It seems the Corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) is shutting down everything and changing life as we know in the United States. The virus which first appeared in Wuhan, China at the beginning of December 2019 has had a global impact, and spreading quickly in a non-discriminatory manner affecting any and everyone. Here in New York, the City that never sleeps is slowly going into a deep sleep as many businesses have shut down, many companies have implemented work-from-home policies and we have travel restrictions, school closures, cancelled events and the public being encouraged to stay home and avoid large crowds and social gatherings. Seeing all these drastic measures has increased our fear and anxiety because there's still so much we don't know about the virus and how exposure to it can impact our health and wellness. During these difficult times, it’s important to remember though that God is still in control and to find some peace and comfort in his words. “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Psalms 91:4
What is the Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of respiratory viruses that can spread from person-to-person and can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the newly identified strand COVID-19. Coronaviruses are also common in animals which can sometimes evolve into forms transferable to humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the signs and symptoms of infection include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection may lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. So, there you have it friends, if you weren’t taking any of this seriously, this virus is real and can have serious health consequences especially for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Keep Calm and Stay Safe
While we should do our best to stay calm and not panic, it’s important to heed the warning of health experts to stay safe and avoid exposure to the virus. I wrote on Instagram a few days ago that health experts believes that the best defense against becoming exposed to the virus remains good hygiene (e.g. washing hands frequently, using alcohol base hand sanitizers, coughing and sneezing into tissue or sleeve, and staying home if you don’t feel well) so do practice these tips to stay healthy.
How COVID-19 Spreads
Life is so unpredictable I tell you. Who knew that 2020 would take this turn and introduce us to a new global pandemic? The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this past Wednesday that COVID-19 is now officially a pandemic. A pandemic is the “worldwide spread of a new disease,” according to the WHO. The COVID-19 disease can be spread in the following manners: person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes; close contact with an infected person (within approx. 6 feet); and the virus can also spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects such as by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your nose, eyes and/or mouth.
Seven stress-reducing and wellness tips to practice while at home during the COVID-19 public health crisis
Due to the response to stop the spread of COVID-19, many events and large gatherings are being cancelled. This is forcing some of us to spend more time at home, and to be creative about how we interact with other humans. For example, the handshake which is typically the custom way of greeting someone is now replaced by a fist-bump or elbow-tap to create social distancing. With that said, since we’re spending more time at home, I thought I would share some tips to make your time at home more productive, maintain a sense of calm, reduce stress and practice wellness:
1. Write in your journal and if you have a blog, what about writing a new blog post (hence the post you are currently reading).
2. Read the bible and listen to some Gospel music. I tell you now more than ever, I feel a deep desire to grow spiritually and get closer to God.
3. Early spring cleaning of your home. You can pick an area to start with such as wardrobe closet, refrigerator, kitchen particularly decluttering cabinets and food pantry—more than likely you have already started thinking about stocking-up on canned goods and dry foods with long shelf-life; therefore, now would be a good time to declutter, assess on what you have so you know what to restock on and throw out old expired foods.
4. Read an inspirational or self-help book. Reading can be a good distraction to take a break from social media and the news. This can also be a way to stay focus on your 2020 goals of self-improvement!
5. Make yourself a home-cooked meal. I feel bad for the take-out industry because people are not really ordering food out as much these days, but c’est la vie and safety is a big priority right now. Don’t forget to relax with a cup of homemade tea, especially ginger, green tea and chamomile tea which are known to contain immune boosting properties.
6. If you’re good at DIY protective hairstyles now is a good time to give yourself a new protective hair do or watch YouTube and practice if you’ve ever wanted to learn. When you look good, you feel good and don’t we need to feel good about ourselves more than ever these days.
7. Review your mail and pay your bills on time. Unfortunately, the bills will keep coming even during a global pandemic.