5 Ways to Proactively Protect Yourself From COVID | BRIO

Beyond the obvious measures like wearing a mask and social distancing, how can you protect yourself from COVID? Discover the proactive health measures you can take to reduce your risks and boost your immune system.

The presence of COVID-19 is a threat we have learned to live with — but luckily, there are things we can do to lower the risk. Wearing an N95 mask, for example, can reduce our chances of contracting the virus to less than 1%. Social distancing and thorough hand-washing are also effective. But are there other proactive health measures we can take to reduce our risk of infection? 


The evidence suggests yes. By taking sensible precautions and making small lifestyle changes to support our immune systems, we can significantly lower our chances of catching COVID-19 in the first place. While nothing is guaranteed, these five solutions will increase your odds of staying healthy. 


Get Vaccinated

Like smallpox, polio, and H1N1, the most effective way to tame the virus is through a national vaccination campaign. The early stages of the COVID vaccination program focused on high-risk groups, but the vaccines are becoming increasingly available to the general population. The two currently in use must be administered in two doses. Vaccinations are superior to other preventive measures because they shield from infection internally. 


With the prospect of “vaccine passports,” which would require proof of vaccination for travel, becoming more likely, the pressure is easing off regular COVID testing -- however, COVID testing is still important for all workplaces, as not all employees will opt to be vaccinated, and the vaccines do not guarantee against infection. Ultimately, vaccination will allow us to resume life more or less as normal. It gets us one step closer to herd immunity. 


Increase Vitamin D Intake 

A staggering 35% of adults in the United States are vitamin D deficient. More than half of vitamin D is absorbed through sunlight, so prolonged lockdowns have made matters worse. Because vitamin D plays an important role not just in bone and cardiovascular health but also in supporting the immune system, it is a good idea to take a regular vitamin D supplement. Natural sources of vitamin D include oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolks. 


Make Quality Sleep a Priority

By now, the research is clear that lack of sleep has a negative effect on the body’s immunity. For many of us, however, getting a good night’s sleep is a struggle. Some 70% of Americans report insufficient or interrupted sleep for at least one night a month, with 11% experiencing insufficient sleep on a nightly basis. Unfortunately, the lockdown and its rearrangement of regular work-leisure patterns has exacerbated the problem for many people. During the pandemic, it is even more important to prioritize healthy sleep, as sleep can actually reduce the effectiveness of vaccines


Exercise to Promote Weight Loss

For the obese population, the risk of developing severe COVID symptoms goes drastically up. People with obesity are 113% more likely to end up in the hospital and 74% more likely to require ICU treatment. People suffering from diabetes are three times more likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19. In a shocking, unfortunate twist, some evidence suggests that patients who have been infected with COVID-19 are more likely to develop diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight limits the risk of developing diabetes or a bad case of COVID-19. 


Stay Away from the T-Zone

The area surrounding the eyes, nose, mouth, and chin — the “T-zone” — is the route through which the novel coronavirus infection occurs. Studies have shown that we touch this area with our hands 68.7 times per hour, on average. The T-zone is hardly an area that can be monitored through government regulation, so it requires a personal behavioral change. Take notice of how often you touch your T-Zone, especially in response to itching or irritation. 


Although we may see further peaks and valleys of COVID infection rates, following these five simple steps can tip the odds in your favor. COVID testing, vaccinations, and proactive health measures to boost immunity are solid steps toward warding off a COVID-19 infection. 


BRIO is an end-to-end, diagnostic testing solution built for employers that need fast, reliable results. Learn how we can help you keep your workforce as safe and healthy as possible.


Sources: 

World Health Organization - Advice for the public

CDC - How to Protect Yourself & Others

CDC - COVID-19: Prevent Getting Sick

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - How to protect yourself and others