Taking Care of Your Health During the Days of COVID-19
While personally taking care of our health should be an important daily task, due to limited and stressed medical resources, ensuring we’re doing everything possible to sustain our good health—and maybe that of our loved ones, too—is essential during this special time. Here are some tips to help you and those you care for stay safe and healthy today—and every day.
- Be Food Safe – The CDC reports 48 million Americans suffer from a foodborne illness each year. Of that number, 128,000 are hospitalized—each year. You do not want to go to the hospital now—or anytime, really—and most foodborne cases are largely preventable. Here’s what you need to do to stay food safe.
- Wash your hands properly. Check out this video from the CDC for an example and other important info about handwashing.
- Cook food to their proper temperatures to kill disease-causing microorganisms.
- Keep foods that need to be cooked away from ready-to-eat foods. Cross-contamination can be dangerous and can happen not only during the cooking process but also during grocery shopping and food storage.
- Always reheat leftovers to 165﮿F regardless of the food type. Here is a quick video on how to safely manage leftovers.
- Avoid unsafe food practices like washing raw meat and eating raw flour.
- Never thaw frozen foods at room temperature. Here are safer methods.
- For more information on staying food safe during the COVID19 outbreak, click here.
- Eat Nutritious Foods – It may be tempting to purchase cheap and unhealthy products to stretch food dollars, but eating healthfully doesn’t have to be expensive, and it’s much more beneficial to your immune system.
- Check out our Johnson County Extension webpage www.jocoeats.com for healthy, affordable recipes utilizing mainly pantry-based ingredients.
- This link from K-State Research & Extension’s Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health team also has some great resources for eating well on a budget.
- For easy and healthy cooking videos, check out K-State’s “EZ Does It” page.
- Stay Active – This is a tough one since we’ve been told to stay home. But keep in mind that this recommendation intends to mitigate mass gatherings—not turn us all into cloistered hermits. Currently, it does not prevent you from going outside to take a walk or ride your bike. Also, keep in mind that many household chores are physically active, so now might be a good time to deep clean and de-clutter the home space.
Here’s an excellent resource for exercises you can do at home.
- Stay “Connected” – Research shows that human connection is impactful on our health, but how can we connect if we can’t be together? Social media can be helpful here. A few of my Facebook friends have started daily check-in posts asking friends to share how they’re feeling; this creates an opportunity to connect and be heard. Set aside a “social time” by sending and reading emails, making a phone call, or even writing letters. These simple acts can do wonders for our soul—and our health.