On this day a year ago, we all welcomed 2020 and it all started on a positive note. We all nodded in unison that the term ‘2020’ has certain ring to it, celebrations hit a new high, pinning greater hopes on vision 2020.
And in January, when the world first woke up to the news of Coronavirus outbreak - a lethal and super contagious infection at Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, in Wuhan China – life seemed still normal. The news started sinking in only after World Health Organisation called it COVID-19 and announced it as a pandemic later in February. Well, till then the word ‘pandemic’ was quite alien to most of us but now it became one of the most familiar terms that was perhaps learnt in the last two decades. By mid-March, the lockdown was imposed in almost all countries, with air travel suspended, with world staring at the curveball – the pandemic had thrown us at.
Now even at the doorsteps of 2021, the COVID-19 is still ongoing on and it is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that presents with highly variable symptoms from being asymptomatic to great difficulty in breathing, hypoxia or lower oxygen saturation, anosmia or loss of smell, loss of taste and can lead to respiratory dysfunction, multiorgan failure in severe cases. It can affect all age groups, genders but people with previous history of respiratory illnesses, comorbid conditions, above 60 years of age are more vulnerable.
The infection that spreads through via air droplets that get expelled during cough, sneeze and contaminated surfaces has caused public health emergency of international concern, bringing the world to a screeching halt, toppling economies, forcing public to get cooped up at homes.
As on December 30, 2020 the world recorded 81.9 million cases, an alarming number of 1.79 million deaths. However, like in many crises this world had witnessed so far in the history, we are hopeful of a silver lining. Thanks to doctors, scientists, researchers and other frontline workers from the medical fraternity vaccination is all set to be a reality now and the number of recoveries is currently at 46.3 million and counting. The news of new variant is already making rounds, but the scientists are hopeful that the vaccine should be able to handle all mutant strains in the new year.
Even as we step into 2021, in next few hours let us try and put the bad memories of 2020 behind lest not forget those health lessons to be followed in many years to come.
Here is a list of top 5 health lessons, we should carry forward:
The first panic button that was pushed in all households soon after the announcement of lockdown in India and across the world was all about stocking up veggies, fruits and groceries. With limited supply of food, cooking on ration became a new habit and wastage of food declined considerably. Many of us learnt on why one should ‘Eat to live’ but not ‘live to eat’ and there is no exaggeration that all those fad diet plans, were thrown out of the window. Eating local picked up popularity, fresh vegetables, whole grains, cereals, millets, food items with natural sugars, complex carbohydrates found place on our plates.What Have We Discovered?
Do not put extra load on the digestive system. Maintain a balance of carbs and protein intake for overall health, to maintain healthy pH in the blood and to flush out toxins.
Mental Health Matters:
Well, if we were told that working, learning and functioning from home would become a new normal, weekend getaways and regular vacays, even watching a movie in a theatre can be a distant dream few years back – we would have termed it as an unrealistic bad prophecy. Unfortunately, 2020 could successfully put many of us behind the doors for longer hours and that left a major negative impact on mental health. Depression, anxiety, panic, stress disorders are being brought to light like never, with more and more patients queuing up at psychiatrists’ offices for a counselling and even medication. Topics related to mental health and harmony topped Google searches and we are still pondering over ways to calm down the nerves. Meditation, yoga, listening to favourite music, sleeping on time, eating right are the mantras.
What Have We Discovered?
Well, mental health is as important as physical wellbeing. It is crucial to have friends, stay close to family – even if it is online and maintain a constant dialogue. Being productive, cultivating new and simple hobbies can aid in keeping you mentally healthy, happy, fit and keep stress disorders under check.
Immunity Is The Key:
One of the shockers Coronavirus revealed that even a healthiest person can fall severely ill in these days of pandemic and building immunity is an on-going process. Immunity, resistance are the buzzwords of 2020 with people popping in vitamin supplements and eating mindful, hoping to combat this super contagious infection. In fact, people went for a holistic change in the lifestyle right from eating healthy, sleeping on time, surviving on homecooked meals to practicing breathing exercises.
What Have We Discovered?
Immunity is the key and building resistance towards contagious diseases is the first step towards preventing many chronic ailments. Health is the top priority and rest can wait.
The year 2020 has taught us various valuable lessons. With restaurants shutting down, online food deliveries coming to a halt – even the novices in the art of cooking learnt how to whip a quick meal and, in the process, discovered the joy of eating at home. There is a steep hike in the sale of kitchen appliances including OTGs as baking at home is latest fad. Experimenting with food, trying out new cuisines’ sans extra salts, sugars, preservatives and consuming it fresh left a positive impact on the health. And for those missing their regular gym sessions, workouts, jogs and walks, sweating it out in the kitchen and doing household served as super affordable yet greatly beneficial workout sessions.
What Have We Discovered?
Eating homemade food comes with a plethora of health benefits right from losing weight, feeling healthy to saving money. Attending household work is the best way to burn calories and to stay fit.
Newer Health Practices:
Facemasks, hand sanitizers are new accessories in our bags without which we do not step out of our homes these days and these practices are here to stay. Wearing a facemask, applying copious amounts of hand sanitizer, maintaining social distancing, washing hands regularly, taking shower after coming home are newer but sure shot health habits that can shield us not only from coronavirus but many other contagious diseases lurking around.