Even as government officials warn us to “stay home, stay safe” during the coronavirus pandemic, some people are flocking to parks, trails and sidewalks to walk and bike away their cabin fever.
That might seem like a total contradiction. But according to health experts, it can be a healthy choice – as long as you exercise caution while exercising outdoors.
An old photo on the Chicago Lakefront with my dog. The mayor has since closed the Lakefront to ALL activities in the face of the virus.
“Since most people don’t have a treadmill, outdoor exercise makes it a heck of a lot easier to meet the physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, like walking, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity, like running,” said Dr. Jeffrey Harris, professor and chair of the University of Washington’s department of health services in the School of Public Health. Continue reading →
Over the 10 years I have been producing this blog I have found WebMD to be a superb source of information. I think they continue to excel in this latest on the coronavirus. Understanding how the virus is transmitted and long it lives on surfaces is key to protecting ourselves from it.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person. When someone who is infected coughs or sneezes, they send droplets containing the virus into the air. A healthy person can then breathe in those droplets. You can also catch the virus if you touch a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
The coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces like countertops and doorknobs. How long it survives depends on the material the surface is made from.
Here’s a guide to how long coronaviruses — the family of viruses that includes the one that causes COVID-19 — can live on some of the surfaces you probably touch on a daily basis. Keep in mind that researchers still have a lot to learn about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. For example, they don’t know whether exposure to heat, cold, or sunlight affects how long it lives on surfaces. Continue reading →
Dr. Eduardo Sanchez is the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention and a former state health commissioner of Texas. He has dealt with major public health crises – including the SARS outbreak. In this occasional series, he’ll break down various topics related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently I heard a medical “expert” on the news incorrectly define the term “herd immunity.” It’s a new phrase for many people, but we’re hearing about it more and more, so it’s important to understand exactly what it is.
First, let’s discuss how immunity works for individuals. A person can become immune (or resistant) after exposure to a disease-causing agent, such as the coronavirus causing COVID-19 in this case. The process of becoming immune includes the production of antibodies specific to the virus for future protection. Continue reading →
This is my April Fool’s Day post. I wanted to write one, but in view of what we are all experiencing with ‘stay at home’ orders and the like, it didn’t feel right. Then I happened upon this post by one of my favorite bloggers. I can’t remember reading one of Jules’s posts that didn’t have me laugh out loud. Here, I think she plays an April Fool’s joke on the coronavirus. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Everybody knows by now that the United States and the world are in the grip of one of the dangerous coronaviruses called COVID-19, but what’s a virus and how can it make us feel ill? Why do our bodies react the way they do? Are viruses alive?
“Viruses aren’t considered alive – in class I call them pseudo-alive,” says Dr. Eric Mendenhall, an associate professor of biological sciences at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).
A virus has got to have a living cell before things can rock and roll.
“They require a host to even begin to function. However, since they use DNA or RNA to pass information to the next round of viruses the cell makes for them, they are subject to some of the same principles of evolution and selection that alive organisms are subject to,” Dr. Mendenhall says. Continue reading →
How much spring and summer affect the COVID-19 pandemic may depend not only on the effectiveness of social distancing measures, but also on the environment inside our buildings, according to a review of Yale scientists of their own work and that of colleagues on how respiratory viruses are transmitted.
The cold, dry air of winter clearly helps SARS-CoV2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — spread among people, Yale research has shown. But as humidity increases during spring and summer, the risk of transmission of the virus through airborne particles decreases both outside and indoors in places such as offices.
While viruses can still be transmitted through direct contact or through contaminated surfaces as humidity rises, researchers suggest that, in addition to social distancing and hand washing, the seasonal moderation of relative humidity – the difference between outside humidity and temperatures and indoor humidity – could be an ally in slowing rates of viral transmission.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, rumors and misinformation about the virus seem to be spreading just as quickly, if not more quickly, than the virus itself. In the midst of a pandemic, false information can be dangerous and lead to panic, making it difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction.
Experts with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) weigh in on the most common myths about COVID-19:
MYTH: Vitamin C can help fight against the virus
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that can help boost the immune system and is found in many fruits and vegetables. However, research shows that for most people, taking vitamin C won’t even fight against the common cold.
“Studies show that vitamin C has no significant benefit in preventing or treating the common cold for most patients, and COVID-19 is not the common cold,” said Joyce Samuel, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and a pediatric nephrologist with UT Physicians. Continue reading →
We’ve all been told steps to take to minimize exposure to Covid-19
What has not been stated often enough are the ACTIVE STEPS one must take to strengthen the immune system prior to potential exposure to this disease?
Consider including these five essential components:
Get adequate sleep:
Approx. 6-9 hours of QUALITY sleep is required to repair and restore the body to maximal function from normal exposure to environmental toxins and physical activities of daily living.
Discover constructive methods to deal with stress. Activities that positively impact the way you FEEL inhibit damaging hormones from weakening immune function. Everyone has stress; learning to effectively CHANNEL it is the key to successfully managing it.
Don’t deprive yourself from foods you enjoy. These foods, however, should only be eaten AFTER a healthy, well balanced meal is consumed. Food provides both nutrition and INFORMATION…
“It’s really the perfect recipe for anxiety and panic,” said licensed clinical psychologist Debra Kissen of Chicago. And stress, it should be noted, may be a factor in heart disease.
But Kissen, CEO of Light on Anxiety CBT (cognitive behavioral technology) Treatment Center, and others say anxiety can be managed – and social media, used properly, doesn’t have to send you on a mental-health spiral. It also can help you find balance. Continue reading →
I didn’t write the following, nor am I a doctor, but in the plethora of information on the Covid-19 virus circulating right now, I thought it seemed exceedingly straightforward and helpful. I hope you do, too.
With the world waiting to see the next government action to deal with the worldwide spread of COVID-19, the University of Oxford among others how individuals respond can be as important as the steps taken by governments.
How individuals respond to government advice on preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be at least as important, if not more important, than government action, according to a new commentary from researchers at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London in the UK, and Utrecht University and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands.
As the UK moves into the “delay” phase of dealing with a possible COVID-19 epidemic, a new commentary, published in The Lancet, looks at what we know so far about the new virus. The researchers, led by Professor Sir Roy Anderson at Imperial College and Professor Deirdre Hollingsworth at the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute, also suggest what can be done to minimize its spread and its impact. Continue reading →