Health Care is Self-Care: Thriving Beyond Covid-19

Mar 30, 2020 by Sherra Aguirre, in Food and Health


We all know by now that social distancing along with frequent hand washing and sanitizing are critical to stopping the rapid spread of Covid-19.  When you limit your exposure and chance of infection, you reduce exponentially the probability of infecting others.  The virus can linger on surfaces for hours or even days in some cases, so wash hands vigorously and frequently for 20 seconds, which is preferred over hand sanitizer. When you use sanitizer rub it in and over all parts of your hands then wait for it to dry.  Keep hands away from your face. This basic self care is super critical during the outbreak.  

 

Keep in mind that the virus is deadliest among those of us who have underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and other chronic illnesses, which often involve a weakened immune system.  If we age without changing our “standard American diet” and lifestyle, we experience deteriorating health. We become more vulnerable not because we are old, but because we did not understand the increased importance of nutrition in self-care as we aged.


Feed Your Immune System - People at any age who are most likely to resist and survive this virus are those with stronger immune systems.  Feed yours with fruits, vegetables and basic staples like brown rice, beans, and other whole grains and legumes that purchased dried will last without refrigeration. With more time at home, this is a good time to simplify, try and enjoy some healthier recipes using these basic foods.  Now is not the time to stock up on processed foods which weaken not strengthen your body's ability to resist illness.  Eat well, stay well! 

Vitamin C - Supplements are not a substitute for eating a healthy plant-strong diet.  However the anti-viral properties of vitamin C are well known, and if there is one supplement I would encourage you to consider or increase at this time, with a doctor's advice if you are on medications, this is it.  It is still on the shelves at most grocery stores. Vitamin C is water soluble, generally safe and the body typically excretes what it cannot use.  It will not prevent or cure Coronavirus-19 but it can help you resist and thrive through it while providing other health benefits as well.

Our medical system was straining under the weight of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s prior to the current pandemic which now threatens to overwhelm it.  One of the lessons we are having to learn is that self-care is always the most important health care we have.  We have to start thinking of it as our first line of defense against all disease, and to regard our medical system as support and not a substitute.