The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has infected thousands of people around the globe, affecting more than 50 countries. This has prompted the World Health Organization to declare the new illness as a global emergency and many heads of state are warning their citizens to prepare for a possible pandemic. The virus has reached the United States, with confirmed cases in California.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China and it spreads from person to person via a cough or sneeze droplets. It is also possible to get the virus by touching an inanimate object that has been infected with the virus, such as door handles, seats on public transportation, and other public utilities.
Patients who are infected suffer fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms are similar to the flu and common cold so it is difficult to detect without testing. The Covid-19 coronavirus is also said to cause pneumonia and organ failure in extreme cases. If you are infected with the virus, it may take a few days before you experience symptoms so it is possible to spread the virus unknowingly.
Why should people in addiction recovery be vigilant against Covid-19?
If you are in addiction recovery, it is important to update yourself about the Covid-19 and learn ways on how you can protect yourself and prepare in case of a pandemic. This is relevant in the recovery community because based on available data, the new coronavirus is particularly threatening to people with weakened immune systems and pre-existing conditions.
In an interview with Contagion Live, Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist, assistant commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health, said that “All individuals with weakened immune systems that they might be at higher risk for complications associated with the virus that causes COVID illness.”
People who are abusing or have abused drugs and alcohol in the past are more susceptible to the new coronavirus because of their damaged immune systems. Drugs and alcohol have been shown to weaken the body’s immune system, therefore lowering its ability to naturally fight off viruses and infections.
How can you prepare, prevent, and protect yourself against Covid-19 coronavirus?
You can protect yourself from acquiring the virus by following preventive measures and taking care of your health. Here are some suggestions.
Eat well and exercise
Many health experts said that recovery from the novel coronavirus highly depends on how strong the immune system of the patient is. This means that it is very important to strengthen your body. Eat nutritious meals with a lot of vegetables and fruits. You can also take Vitamin C and other multivitamins. Avoid unhealthy food like sugar, alcohol, and junk food that provide empty calories.
While this may not be the time to go to the gym or attend group exercise classes, it is still important to stay fit and active. You can search online or on YouTube for simple exercises you can do at home.
Get adequate sleep
Many people underestimate the power of good-quality sleep. Sleep has been shown to help the immune system. When you don’t get enough sleep, infection-fighting cells and antibodies are reduced. Make sure you sleep 7 to 9 hours a day. If you feel tired, rest and have a nap.
Frequent hand washing
Wash your hands with soap and water to kill off the virus that you may have picked up. This is particularly important if you’ve been to a public place, before you eat, and once you reach your home. Make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly for about 20 seconds. Don’t forget to cleanse the inside of your fingers, the top of your hands, and your wrist.
You can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer if hand washing is not possible. If you do not have a sanitizer and you are in a public place, avoid touching your face because you can transfer the virus from contaminated surfaces that you have touched to your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Avoid crowded places
As much as possible, avoid going to crowded places or in enclosed venues where you could be in close contact with many people, including tourist areas, markets, cinemas, clubs, concerts, etc. Distance yourself from people who are sick. Avoid shaking hands, kissing cheeks, or touching public items if not necessary. It is also wise to delay unnecessary travel for now.
Seek early medical help
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, seek early medical help by getting tested. If you are already sick, avoid going out to protect other people from getting the virus. Doing a self-quarantine is also recommended for people who have recently traveled or have been in contact with people who traveled to China, South Korea, or Italy.
Consider online AA meetings or support groups
If there is a Covid-19 case in your area, it is better to stay at home and work from home if possible. If you need to attend a support group meeting or visit your counselor, consider doing an online alternative for the time being.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, contact Lighthouse Treatment today.