dried, or canned varieties. Berries are a great, low-carb source of fiber and phytonutrients. Peaches are also an excellent choice…just take care not to buy those that have sugars or syrups added.
- Vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, and zucchini are all low-carb and worth putting in your shopping trolley. While tomatoes are slightly higher in carb content, you’ll want to have a couple tins on hand, as well as pasta sauce, so that your diet gets some diversity.
- Canned beans are a great source of protein, and lima beans and black soybeans are a great way to fortify soups, casseroles, and still stay low-carb. Edamame and soybeans both have under 10 grams of carbs in a typical serving. Black-eyed peas and green peas come in under 20 grams. Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, and most other common beans are between 20-25 grams per serving.
- Canned fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines are awesome and versatile options for giving your immune system the protein it requires every day.
- Nuts and seeds are easy to store, and will be nice to have on hand when you crave a healthy snack. Carb counts differ, but generally speaking, pecan, brazil, walnuts, hazel nuts, and macadamia nuts all have less than 10 grams of carbs per 100 g serving, which is approximately 2-3 handfulls.
Grains and cereals
- Pasta, bread, cereal, and oatmeal are often high in carbs, but there are plenty of options to choose from in specialty online stores like this that will deliver to your door.
- Crackers and other snacks, too, are easy to find online if you don’t feel like wandering around a crowded and nearly-empty grocery store in search for food.
The Persistence of the Virus
When in the air, the virus will persist for a couple of hours. However, it tends to linger on hard surfaces like cardboard and plastic. In fact, it can stay on a hard surface for up to three days.
In order to disinfect these surfaces, try using a mild bleach solution (5 tablespoons per gallon of water), hydrogen peroxide (don’t dilute—use it straight), or a product like Lysol/Clorox wipes.
Alcohol-Based Anti-Bacterial Gels
Both regular soap and anti-bacterial gels can help you avoid catching COVID-19. They can also prevent you from contracting other diseases that can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the virus. If you cannot get sanitizer at the store, you may have to make your own. Do note that making your own sanitizers using vodka, does not work, because the alcohol level is not high enough to kill the virus. Instead, use isopropyl alcohol that is at least 70% alcohol with aloe vera gel. It is difficult to get the ratio right, so always buy from a store if you possibly can.
COVID-19 and Other Health Conditions
You should make every effort to stay at home and ensure that you maintain proper body hygiene if you happen to suffer from any of the conditions from the following list:
- Heart disease
- Chronic lung disease
- A few different kinds of cancer
The symptoms associated with the virus can often be treated through usual influenza therapy. However, it tends to have a more detrimental effect on people who suffer from other, pre-existing health issues.
The most common symptoms to appear within 2-14 days after exposure, are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms like those above, and/or chest pain or pressure. The CDC has a comprehensive resource on their website here, which will explain what you need to know about protecting yourself and what to do if you think you are sick.
Hospital Treatment During the Crisis
- People with a milder form of the condition might get painkillers, flu medication, fluids, or oxygen.
- Patients with a more serious case of COVID-19 will receive mechanical ventilation.
Immunity From the Virus
While you may get some immunity from contracting the virus, there isn’t enough research into how much or how long it will last.
The overall death rate from COVID-19 varies from country to country. However, statistically speaking, the elderly and the chronically ill have a higher chance of succumbing to the illness than the younger population. Mortality rates hover between 2-4%.
Developing a Vaccine
Right now, there is no known vaccine for the coronavirus. Still, experts around the world are working hard on developing one in case COVID-19 becomes a seasonal illness.