Covid-19 Resources and Proactive Health Tips to Help Navigate Year 2 of the Pandemic
Never in history have we experienced the fear, isolation, and confusion that we are dealing with right now – but the good news is that we are all in this together. All these minute-by-minute changes due to the Coronavirus can be overwhelming, but we want you to know that we are here for you, and we hope to be a source of helpful and positive information.
After nearly two years of everchanging restrictions and guidelines, pandemic fatigue has officially set in and many people are too overwhelmed to keep up to speed. However, experts warn that diligence is still extremely important to protect our families and our own health. Additionally, cold and flu season also brings added threats to people’s health.
“Staying diligent is one of the most important things we can do as we navigate through cold and flu season as well as the COVID pandemic,” said family medicine physician Dr. Jennifer Caudle.
Though you may still be spending more time at home, it’s important to heed CDC COVID guidelines and take proactive steps to maintain your health.
My focus has always been proactive health through nutrition, and I have been devouring every study that comes out connecting vitamins and nutrition with COVID-19 and all of its variants. There is so much hope for boosting our immunity to not only prevent us from contracting the virus but also to fight it off more efficiently if we test positive for COVID.
Of particular note has been the connection between Vitamin D deficiency and COVID. There have been numerous studies showing that vitamin D deficiency has been associated with COVID-19-related ICU admission. Further, severe vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with COVID-19-related mortality.
Theories about whether taking vitamin D supplements can help prevent COVID are also developing. Researchers already knew that vitamin D can be helpful in staving off respiratory infections.
Even the nation's top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, embraced the idea of using the vitamin to help keep COVID-19 at bay, saying in September that he takes a supplement to avoid being deficient and "would not mind recommending" it to others.
At this point, many of the studies that can offer high-quality evidence are still in the works, but there's now enough out there to offer us some clues.
You may wonder why researchers are focusing their attention on vitamin D.
Well, to start with, vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health and, along with calcium, helps prevent people from developing osteoporosis. And there's growing evidence it helps keep the immune system running properly.
There are now quite a few observational studies and large reviews of the available evidence that show low vitamin D levels are associated with higher risks of contracting COVID-19 or with becoming seriously ill.
"What is clear from a number of studies is that there's a strong relationship in terms of your levels prior to infection," said Dr. Shad Marvasti, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increase in cytokines — "cell to cell chemical messengers that are responsible for inflammation" — and lower levels of protective immune cells, Marvasti said.
Daily proactive habits of practicing self-care, washing your hands thoroughly, avoiding touching public surfaces, and using sanitizer after you do touch common surfaces are so important right now.
I cannot stress enough that eating right is more important than ever! Produce is packed with vitamin C, a nutrient that helps support your immune system. Menthol may be a soothing natural remedy. It’s one of the compounds that gives mint its flavor, so brew a cup of strong mint tea and put it to the test.
And testing at home is critical to reducing the spread of the virus. COVID-19 self-tests are one of many risk-reduction measures you can take, especially if you are attending any kind of gathering. Some tests have better efficacy than others: the nephew of one of our team members is a doctor, and he recommends the Binax NOW COVID home test kit.
At the end of the day, the best way we can empower ourselves is to stay informed, which Is why we have compiled a list of resources that you may find helpful during this unprecedented time.
In Need Organizations:
Raise Your Spirits:
Please feel free to share any additional resources, organizations, or feel-good news with us and our community by joining the Serena Loves Nourish + Support with Culinary Alchemy® Facebook Group.
XO - Serena