The winter season is here, so are most of the respiratory illnesses like influenza, seasonal cold etc. A spike is seen in the number of infection cases bought by the virus, which tend to survive for longer in the cold and dry climates.
The novel coronavirus has proven to be an all-seasonal virus that has survived the perils of autumn, spring, summer and the monsoon seasons. As we welcome the chilly winters, the low humidity levels promote evaporation of viral particles and aerosol formations, which can substantially increase the airborne spread of the pandemic. Besides, limited hours of sunshine substantially deplete Vitamin D levels, thereby compromising our immunity and making us more susceptible to a second wave of the virus.
Winter Effect on Covid-19
Just when the news of the virus outbreak broke, many rumours did rounds. One being that the extreme hot and cold weather conditions could kill the coronavirus spread. Ironically, the virus has proved every assumption wrong. We are facing a situation where the cases are likely to escalate during the winter season.
The government is moving toward unlocking the country in November-December, add to it the festival season, re-opening of trains and flights that promote inter-state travel. Besides, low testing and adjusting with the virus attitude might push Covid-19 cases to new heights. Historically, most of the pandemic infections have seen a second wave, within six months after the first wave. However, the effect of winters on Covid is yet to be seen, though initial studies point that the Coronavirus pandemic favours the cold, dry, low sunlight conditions.
Besides, the rise in the number of cases points to increased mobility, lackadaisical face mask usage, not following social distancing norms, poor ventilation at homes which further increase the risk of virus transmission.
Coronavirus Precautions for the Festive Season
With COVID-19 pandemic still raging, the country enters the festive season phase, Navaratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, Chhath Puja have already seen a surge in shoppers and increased footfalls in public places. Another surge wave is expected, and experts have expressed concerns over the ‘Pandemic Fatigue’ seen among people who have stayed indoors in lockdown since March. The World Health Organisation (WHO) alarms that, though the pandemic surge is concerning, it is a natural and expected reaction to uncertainty and adversity in people’s lives.
Consequently, the country might soon be facing a triple increase in the number of infected cases credit to the pandemic, upcoming festivals which bring large gatherings and the worsening air pollution due to stubble burning in north India. Experts say that asymptomatic Covid-19 patients who venture out to public places without face masks and social distancing can become super-spreaders. They can spread the virus everywhere wherever they go affecting vulnerable elders, children, pregnant women and those with pre-existing diseases. As responsible citizens, it becomes our duty to celebrate festivities on a low-key level this year.
Fighting the Winter Spread
Fighting the winter pandemic surge requires more stringent measures. Those with pre-existing health conditions like heart diseases, respiratory problems and diabetics are advised not to go out unless it is necessary. Moreover, health experts say that it is one’s immunity that would be the primary defence mechanism until we get a Covid-19 vaccine which is still a few months away.
Our body can heal and repair itself if we have a strong gut. 70-80 per cent immunity comes from this vital organ, thus watch out what you eat and how it adds up to your daily nutritional requirement. The rest of our immunity attributes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
For a strong gut, doctors and dietitians advise eating healthy foods, a balanced diet which is a mix of vegetables, fruits, and protein-rich foods (like fish, meat and eggs). The winter seasonal fruits are packed with nutrients that keep our body healthy. These include-
- Oranges and sweet lime are packed with Vitamin C and fibre.
- Strawberries contain vitamins, fibre and high levels of antioxidants. They are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food that protects your heart, lowers hypertension, and guards against cancer.
- Custard apples promote smooth bowel movement, helps to achieve healthy weight gain, are rich in vitamin B6, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Besides, they are high in potassium and magnesium that protects our heart from cardiac diseases.
- Dry skin woes are addressed by Chikoo, which is a storehouse of Vitamin E, A and C. They are one of the best sources of ascorbic acid, polyphenols, and flavonoids that help in reducing wrinkles and moisturize the dry winter skin.
- Papaya is an ideal winter fruit. It increases our body heat to fight the chilly winters. This wonder fruit aids digestion, supports anti-ageing properties, helps in weight loss, promotes kidney health and is a great fruit for the diabetics.
- Dates are small fruits that give you all the essential minerals, including potassium, copper, and magnesium. They are packed with Vitamin B6 and are a superfood for the winter season.
- Guavas are winter season fruits known for their power to cure constipation and their immunity-boosting ability. 100gm guava contains 380% of RDA for Vitamin C. They are a great source of folic acid, recommended for pregnant women, besides they calm down nerves helping the muscles to relax, and work as a stress-buster.
- Spinach brings together essential vitamins like A, B, C, E, K, zinc, magnesium, and large amounts of iron. Spinach is the building block for red blood cells. Called as a superfood, Spinach prevents vision loss, boosts immunity, and prevents premature ageing.
- Carrot is a winter vegetable that prevents night blindness in addition to protecting against diabetes and boosts a healthy heart.
- Beetroot is another superfood that gets you iron, Vitamins A, B6 and C. Beet plays a prominent role in the liver detoxification process, lowers diabetes, obesity risk and helps to increase white blood cells.
- White radish is a root vegetable that is packed with Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Radish is high in water content and is good for weight watchers. Radish aids nerve functions to fight cancer and coronary heart diseases.
Healthy Wellbeing with Gigadocs
Immunity is vital to fight the seasonal onslaught of viral infections and the more deadly Coronavirus. The second wave of the pandemic brings stress and rising cause of concern to maintain one’s health. For winter dryness and seasonal flu reach out to a digital doctor on the Gigadocs app. Consult with the best doctors over a call or a video consultation from the privacy of your home.
Young parents can check the Vaccination Schedule Chart that helps them to get the complete immunization schedule of their children by inputting their date of birth.
Download Gigadocs app-