HealthCovid-19 101: Revisiting Its Impact On Health Conditions & Dos & Don’ts...

Covid-19 101: Revisiting Its Impact On Health Conditions & Dos & Don’ts Amidst Rising Numbers

Lo, yeh phir se aa gaya! The last time we heard about scary statistics for the number of people being diagnosed with Covid-19 was early this year – almost half a year back. Just when you’d thought this pandemic was over and hence you could continue to stretch your wings, go about life as you knew it, and take off to greener pastures once in a while, the pandemic seems to be rearing its ugly head again. 

If the prediction of the IIT cell is to be believed (the same IIT cell that accurately predicted the three previous COVID-19 pandemic waves), the fourth wave could be here any time around June 22nd this year. However, other sources opine that this wave is not expected to be as severe as the three previous waves because no new variant has been found. 

So, here’s jogging your memory on everything you need to remember and follow in the wake of the rising Covid numbers – what it means for people with asthma, pneumonia and pregnant women, dietary dos and don’ts for people with COVID and post that, and yoga asanas beneficial for patients and during the recovery stage. It’ll enable you to #BeALittleMore cautious and aware of the necessary dos and don’ts on your journey towards fighting the virus.

3 Facts About What Covid-19 Means For Someone Who Has Asthma

1. Does asthma increase the risks of developing COVID?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may be more severe and may lead to poor outcomes if people with asthma get infected. There is no evidence of increased infection rates in those with asthma. However, people with asthma need to be especially diligent in protecting themselves from the virus through measures such as handwashing, double masking, and staying away from those who are sick.

2. What are some protection measures a person with asthma should take to prevent Covid-19 infections?

Precautionary measures to be taken include:

  • Wear a double mask while venturing out
  • Be extremely careful with nebulizers. Nebulizers are said to be very effective for treating asthma symptoms, but it aerosolises droplets from the airways, which are then spread into the air. This allows viruses or other microbes to be transmitted by the nebulizer
  • Eat healthily and stay hygienic
  • Stay alert with symptoms of asthma and COVID-19
  • It is important to note that respiratory illnesses may worsen asthma, so continue taking your Asthma control medicines and make sure that your asthma is in control
  • All asthma patients above 18 years of age are advised to get vaccinated as soon as possible. However, those having had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of its ingredients must consult their physician. Here’s a quick video you need to watch to bust some common myths surrounding Covid-19 Vaccination.

3. What should be done if you have asthma and test positive for Covid-19?

The treatment and measures for COVID-19 patients remain the same for all. People with asthma should be careful of any breathing problems and immediately report them to their caregivers and doctors.

Read: 7 Other Facts About Asthmatic Patients With Covid-19 

3 Facts About What Pneumonia Means In A Covid-19 World

1. Pneumonia in people with pre-existing respiratory conditions leads to rapid deterioration

People with pre-existing respiratory problems have a dampened immune response to infective organisms, giving them an unrestricted path to spread and multiply. This leads to rapid deterioration and more severe disease. This also requires a longer duration of treatment and recovery time. Apart from this, higher forms of respiratory and life support may be required in these patients. The underlying disease can go out of control and worsen simultaneously.

2. Look out for these common causes and symptoms of pneumonia

Pneumonia can be commonly caused in the community by bacteria and viruses. Fungi usually affect immunosuppressed patients. Symptoms primarily consist of:

  • Fever
  • Cough with discoloured or increased sputum/ phlegm
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness

3. Early medical attention and diagnosis can help curb pneumonia among COVID-19 patients

Early medical attention plays an important role in shortening the course of illness and reducing morbidity and mortality rate. The newer forms of treatment like antibody cocktails and the existing antivirals help improve outcomes and reduce mortality. Hypoxia (body part or organ deprived of oxygen supply) when detected early, can be treated and reversed most of the time.

Read: 7 Other Facts You Should Know About Tackling Pneumonia During Covid-19

3 Facts About Covid-19 Pregnancy

1. What does the coronavirus mean for your pregnancy?

“Pregnant women are at no greater risk of becoming seriously unwell than other healthy adults if they get Coronavirus”. Because there are still so many unknowns about how the coronavirus impacts pregnant women, it’s essential to follow social distancing guidelines.

