If a virus is not eradicated, it mutates. This is exactly what’s happening with COVID-19 and its latest variants, the most notorious of which is the Delta variant. It’s the same variant that swept India in the past few months, devastated its healthcare system, and took so many lives.
It’s also the same one that experts are saying is currently the most prominent among the variants, with more to come. It’s clear that the battle against COVID-19 and its variants, both existing and incoming, is far from over. We need to do all that we can to protect our bodies from severe symptoms and, subsequently, death.
It’s 2021 now, but it still feels like 2020, with the surge of cases across the United States. At the rate the pandemic is going, we could all use a bit of a reminder. Here are some health and fitness pointers to protect your body from the new variants of COVID-19.
There is so much misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines, and it’s important to know more about it. Here are some facts about how they work:
- Both doses of the mRNA vaccines that are currently available (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech), as well as AstraZeneca, provide high levels of protection. They don’t promise 100 percent protection from being infected, but they lower the risk of getting severe symptoms and hospitalization.
- Studies show that those who are unvaccinated are at the highest risk of developing severe symptoms that might include hospitalization, long-haul symptoms, and even death. Science and research say that vaccination remains our most effective protection against the Delta variant.
Follow official health and safety guidelines
Stay abreast of what organizations like the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are saying about how to keep yourself safe, from social distancing to mask-wearing and hand-washing. The CDC’s guidelines should be more of a priority, especially since they have a greater grasp of the situation, whereas the WHO focuses on global conditions. Listen to what your state officials have to say as well.
As of August 2021, here are the guidelines set by the CDC regarding mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand-washing:
- All Americans, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, must wear their masks in indoor public places, especially if they’re in locations that are handling COVID-19 outbreaks—a reversal of the institution’s guidelines from May 2021. Take note that this can change at any point, so always keep tabs on what the CDC and your local state officials say about masks. If your local state goes against what the CDC is saying, wear a mask anyway.
- The Delta variant is much more transmissible, which makes our risk of developing it much higher. Stay home as much as you can, and avoid leaving your house for non-essential events like a music festival or other gatherings.
- Maintain the hand-washing and good hygiene habits that you built over the past year.
Stay physically active
COVID-19 or not, it will do your body a world of good if you consistently exercise and do some physical activities. You don’t even need to leave your house to do so; there are plenty of platforms you can explore to find the best at-home workout for your specific needs and capabilities.
It doesn’t matter if you’re as fit as a horse, have a history of injury, or have not worked out in years. There will be a routine for you that can help you get started on your fitness journey again. Consult with your doctor about the best types of exercises you can do, and find platforms that can help you do it from the safety of your home.
Boost your immune system through healthy food
The best way for you to consume vitamins and nutrients is still through healthy foods. Here are some immune-boosting foods you need to add to your pantry:
- Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and clementines
- Red bell peppers
- Green tea
- Virgin coconut oil
There is no shortage of easy recipes on the internet that feature these superfoods as the star, so whip up something delicious and healthy for yourself and your family while in the kitchen.
Epidemiologists saw COVID-19 coming, but we normal folk did not. Now we need to make the most of the time we have been given. Take care of your body because it’s the only one you have, take control of what you can, and believe in the power of humanity to overcome difficult times—together.