MAILBAG: Protect Yourself Against New COVID Variants
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
“Most of my family has been hit with COVID. We’re thinking it’s the latest variant. Are there any extra, new recommendations for protecting yourself against the variant? (Aside from washing your hands?) My husband and I have tested negative so far, but we want to be careful.”
–Tammy from Lancaster, Pennsylvania
I wish I had some fantastic breakthroughs to share with you about how to avoid a COVID infection. But for now, the recommendations remain the same regardless of the variant that’s circulating.
The silver lining is that we already KNOW how to reduce our risk of getting sick.
As we head into the fall and winter months, we’ll spend much more time indoors. That means we must protect ourselves and others from getting sick again. After all, there’s plenty of evidence now that repeat COVID-19 infections raise your risk for complications.
So, let’s do a quick refresher. And then stick around after because I DO have one more trick you can add to your bag of “anti-COVID” tricks that you likely have not heard of before.
You can reduce your risk of becoming infected with all of the COVID variants (or ANY virus) by taking a few simple steps:
- Wash your hands often. It may sound obvious, but it’s so critical to stopping the spread of infections that it bears repeating. Most people have no idea how often they touch their faces. (Spoiler alert… it’s a LOT!) But each time you do, you transfer whatever’s on your hands to the places closest to your mouth and nose. And, of course, that’s the route infections take to get into your body.
- Avoid crowds when possible. The more people you’re around, the more potential exposures to the virus you have. Stick to smaller gatherings whenever you can.
- Wear a mask. The subject has been contentious. But the bottom line is – masks work. There’s a reason doctors like me wore them long before the pandemic began. Studies show masks ARE effective at reducing the spread of viruses. Plus, they may help reduce the amount of the virus you’re exposed to, potentially reducing the severity of an infection if you do get sick.
- Stay healthy. Giving your body what it needs to function at the top of its game can help you dodge infections of all sorts. Fuel up with healthy foods, including lots of fresh veggies, good fats, and proteins. And avoid inflammatory sugars, vegetable oils, and processed foods. Get plenty of good quality sleep. And exercise regularly.
And now for that new bit of advice.
Recent research revealed nasal irrigation can significantly reduce the severity of viral infections sending your risk of being hospitalized plummeting.
Nasal irrigation is rinsing out your nose with a salt solution. I like to dissolve ¼ teaspoon salt in a cup of lukewarm distilled water.
Then, using a neti pot or bottle (available online at Amazon or Walmart), I direct the salt-water solution up one nostril, allowing it to exit through the other. If you need help visualizing it check YouTube for some demonstration videos.
I suggest trying nasal irrigation in the shower. It can feel a bit strange or uncomfortable your first time. But I promise it doesn’t hurt.
P.S. Cold, flu, and COVID symptoms overlap, making it difficult to tell them apart (even for experts). But some tell-tale signs are more common in each type of infection. You just need to know what to look for.
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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