2. How can pregnant women protect themselves from the coronavirus?

All pregnant women should give special attention to social distancing norms, and hand hygiene practices and consume a healthy diet that is rich in Iron, Calcium, vitamins B, C, D3, and Folic Acid. Do light exercise to improve blood flow, and deep breathing exercises to improve lung capacity.

3. How could the coronavirus impact your birth plan?

Many hospitals and birthing centres have been enacting new measures to keep mothers and babies safe. Every hospital is different, but here are a few changes moms might experience:

  • Restrictions on visitors and who is allowed in the delivery room
  • Your doctors and nurses will be wearing protective gear
  • You may be able to be discharged early if you want to be
  • You may not be able to walk around the hallways during labour

Pregnant women over 35 years of age, those who are overweight, and those with diabetes or hypertension are high-risk patients and need to be extremely vigilant. Speaking to your doctor on a weekly basis about your progress will be beneficial”.

Read: 4 Other Facts About Covid-19 Pregnancy

3 Facts About Self-Proning To Improve Oxygen Levels That You Should Know If You Have Covid-19

1. The effectiveness of proning and its impact on reducing mortality seems to be positive

The effectiveness of ‘proning’ for patients with COVID-19, and its impact on reducing mortality has gained much attention over the past year. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) recently advised proning for self-care amongst patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, stating it to be extremely beneficial. Now, in the current scenario when the shortage of hospital beds, and drastically increased demand for oxygen concentrators and medication is being seen, improvement in oxygen levels through proning may be very relevant to possibly reduce the necessity of hospital admission. 

2. Proning is a medically accepted position to improve oxygenation

Lying face down is known as proning, it is a medically accepted position to improve oxygenation. If a patient’s oxygen levels drop below 94 (when measured at home on an oximeter), the patient can lie on their tummy; this position improves ventilation and enables comfortable breathing.

3. Experts stress the significance of proning for treating respiratory disorders

Physical position affects the distribution and volume of air in the lungs and can have direct effects on the expansion of the lungs to permit the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. In the last few years, prone positioning has been used increasingly in the treatment of patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and this is now considered a simple and safe method to improve oxygenation. It is a medically accepted process that involves turning a patient with precise, safe motions, from their back onto their abdomen so that the individual is lying face down to improve breathing. 

Read: 3 Other Self-Proning Facts To Improve Oxygen Levels During Covid-19

3 Types Of Food You Must Include In Your Diet

1. Garlic – T-Cell Booster

Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs in a variety of ways by stimulating cells important to fighting disease and helping to regulate the immune system. It helps boost the production of virus-fighting T-cells and can reduce the number of stress hormones your body produces which can help keep your immune system functioning at full strength.

2. Vitamin B-6 – Lymphatic System Boost & Red Blood Cells

Vitamin B-6 is essential in the formation of new and healthy red blood cells and aids in maintaining the lymphatic system. Chicken, turkey, cold-water fish (salmon and tuna), chickpeas (traditional hummus), bananas, fortified breakfast cereal, and nutritional yeast are great options for consuming vitamin B-6.

3. Water – Hydration & Immunity

Water helps produce lymph which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells through the body. There are many foods with high water content such as cucumbers, watermelon, and celery. If you have a hard time drinking plain water, try a cup of green tea with lemon, watermelon, cucumber or mint-infused water for an immune system powerhouse beverage. Think of proper hydration as a way to make it easier for immune-boosting nutrients to get to where they need to go (cells) in your body.

Read: 7 Other Essential Foods For Covid-19

2 Foods You Must Avoid

1. Sugar & Salt

Anything in excess is always harmful. Irrespective of the presence of comorbidities like Diabetes and Hypertension, we must be extra cautious about the use of salt and sugar in our daily meals. Many pieces of research suggest that excessive use of salt and sugar impairs our immune response and hence increases the risk of infections. 

