Keeping Healthy In These Uncertain Times

For many people. this year has been all about keeping healthy. This is my perspective and based on my own opinions. I have done research to satisfy my own needs. But please consult with your healthcare provider if you feel sick or are uncertain.

Keeping Healthy

Understanding The Symptoms

In my opinion, arming ourselves with knowledge helps ease the mind. First and foremost we need to understand the symptoms so that we know what to look out for. If you have a fever you are sick! This is common sense, and not something you should take lightly. If you present with any of the following symptoms, please give your Doctor a call.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sudden loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

You need to seek urgent medical attention if you present with any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Sudden confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Is is clear from a lot of outcomes that comorbidity has played a huge role in the effects of Covid19. People with heart or lung diseases, with compromised immune systems or diabetes are most at risk.

Keeping Healthy

Keeping healthy will mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To me it meant making sure I did not get a sore throat which normally leads to bronchitis. Having had walking pneumonia a year ago, my lungs are compromised. Not severely enough that I need to stay home. But enough to know I must not get sick. I have increased my training regime, eaten more healthily than normal and washed my hands more often than usual.

The Glitter Effect

Imagine your breath as glitter. As you breathe out, the glitter flows out of your nose or mouth. Then we breathe in, and take that glitter in to our lungs. Every time you cough or sneeze, this glitter comes out of your mouth at a huge rate. Can you remember as a child being told to put your hand in front of your mouth when coughing? Well, doing that with your hands is not such a great idea. If you do, the glitter is now stuck to your hands. And then you touch something, transferring the glitter. This glitter is now sitting and waiting for someone else to come along and collect it. But instead of glitter, it is a virus. And we might be spreading it without knowing we are sick. This is because not everyone will display symptoms, which might take 2 – 14 days to show themselves. So, wear a mask, cough into your elbow or a tissue, and keep your hands clean and away from your face while out shopping!

Keeping Healthy By Wearing Masks

I will be the first person to stick my hand up and say I did not want to wear a mask. But, it is so vital to keeping healthy. Not only am I not breathing onto everything around me. I am also creating a barrier to what I breathe in. In South Africa it is mandatory to wear one as soon as you are in public. And for as long as it takes, I will wear a mask, especially in shops! I am counting down the days for the HelloMask to be launched to the general public so that I can see people’s faces properly, and have my smile seen by other people. Key to me is not wearing the same mask for more than 4 hours. I have a few cloth masks that I rotate. These are microwaved for 30 seconds each time they are worn. And once I have had the mask on my face for four hours I machine wash, and sun dry it.

Keeping Healthy By Washing Hands

I have always sanitised my hands, so for me, all I have had to do is amp up my regime. As I cough into my elbow I don’t have to worry about changing that habit. But sneezing is another matter. More often than not I just cannot get to the tissue in time. So if I sneeze into my hands I wash them straight away. If I manage to get to the tissue in time or if I blow my nose, I sanitise straight away. In South Africa we get our hands sprayed with sanitiser when we enter a shop. I make sure to use alcohol based wet wipes while shopping. And to get sanitised when I leave the shop. I also sanitise as soon as I get into my car. And the first thing I do when I get home is wash my hands for 40 seconds. I also wash my hands after handling cash and sanitise before I touch something in common use in our office. The downside is my eczema is really bad. The upside is I am keeping healthy.

Essential Oils

Because my hands are taking strain I am using neat lavender essential oil a few times  a day on the spots that are really bad. I also have hemp oil with sandalwood essential oil to use for the dryness and to help with the eczema. For my lungs I sprinkle my shower floor with a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. My sanitising spray contains tea tree essential oil. This is a natural antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antiviral essential oil and in my opinion every home should keep a bottle. Add one drop of tea tree oil to every millilitre of your sanitising spray. Make sure you take a look at these caveats before using an essential oil, and if possible, buy organic.

Sanitising What We Buy

I am doing the best I can to ensure my groceries are sanitised to my satisfaction. This may not be enough for you, or it may be too much. My feeling is that most of what is touched has been handled with clean hands. But just in case and for peace of mind this is what I do. First I bring the packages in from the car and place them onto a counter that has been cleaned. I spray a damp cloth with a 72% alcohol based sanitizer that contains orange essential oil. I then unpack one item at a time, wiping it completely. The groceries I don’t need to use straight away go into my pantry cupboard. I try and leave them there for at least 3 days (in quarantine so to say). Fresh produce gets unpacked where possible. And carefully washed before use with an organic vegetable wash. Once everything has been wiped down and packed away I toss my reusable bags into the wash. The plastic ones get wiped down and once put away, I wash the counter and the cloth gets put into the washing machine. Then I wash my hands again!

A Healthy Mind

This is a difficult one. People are scared of getting the virus and getting sick. They are scared of being alone in a hospital and dieing. The information out there can be overwhelming. And with all the fake news we are being bombarded from all sides with different ‘facts’. I hear every day “I don’t know what to believe anymore”. All I can say is find one resource you trust that is medically based. Read that resource only and base your opinions on the facts presented to you. Not only for now, but for always. Do the best you can with the resources you have. And if you feel the need to talk to someone, consult your Doctor for help. Do not be afraid to admit that this has you feeling overwhelmed or paranoid. We all need to do the best we can to stay healthy, and stay sane.

Did I Help?

Please let me know if you found this helpful, or if you feel I left something out.

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime August 19:

This blog post is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice. The information provided here should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. 

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14 thoughts on “Keeping Healthy In These Uncertain Times

  1. Thankyou. This is all good advice and practical. If EVERYBODY took note and followed the advice we would be tracking along well.
    Stay safe! :))

  2. Great post Tandy and one we need to be mindful of! The glitter effect in particular is such a powerful way to explain germs to kids! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Tandy, it is useful to read what other people are doing at the moment to stay virus free. We haven’t been going out much and don’t have any domestic help at the moment, so our contact with others is quite limited. The boys need to go back to school from 1 September and I suspect Terence will start going back into the office when they do. I won’t go back as I don’t like being in the office and wouldn’t manage all the house work plus the travelling. The boys will have to wear masks and santitise between every class.

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