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Safe Diwali Season – Why and How ?- Doctor’s advice

 

They say there’s always light at the end of a tunnel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t light up your way to the end of it. The pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, and we need to learn to live around it. The “New Normal” ought to have happiness, and after all of the chaos that came with it, we have earned ourselves some celebration. It’s getting colder, and the festive season is around the corner. Here are some tips to get you through the winter and all the celebrations that come with it, safely.

        When it’s cold outside, you are more likely to stay indoors for long hours. That means, less to no sunlight, low Vitamin D levels in the body, that equals poor immunity. Viruses love cold and dry weather. In winter, the water droplets that carry the virus are less likely to get evaporated and stay suspended in the air for longer hours. So keep your windows open whenever possible, take little walks on your terrace in the early hours of the day, for your daily dose of Vitamin D.

Diet:

             While we starve the virus of people, stuff your plates with citrus every day – a simple lemon juice a day, squeezed oranges, or the great Indian Gooseberry, fondly called Amla, which is jam-packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants. Avoid eating outside, which also includes sharing sweets across homes. 

             The cold weather calls for frequent cigarette breaks for some, but beware –  there is a conveyor belt-like mechanism in your airways made from tiny hair like structures called cilia. They move in such a way, pushing out the mucus with trapped microbes from your lungs to the throat. The smoke from cigarettes destroys the cilia, so the microbes get trapped in your airways, increasing the risk for infections multiple folds. So keep those cigarette cravings at bay.


Gain the stamina:

            Try incorporating some kind of physical activity into your routine. While COVID – 19 only affects your lungs and airways, a sedentary lifestyle increases all causes of mortality, doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. Even mild to moderate exercise every day increases your endorphins significantly, keeping you in good moods, and in good health. It’s a win-win.

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        In colder climates, you don’t sweat a lot, so you tend to drink a lot less water than you do in summers. Remember to hydrate yourself, and while you do so, do yourself and the environment a favor, carry your own water bottles.

Remember:

            When you go out shopping this season, opt for cashless transactions. Remember to sanitize your hands before and after you touch money, door handles, car/ house keys, the car handles, elevator buttons, even mobile phones. The SARS CoV – 2 is an enveloped virus, which means they will rapidly die when coming in contact with Ethyl alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 70% concentration.

Sanitise Sanitise Sanitise:

        As important as wearing a mask is, remember to wash your mask every day. The moisture and warmth in them make an excellent culture media for bacteria. Also, make sure it covers your mouth and nose completely. Face masks do not decrease your Oxygen levels in any way, so worry not. Disposable gloves protect only your hands from microbes, and they don’t offer protection from COVID – 19 virus, because you are less likely to wash or sanitize your hand when you wear them.

 

  

         The cold climate triggers asthma, allergies, and rhino-sinusitis, which may mimic COVID-19 symptoms. Do not assume the worst when these occur, visit the hospital, a doctor should be able to tell these apart. Make sure you don’t self medicate by taking antibiotics, and other medicines and leave the job to the professionals. When you or someone in your family shows flu symptoms like headache, runny nose, fever, do not panic, because there are so many other flu viruses that thrive in winters. Nevertheless, quarantine the person as soon as they show symptoms, get them tested, and do not wait for the test results to isolate the person.

 United- we fall:

          With all the festivals lined up, as tempting as it can be to visit your neighbors, friends, or family to celebrate, social distancing is the only key to winning this pandemic battle. It’s 2020, let’s shake things up. United –  we fall, divided – we stand strong. On top of all the festivals this year, let’s celebrate life, celebrate existence. You have made it through this year, and we see a speck of light at the end of this tunnel, and that is reason enough to celebrate. 

                                                                               

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