• Hanifah Jones

Staying Safe During Covid-19

*Disclaimer* I am not an expert and I am just as confused about this Coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis as everyone else. However, I do believe that we should all be prioritizing our health right now. Here are a few tips for staying healthy during these trying times.

1) Take a deep breath

Between misinformation, empty streets and conflicting arguments on social media it's normal to feel overwhelmed about the current health crisis. However, panicking won’t help anyone and can actually make things worse. Take a deep breath and address your concerns. Are you worried about work? Have a conversation with your boss about possible solutions. If you are worried that you may have contracted Covid-19, contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Besides contributing to hysteria, panic and stress can have adverse effects on your body. Your immune system needs to be in warrior mode, so try to stay calm and prepared.

2) Listen to the pros

Be careful where you take advice from. While the “Facebook Aunties” might think that holding your breath for ten seconds is a legitimate test for coronavirus - it’s not. Anyone can write a false fact and just slap a faux quote from the CDC. The spread of misinformation is extremely harmful and creates even more hysteria.

Make sure you verify the credentials of any sources that are featured in articles. Listen to healthcare experts, not a bot that posts on a troll account. I trust professional epidemiologists who spent years studying and preparing for pandemics more than I trust a certain *stale cheeto* who happens to be president of the United States.

3) Boost your immune system

If you weren’t eating all of your fruits and veggies or taking your daily dose of vitamins, this the time to start. Foods like garlic, ginger, lemon and leafy greens are packed with immunity boosting vitamins like C and D3. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals and can be found in foods like carrots, blueberries oregano and strawberries. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water and tea.

4) Maintain good hygiene

WASH YOUR HANDS. You can bathe in a tub of hand sanitizer and it won’t replace good ol’ soap and water. Keep your living space clean and routinely disinfect your door handles, light switches, and cell phones (things you should always do).

Bob bought all of the hand sanitizer at Sam's Club but doesn't wash his hands after using the toilet. Bob is nasty and is still spreading germs despite wearing a pointless face mask. Don't be like Bob.

5) Don’t be greedy

Bob went to Sam’s Club and purchased twelve cases of toilet paper, ten boxes of hand sanitizer and enough food to last until the end of the world. What Bob didn’t realize is that he took away resources that the next family of six desperately needed because he wanted to cosplay as a doomsday prepper. Don’t be like Bob.

Try to be rational, buy non-perishables and enough food to last you for two weeks. Many wholesale stores and markets are implementing limits for things like water bottles, toilet paper because people are taking things too far.

6) Stay active (at home)

Personally, I’m staying away from the gym until things cool down. However, as someone who is committed to working out five times a week, I plan on maintaining my routine. At home workouts can be just as effective as spending time at a fitness center. Here are some of my favorite YouTube workouts that you can do right in your living room (or even your bed).

- Ab workout from bed

- Booty circuit

- Back exercises

7) Try something new or catch up

While many of us are choosing to stay indoors as a precaution, there are plenty of ways to utilize this newfound time on our hands. Read that novel you bought a couple of months ago but never had the time to finish. Binge that TV show you keep hearing about. If you are feeling restless you can take a course on Skillshare on watch a YouTube tutorial to learn a new skill.

8) Don't be Xenophobic

Point. Blank. Period. Just like it was inexcusable when people used Ebola to bully and harass West Africans, it is inexcusable to do the same to people of Asian descent. We all deserve t0 be treated with respect. If situations like this have taught us anything, it's that xenophobia, anti-Blackness and other forms of discrimination are horrible. And that is all I have to say about that.

To wrap things up, things are starting to get serious. I'll admit, I was super nonchalant about the severity of the situation when it first appeared. When you're young and healthy you tend to feel invincible about these things. However, I had a really intense conversation with a friend who helped me realize that while my chances of getting sick are slim, I could potentially infect someone else. Staying home and limiting social interactions isn't the worst thing in the world. We have technology like Facetime and things that can keep us occupied. Better to be safe than sorry.