As we ride out another COVID surge, battle Omicron and deal with flu season, it's important to stay healthy and minimize the risk of catching the virus. While it may seem impossible to prevent sickness right now but with certain precautions avoiding COVID can happen. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with doctors who explained how to stay safe during the latest COVID outbreak. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña MD, director of Global Health and Emergency Department Physician at Staten Island University Hospital says, "The safest thing people can do is get vaccinated and boosted. That is a huge difference in how a COVID infection will affect you. In terms of preventing infection entirely, avoiding indoor activities without masks such as dining, masking whatever you're in public, and use of rapid testing is what I would do in terms of changing my behavior to be responsive to the COVID omicron wave."
The "Swiss Cheese Approach"
Dr. David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA states, "The best method to prevent infection with any SARS-CoV-2 variant is a multiple technique approach. I like to call this a swiss cheese approach. And just like you need multiple layers of swiss cheese so that you can't see any ham through the cheese holes in a sandwich, you need multiple types of protection to prevent COVID. No one protective technique is 100% effective. Vaccines, masks, distancing, ventilation and avoiding ill or unvaccinated people are all important and effective to prevent you from getting infection. And isolating when you are infected is critical in preventing you from spreading COVID to others."
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Multiple Methods to Staying Safe
Infectious disease expert and pioneering scientific researcher Dr. Serhat Gumrukcu explains, "Although symptoms from the Omicron variant might seem milder as compared to previous variants, it is always highly advisable to stay vigilant and follow all safety precautions to prevent ongoing infections."
The 5 safest things to do right now are:
Get vaccinated to prevent the severity of the infection and potential hospitalization if infected
Wear a mask in public to prevent the spread of infection to yourself and others
Maintain a safe distance in public at all times
Avoid crowded places and social events that lack vaccination and testing protocols
Quarantine yourself upon noticing any of the reported symptoms and get tested as soon as possible to prevent spreading the virus to other individuals.
Eat Regular Meals
Rajesh Chotalia, a Health and Wellness Consultant, Speaker, and Independent Pharmacist says, "Eat healthy to build your Immunity. Eat a whole food plant-based diet to avoid inflammation and toxins. Eat 2 to 3 meals a day. Do not just launch into drinking coffee or eating sugar cereal or donuts. For your first meal, try a healthy green juice, or salad. For your second meal, cook food with lots of fruit. If you are hungry for a third meal, just fruits only. Do not eat past 5 pm or engage in late-night snacking."
Chotalia states, "Manage your stress and sleep. When you are stressed and when you are not sleeping well, your immune system is lowered. More toxins build up in your body, and you can get sick more often."
Dr. Bradley Katz, MD, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Utah Medical Center says, "When you exercise outdoors, you may naturally head in areas that are less crowded and where you can maintain a safe distance from others, such as parks. There is also a lot of natural ventilation in these outdoor spaces and so it is one of the safest activities right now."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.