Humanity thought it had seen it all: epidemics, wars, market crashes – events that wiped out entire clans and tribes of different human civilizations. Nobody had imagined that we hadn’t seen the worst of it yet. No one could have foretold the crisis we are in: they call it COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a watershed moment in human history. Not that we have not seen worse outbreaks of diseases; what makes COVID-19 stand out from the crowd is the time of its occurrence. With technological advancement in healthcare to curb mass-murdering epidemics and global organizations such as the UN, EU working to keep the threats of war at bay, we were supposed to have overcome our vulnerabilities.
Nature, it seems, had other ideas. Let’s not get into finger-pointing – regardless of who caused this spread, the fact is, COVID-19 is here, and nobody knows for how long.
Historically, times such as these have forced humans to let go of the past and make a fresh start in the world. COVID-19 is a quintessential example of such an epidemic.
It is a doorway, an inlet from the old world to the new one.
Some years from now, people will be talking about this crisis with the same casual familiarity as they refer to the two World Wars and 9/11.
The choice as to how we want to react to nature’s most blatant intervention to our way of life is entirely ours. We can either lay back and let events unfold before our eyes, or step up to take charge, make the most of this ‘opportunity’ and do things we haven’t done in centuries.
When was the last time we could breathe in a smog-free air, see a star-laden night sky, or hear the birds chirp without their voices muffled by racketing engines? When was the last time we could spend time with our families and not think of that time as an anomaly rather than normality?
So through a two-part series of posts, we wanted to share with our community how you can look after yourself and your family and friends in these testing times, develop some healthy practices, and possibly try to stick to them even after this crisis is over.
While there could be several aspects of our daily life to discuss in this light, in today’s “Part I” post, we’ll be covering 7 Ways to Shop and Look for Healthy Foods to help you and your family and friends maintain good health through the pandemic.
Healthy Foods to Look For
“I am twice the man now than I was before COVID-19. In pounds.”
(Random quote from LinkedIn)
We all know we must stay home, maintain a social distance; this is all very good. But all of this will have been done in vain if we end up eating tons of junk food just because we have nothing better to do.
It feels like a catastrophe that we had to wait till being hit by a global pandemic before turning our attention to eating a healthy diet. Eating healthy should be your lifestyle, not a momentary aberration to established practices: overeating, eating junk food, overeating junk food.
But, enough of the bickering. Let’s look at some options as to how we can eat healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak:
1. Increasing Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables
This might seem like an outlandish suggestion amidst the lockdowns. “How is it possible to buy fresh fruit and vegetables when we need to stay home?” you might ask.
Well – I see where you are coming from. But you can buy in bulk, refrigerate and consume as and when needed. This way, you don’t have to leave your house too often, and refrigeration typically keeps the freshness intact for several days.
2. Best Alternative to Fresh Food? Canned Food (Duh!)
Desperate times ask for desperate measures. It is best to eat only fresh food, but what to do when fresh food is far from accessible? Answer: use canned food.
Better yet, use dried food. Dried chickpeas, beans, rice, grains – these are all options that are light on the pocket and should be readily available even in these times.
For canned food, canned vegetables, beans, oily fish are a few decent options.
3. Healthy Snacks – Yes, They Exist
Whenever someone says ‘snack,’ it raises an instant red flag. It doesn’t have to. There are snacks out there that are not spiked up in sugar or fried in oil.
Foods like yogurt, nuts, boiled eggs prove to be a handful when it’s not quite time for a full-blown meal, but you are feeling hungry altogether.
4. Nutrients to Look For
Lastly, here are some nutrients you need to look for to stay healthy during quarantine: Vitamin-C, magnesium, zinc, healthy fatty acids, probiotics.
Good Shopping Tips
The list of useful shopping tips during a global pandemic features just one line item: Do not go shopping!
These days, virtually every grocery item can be purchased online. Download the best grocery delivery app in your area, select the things you need, and place the order. Your grocery will be at your doorsteps in a matter of minutes.
Still, if under unfortunate, cadaverous circumstances, you do have to leave your house and go to a grocery store – I say a grocery store, not a shopping mall – there are precautionary measures you can take. These measures are spread across three stages: before leaving, at the store, after coming home.
5. Before you Leave
Think hard, “is this inevitable? Can’t I just place an order online”? If the answer is not in the affirmative, strategize as to how you should go to the store. One obvious step to take is to go alone and not fill up the car to capacity – this isn’t a family excursion.
If you are unfortunately suffering from coronavirus, then no matter what, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE.
6. Inside the Store
Pay keen attention to the things you touch. Sanitize the ones you can. Wash your hands as frequently as possible. Keep a safe distance from other people. Report a person if you find them sneezing and coughing.
Wear a mask. Wearing gloves would be overkill. Under no circumstances are you to touch your face, eyes, or nose.
7. When Back Home
Wash your hands. Wash everything you’ve brought with you. There are people on social media claiming you should leave your food out in the garage for several days to kill the virus. Do not listen to them. Others are saying you should wash your food with soap or detergent – Don’t listen to them either.
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll do not just yourself a favor, but the world at large.