Creating a non-specific ‘virus-hostile’ local mucosal environment is likely to be a promising approach to build a strong mucosal immunity against COVID-19. Healthy mucosal microenvironment with strong mucosal immunity will offer best natural resistance to invasion by COVID-19 infection during the possible 3rd wave.
Do you have your check-list ready before the third wave knocks in? Is the 3rd wave really inevitable? Will it be more relentless than the 1st and the 2nd? That being asked, it actually may be difficult to predict the magnitude of the 3rd wave. However, it’s certainly possible to measure its probable impact based on the previous 2 waves. These measurements can certainly serve as the foundation for getting a supple Health infrastructure ready for a possible 3rd wave.
Check-list to reduce the impact of a possible 3rd wave
- Get vaccinated. The vaccine has proven to reduce the intensity of the infection as well as reduce transportability.
- Set up Awareness Camps to eradicate myths.
- When coughing, cover the mouth with a cloth
- Do not smoke and stay away from other lung declining activities.
- Expand your Health Insurance Cover
- Encourage the poor to seek medical advice
- Do not believe in rumours
1. Get your basics right: Wear masks, follow social distancing
Children need to be educated about these measures and reminded time and again how important they are for their safety from the virus. The good old measures of wearing masks and social distancing measures will always be relevant even after vaccination. Hand hygiene is equally important. Children have to be told repeatedly about infection control measures. They need to follow good practices in form of washing hands, saying namaste when meeting people and not shake hands.
2. Improve Your Diet
The food you eat plays a key aspect in determining your overall health and immunity. Eat low carb diets, as this will help control high blood sugar and pressure. A low carb diet will help slow down diabetes and focus on a protein-rich diet to keep you in good shape. And regularly consume vegetables and fruits rich in Beta carotene, Ascorbic acid & other essential vitamins. Certain foods like mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper and green vegetables like broccoli, spinach are also good options to build resilience in the body against infections.
3. Drinking Warm Water
Drinking warm water is revered in Ayurveda. Studies have shown that warm water intake increases nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance to remove pathogens. The regular practice of drinking warm water will restore the mucosal microenvironment and may enhance mucosal barrier to COVID-19, apart from providing the essential hydration to the body.
4. Have the habit of doing breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are excellent for building lung’s capacity, oxygenating body cells and in building up body’s natural immunity against infections. Children should develop this positive habit for their overall health in future also, plus it is going to be a big deterrent for these viruses.
5. Manage your Stress Levels
Relieving stress and anxiety is key to immune health. Long-term stress promotes inflammation, as well as imbalances in immune cell function. Multiple methods can be adapted to lower stress levels, like yoga, meditation, dance, listening to soothing music to name a few.
6. Saline Warm Water Gargles and Steam Inhalation
The upper respiratory mucosa is sensitive to temperature and humidity. The regular practice of saline warm water gargles and steam inhalation regulates the local temperature and humidity with increased muco-ciliary movements this ensures perfect health of mucosal microenvironment and may prevent COVID-19 infection.
7. Herbs and Spices
India is the land of spices and herbs which are routinely used in Indian households. Black pepper , turmeric (haldi), Garlic, Ginger (Adrak), Cumin (Jeera), Black Cumin (Kalonji); Cinnamon (Dalchinni), Liquorice , Carrom (Ajwain); Fenugreek, Asafoetida ((Hing), Cardamom (Elaichi), Cloves (Long), Fennel seed, Bay leaf, Nutmeg (Jayaphal), Curry leaves, Mint, Mustard seed and Moringa stem (drumstick) are commonly used in Indian kitchen for cooking. These herbs and spices offer enormous health benefits due to their additive and synergistic impact on the biological functions which may enhance mucosal immunity.
8. Don’t Compromise on Sleep
Good snooze time for 7-8 hours is the best way to help your body build immunity; lesser sleep will leave you tired and impair your brain activity. The lack of sleep will prevent the body from resting and this will impair other bodily functions that will have a direct impact on your immunity. Lack of sleep adversely affects the action of the flu vaccine.