Here comes summer 2021 with less stringent restrictions than the previous one. Why? Because though the world is still in the grasp of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can protect ourselves from contracting the virus with vaccinations. Also unlike 2020 when the world was in a lockdown, tourism is opening up in several countries. Last year may go down in history as the one summer in recent times that being indoors was all you had. Feel free to open doors to let in the freshness and sunshine into your space. Where ever we may be enjoying summer, on a tropical island, at the beach, exploring the wild or at home, top up on Vitamin D the mood-boosting nutrient. Any wonder why people are happy during this season… it helps prevent cancers too. We also get Vitamin D from foods but the cheapest source is the sun. Yet it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in our world. The body can store Vitamin D for a long time, so sun exposure in summer enables you increase your stock of this nutrient for use during damp, dark duration in the year. Observe the tips below for a stress-free summer.
Get your covid jabs. If you want to just enjoy your summer time. If you must travel to a different country you’d need your Covid-19 vaccinations. There’ve been reports of people who’ve had the complete dosage of the vaccines still got infected though the chances of survival is higher if you’ve been not been vaccinated. So with your jabs don’t be careless this summer. Be cautious and deal with every symptom promptly. If you feel feverish or you’re down with a cough ensure you see a medical worker before joining in on the fun with others.
Have a First Aid kit handy. Ensure your kit has the necessary items and if possible you can add more. It is not uncommon for the plan to change because of a health issue. Most summer holiday injuries can be easily treated with simple first aid. It is advisable to be CPR ready as cardiac arrest can occur at any time and most sudden cardiac arrest incidences occur at home. According to the American Heart Association sudden cardiac arrests kills people around the world more than cancers, HIV, arson, motor accidents combined. It can occur at any age and the survival rate is low because the people who can carry out Cardiopulmonary resuscitation are very few. But it pays to be proactive especially when you’re out at a place where medical assistance may not come readily.
Arming yourself with first aid skills could make the difference between death and arresting a dangerous situation. Wear face masks and gloves if you don’t have the recommend PPE when performing first aid/CPR on someone whose Covid-19 status you aren’t sure about. The Red Cross advises that if there is only one face mask that is available it should be placed over the mouth and nose of the victim.
Fruits in seasons are at their most nutritious as they are pack full with the necessary minerals, fibres, vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals you need. This is the time to boost your meals with more fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only do they cool you down and soothe the dryness of the season, they help boost your energy level. The fruits available this season are rich in flavours, fresh and cost a whole lot less.
Take care of your skin. Moisturize your skin is a must do habit. It not only protects the skin from pollutants and chemicals, it prevents irritation. The composition of your moisturizer should have more of water than oil, so your pores can still breathe after application. Use a light water based sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Protect yourself from UV rays especially between 10am and 4pm. Apply and reapply your sunscreen. To reduce and prevent hyper-pigmentation use a Vitamin C serum. Also protect your skin by staying in shaded places when you’re out in the open. Wear clothes made with natural fabrics like cotton. Cover your body from direct sun rays. You can reduce your sun sensitivity and risk of sun damage by eating foods rich in Omega-3 and healthy fats.
Summer increases our thirst for water. For optimum body functions we need this liquid to help us flush out toxins, maintain regular temperature and to keep headaches away. If you can’t stand the bland taste of water, you can flavor it with mint, lemon, lime and other fruits for improved taste. Warm weather and heat make us sweat more, especially when outdoors. Take fluids before during and after embarking on any strenuous activity like working out. Exercise in the mornings or late evenings. If you’re out stay in cool shaded places and have a bottle of water with you. Even if you’re indoors sip fluids regularly. Check your urine for colour. If it is dark drink more water to clear your urine and to cleanse the system. When you’re outside and overheated you can spray water on your body to cool you down.
Use summer time to educate and engage with the children. Align your leave from work with the time when schools are closed for the long vacation. With the summer holidays families can catch up on bonding, fun activities and keeping up with issues around. Tell them about the new deadly Indian “Delta” variant of the Covid-19 which is elusive to detect as it gives false negatives to nasal swab tests while it spreads directly to the lungs. Encourage the young ones 16 and under to get ready for the jabs and to continue wear masks when around people who are not part of their household. Though they are at low risk, the new variants can cause severe diseases in children. The virus can survive on surfaces for a while, reiterate the need to clean and disinfect when you’ve touched door knobs, switches, pull out chairs to sit on etc. Emphasize on the need to maintain non-transmission intervention at the individual level.
Avoid alcohols as much as possible. Some activities are not friends with alcoholic beverages. Swim smart – just like you shouldn’t drink and drive, remember to not consume alcoholic beverages if you must swimming. You need to be in the clear frame of mind to dive into the water. Swim safe is not an advice for the young ones only.
Don’t be tempted to put your skill on display especially in areas where there are strong currents even if a life guard is around. Swimming is a very refreshing activity during summer, so make use of pools, hot tubs water parks that are disinfected daily; this would inactivate the corona virus. Maintain social distance in swimming. Keep interactions brief. Don’t make use of cloth mask when swimming it could make breathing difficult leading to death.
In addition you should have your mask handy at all time if not on. The mask is has become a necessary accessory in these times. Wash hands regularly, keep a sanitizer handy, maintain your distance, always cough or sneeze intro your elbow and if feeling unwell stay away from others.
Experts from Harvard School of Public Health say being outdoors has a lower risk of contracting the Covid 19 virus than remaining in doors. Spending time outside benefits our physical and mental health. As the virus has a low survival rate in the open, being out in the sun this summer is a blessing. Based on this I think Africa calls for summer 2021, don’t you?!