2. Junk Food

It’s always recommended to stay away from all types of junk food. As they are very much deficient in nutrients but contain plenty of trans fats, which makes your immune response weaker.

Read: 2 Other Foods To Avoid During Covid-19

2 Indian Recipes For Post-Covid Recovery

1. Paneer Roll

  • Sauté pieces of paneer with onion, carrots, capsicum, and baby corn (you may use any other vegetable of your choice). 
  • Add spices and herbs, and salt as per your choice and taste. 
  • Make chapatis
  • Apply little butter on a chapati, place paneer and vegetables on the chapati, add grated cheese, and chopped spring onions and roll it – eat it fresh!

2. Sprouts Cutlets 

  • Mash potatoes. 
  • Add sprouts, chopped green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, finely chopped coriander, and grated carrots. 
  • Add chat masala and salt as per the taste. 
  • Mix everything well and make a fine dough. 
  • Make small cutlets, roll them on rava or bread crumbs and shallow fry them. 
  • Sprout cutlets can be eaten with mint-coriander chutney.

Read: Try These 3 Other Indian Recipes For Post-Covid Recovery

3 Yoga Asanas To Strengthen Lungs During Covid-19

1. Virasana (Hero Pose)

It’s a classical seated yoga posture that stretches thighs and ankles while improving posture. It is one of the most traditional postures effective for breathing exercises. It helps in spinal alignment with slouching posture and allows for better breathing.

Step 1: With your thighs upright to the floor kneel on it and touch your inner knees together. Angle your big toes slightly in toward each other and press the top of each foot evenly on the floor.

Step 2: With your chest leaning slightly forward, exhale and sit back halfway. Wedge your thumbs into the backs of your knees and draw the skin and flesh of the calf muscles toward the heels. Then sit down between your feet.

Step 3: Allow a thumb’s-width space between the inner heels and the outer hips. Turn your thighs inward and press the heads of the thigh bones into the floor with the bases of your palms. Then lay your hands in your lap, one on the other, palms up, or on your thighs, palms down.

Step 4: Stay 30 seconds to 1 minute in the pose at the initial stage and gradually extend it to 5 minutes. Press your hands against the floor and lift your buttocks up, slightly higher than the heels while coming out of the pose. Cross your ankles underneath your buttocks then stretch your legs out in front of you. 

2. Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose)

It stretches for the front of the body, including the thighs, lungs, chest, foot, and abdominal muscles. It helps in alleviating digestive problems by massaging the abdominal organs. Other benefits include realignment of a rounded shoulder, stimulation of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, toning of spinal nerve and making the back flexible. Regular practices of Supta Virasana will Increase the elasticity of lung tissue.

Step 1: Place the palms on the floor beside the buttocks, slowly bend back, placing the right forearm and the elbow on the ground and then the left.

Step 2: Bring the back of your head to the ground while arching the back. Place the hands on the thighs. If necessary, separate the knees, and avoid overstraining the muscles or legs.

Step 3: Breathing in and taking the support of the elbows and the arms raise the head above the ground. Then shift the body weight on the left arm and elbow by sliding the body, then slowly coming to the starting position. Gradually increase the time of the process from 3-5 times to 8-10 times.

3. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

It helps relieve the tension in the lungs, shoulders, chest and buttocks. It is a great remedy for sciatica, depression, fatigue and asthma. It helps in strengthening the spine, arm and wrist as most of the body weight is borne by them. It also stretches the back and relieves the body of lower back aches.

Step 1: With your belly towards the floor, lie flat on the ground. The arms must be placed beside the body with feet facing downwards. Gently fold your elbows. Place your palms next to your lowest rib.

Step 2: Press your hands on the mat as you gently lift your knees, hips, and chest off the mat. Your body weight must be spread across the top of your feet and your palms. Look ahead, slightly tilting your head backwards.

Step 3: Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 min. While coming back to the starting position, slowly lower your knees, hips and torso back on the mat.

Read: 7 Other Yoga Asanas To Strengthen Lungs During Covid-19

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