COVID-19 is changing the world. But what is the world going to look like after the pandemic?
COVID-19 is the latest viral pandemic to affect the world. Viruses are strange micro-organisms that come in many shapes and sizes. There is a debate among virologists over if they’re even living beings, or simply packages of genetic material, such as DNA or RNA.
Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses, of which COVID-19 is but one. Under an electron microscope, these viruses look like a sun with a halo around it, hence the name “Corona” Virus.
Viruses do not grow on their own, like bacteria or other living things. Instead, it needs a living body to multiply. Viruses infect cells and damage the immune system of living things, weakening it and causing the various reactions we associate with illnesses. Tropism refers to the ability of a virus to infect particular cells or tissues of a host body. A virus does not always infect every cell of the body. Some viruses infect the nervous system, others infect the reproductive system, and others infect various other parts of the body.
A Global Pandemic
With COVID-19 infections now evident in 176 countries, the pandemic is the most significant viral threat to humanity since the Spanish Flu of 1918. Then, as now, confidence in international cooperation and institutions plummeted to new lows.
The pandemic will be especially damaging to poorer and more vulnerable communities within many countries, highlighting the risks associated with rising inequality.
Why is this?
One of the leading factors is the access of poorer and more vulnerable communities to appropriate nutrition.
Watching Your Nutrition
When we say “nutrition,” we don’t mean the conventional use of the word “diet.” Often, these “diets” tend to be the opposite of nutrition. Dieting generally connotes managed malnourishment for the purposes of losing weight or other particular health benefits.
By definition, nutrition means nourishment. In the end, it’s all the same, but how we go about nourishing ourselves so can make a big difference in our health and well-being. You’ve only got one life. What, when and how you eat determines how you show up for that life.
As nourishment can help you deal with illnesses, here are a few ways to ensure your nutrition is an act of self-care rather than self-punishment.
The world after this Coronavirus pandemic cannot be the same as the one before. We must avoid the mistakes made throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries by undertaking fundamental reforms to ensure that we never again face the threat of pandemics.
Here are just a few mistakes that we made in the world before corona that made our immune systems compromised:
Dangers of Neglecting Self-Care
Let’s look at the major warning signs associated with neglecting self-care:
- Feeling inadequate
- Poor hygiene
- Brain fog
Vitamins and minerals are essential to human health, as these compounds play crucial roles in a variety of necessary metabolic pathways that support fundamental cellular functions. To ensure you’re taking care of yourself, follow recommendations for appropriate dietary intakes. These recommendations try to guarantee most of the population receives the proper amount of vitamins and minerals needed to fulfill their needs.
Indeed, claims regarding the effects of vitamins and minerals on fatigue, cognition, and other psychological functions are authorized in many countries.
How Multivitamins Boost Immunity
So how can you ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals to ensure your health and wellness? One of the most popular, and effective, ways of doing so is by enhancing your diet with a multivitamin.
Multivitamins contain the vitamins and minerals you need to ensure your health, including:
- Vitamin C, which contributes to immune defence by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Specifically, Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier functions against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin
- Vitamin D has been used to treat infections such as tuberculosis before the advent of effective antibiotics. In the past, tuberculosis patients were sent to sanatoriums where treatment included exposure to sunlight which was thought to directly kill tuberculosis. There have been multiple cross-sectional studies associating lower levels of vitamin D with increased infection rates. One recent well-designed prospective, double-blind placebo study using a therapeutic dose of vitamin D showed that taking vitamin D resulted in a statistically significant (42%) decrease in the incidence of influenza infection.
- Vitamin E, like vitamin C, can be a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. This important vitamin — part of nearly 200 biochemical reactions in your body — is critical in how your immune system functions. Supplementation with vitamin E for 4 months improved certain clinically relevant indexes of cell-mediated immunity in healthy elderly
- Zinc is a mineral found in cells throughout the body. It is needed for the body’s immune system to work, especially when it comes to T-cells. T-cells play a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates
Self-Care and Nutrition
How many of us eat our lunch in front of our computer or phone and finish before we even know what we ate?
When you’re eating while distracted or on the go, you’re not doing much for yourself in the way of self-care.
My advice? Unplug, slow down, and chew your food. This allows you to optimize the digestive process, reduce that uncomfortable “too full bloat” feeling, and actually listen to your hunger and satiety cues to avoid over-eating and mindless snacking. Removing distractions also allows you to enjoy your meal, which research shows may help you absorb nutrients more effectively.
That’s what I call self-care.
Take care of yourself and your family.
- Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on bodyfunction: A review. EXCLI J. 2017;16:1057-1072. doi:10.17179/excli2017-480
- The Integrative RD, Spring 2012, Volume 14, Issue 4; Foley J, “Nutrition’s Role in Detoxification,” DIFM, 2017.