BY ANDREW MCDONALD
For every negative, there’s a positive. Most of us hated lockdown and living restricted lives for long periods wasn’t something we welcomed. It was necessary, of course, but painful too. However, we also started doing things which benefitted our health as part of a normal routine. Things that can keep us well even in these freer times.
Keeping our hands clean is an obvious one. We naturally build up a collection of germs on our hands whilst putting them to use. We then use those same hands to eat, transferring those same germs to our mouths in the process. Of course, remembering to wash them before eating helps avoid illness. However, even when we aren’t taking in food, the number of times we touch our faces is quite startling. Experts reckon we do this on average 23 times an hour. That’s why frequently cleaning our hands is crucial for good health even when we aren’t having a snack or meal.
Curiously, it is recommended that we stop using gloves when using things like shopping trolleys. Covering our hands leads to a false sense of security, proven by people who wear gloves thinking their hands are naturally clean as a result. This isn’t true. Washing our hands is far more effective at preventing transmission of illnesses.
Getting vaccinated is another habit we should keep up. Health experts recommend we don’t just stay updated when it comes to covid jabs, though. Equally beneficial is the flu jab. Influenza still kills people and vaccinating against it is sound practice.
Ensuring good ventilation of enclosed spaces keeps us well. Air inside our homes becomes stale if we don’t open windows occasionally. This leads to a build up of germs which we then breathe in. Even during winter months, leaving a window ajar for a little while allows fresh air to circulate in turn helping to keep us healthier.
Staying at home when we are ill is good advice. Unfortunately, we are all going to get sick at some point. Probably a few times a year if we’re being realistic. Obviously, most of these illnesses are short term and no major issue. Things like colds, the vomiting bug and stomach upsets can all usually be cured by rest and a little patience. If symptoms are extreme, definitely contact your GP or, if necessary, go to A&E. However, for the most part, staying under the duvet for a couple of days will be all it takes.
There is one key addition to that last point, though. Stay at home if you’re ill if at all possible. If everyone does that, the spread of illnesses will be much reduced. If you do have to go out, it might be wise to dig out those trusty old masks to prevent passing your bug onto other people.