By now, I’m sure you and your loved ones already know and have been taking all the precautions to minimize the chances of being affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19, such as:
- Staying home specially if you are not feeling well (update for Hawaii – Stay at Home/Work from Home Order)
- Avoiding touching your mouth and nose, since as far as we know, the COVID-19 virus infects lungs as its main entry point
- Scrubbing your hands with water and soap while singing happy birthday two times
- Covering your cough and sneeze with a disposable napkin, or as a last resort, into the inside of your elbow (because clothes can harbor the virus for a week or more)
- Refraining from hugging, kissing, shaking hands or giving high fives (which is so hard given my natural Brazilian instincts)
Another very powerful way to keep ourselves healthy during this stressful time is to “preload” our body with the right foods. Preloading strengthens our immune system to be ready to fight against germs and viruses. So now more than ever, it is a great time to add to our diet those nutrients and foods that help boost our “internal army”:
orange, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, and cantaloupe
seeds, healthy vegetable oils, and grains
carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, and tomatoes
berries, cherries, grapes, celery, parsley, oranges, apple skin, onions, endive, radishes, and tomatoes
oysters, crab, beef, turkey (dark meat) and beans
tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, garlic
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
flax oil and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines
Preloading strengthens our immune system to be ready to fight against germs and viruses
Moving our bodies for at least 30 minutes per day is also essential during this time. Research shows that more movement kicks the immune system into gear and makes our natural fighter cells stronger to ward off unwanted organisms. Choose something that brings you joy. It can be as simple as walking around the block, dancing your favorite playlist, playing with your kids or even just tidying up your house.
Taking the precautions and tips mentioned above will hopefully decrease, for most of us, the chances of being affected by the Coronavirus. However, there are a few groups of people who might need some extra help to get through these uncertain times. The elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and those who cannot rely on family or friends, or any outside help, are the ones with the highest risk of being seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Social distancing is a must in the current situation but can also aggravate the problems for these vulnerable groups of people.
So what are ways we can help our most vulnerable community members?
Let’s take this opportunity to be creative and think of small acts of kindess we can do to help those who are most vulnerable.
Here are a few ideas on how to generate health and happiness for those in need. We would love your help to create a longer list:
- Offer to help to pick up, or order online groceries, prescription medicines, or other essentials
- Make a nutritious meal or smoothie for your beloved elder to strengthen their immune system
- Schedule a 6-feet apart pau-hana chat with that neighbor who lives by himself/herself
- Mail your kids’ drawing or a love note to the grandparents
- Call that aunty and uncle who love to chat
- Send cute and funny photos to the ones who need some light
If you come up with an idea, please share on your social media channel and use the hashtag #actsofkindnesshawaii
Yesterday we wrote and dropped off a little note to our kupuna neighbor and Sky attached one of her precious beach treasures on the note:)
By taking precautions to protect ourselves and by offering small acts of kindess to those in need, I know we will overcome this extraordinary situation. Now is the time to create healthy, positive and lasting change for everyone.
We are all in this together!
photos by Marissa Phillips