Coronavirus COVID-19: dealing with the epidemic and practical tips to protect your health

doctor1As the number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases keeps climbing up, education and information are crucial factors in the management of this novel virus that causes pneumonia. As of February 15th, there are 67,100 confirmed cases and 1,526 deaths globally, the majority of which are reported in Mainland China (66,492 confirmed cases). In Hong Kong, panic amid the crisis seems to be spreading faster than the virus itself. Despite currently having less than 0.001% of the population confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, many citizens have been “panic buying” and hoarding a variety of household essentials such as toilet paper and rice. Toilet paper is sold out within a matter of hours after stock arrives. Long queues for toilet paper can be seen outside supermarkets around the city at the break of dawn.

With so much information circulating around, here are a few points to keep in mind and a few ways to help you protect your health:

  1. While it is normal to feel anxious about COVID-19 (especially if you are in a city experiencing an outbreak), having an appropriate level of anxiety driven by the facts will help you take the right kind of action. In the digital era, it’s often a challenge to discern fact from fiction. According to a Stanford study, millennials have difficulty determining what’s true and what’s false online and on social media, despite their fluency with the internet. How do we separate fact from fiction? Try to get facts from news and articles that quote medical experts, epidemiologists, the World Health Organization and other trusted sources.
  2. While we should not downplay the seriousness of COVID-19, we should focus on improving our immunity to protect against ALL types of pathogens. The strength of our immune systems determines who gets sick and how well we can fight infections. Read on for more tips to boost your health and prevent infections.
  3. Keep your body healthy:
    1. Eat more healthful foods and avoid processed foods. Click here to find the top healthful foods.
    2. Ensuring adequate sleep every night. Did you know that nearly 40% of Hong Kong adults have difficulty sleeping? Click here for tips on sleeping better.
    3. Safeguard your lungs. Stop smoking. COVID-19 can cause pneumonia, so it’s crucial to protect your lungs. Dr. Yik’s patients see good results in terms of lung function, shortness of breath, lung capacity, etc. after taking nutraceuticals and botanicals that tonify the respiratory system.
    4. Reduce your alcohol consumption. Findings from 14 different studies suggest that alcohol consumption increases the risk of contracting pneumonia. Keep hydrated by drinking water and healthier beverages instead.
  4. Avoid crowds and large gatherings. Wear a mask if you are sick or if you are in close contact with others out in public, as well as in crowded places.
  5. Do not share eating utensils, cups or bowls.
  6. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Did you know that 30% of people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom? And of the 70% who do, only 50% do it right- not only rinsing the hands with water, but also applying soap and scrubbing the palms, the back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the fingernails. The correct washing of hands remains public health officials’ top advice when it comes to controlling infection rates. Click here to read more on how to improve your immunity and protect your health. 



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