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(Masking continued…)

The CDC’s website details the following mask recommendations (which is fluid depending on your local government regulations):

  • Everyone 2 years or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places.
  • In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).

Besides masking and using the proper hygiene, getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster is also the best way to help slow the spread of this illness. Everyone over the age of 5 is now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine.

There are currently three different COVID-19 vaccines available – Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson – the CDC says that ANY of the vaccines are more effective than NO vaccine. The dosage is altered for children aged 5 to 11, and boosters are currently available to most adults (depending on your location).

With more than 67 million cases to date in the United States, we can only hope that we are soon approaching the end of the pandemic. By using your best judgement when it comes to illness, isolating when necessary, using proper hygiene, wearing a mask, and getting your vaccine, we can help combat COVID-19 together and get back to a normal life sooner rather than later.

(Symptoms continued…)

persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and/or pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the more severe symptoms listed above, please seek medical care immediately.

Looking over the signs and symptoms, many people wonder, “How do I know if it’s the cold/flu or COVID/Omicron?” Both the flu and Omicron are highly contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses.

According to the CDC, “COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.”

Testing is the most accurate way to determine if you have COVID-19, and there are many ways to test, different types of tests and different regulations regarding testing and their results. So, the best way to figure out who should test, when you should test and what you should do after testing is to check your local government’s website for the appropriate response.

One of the best ways to avoid Omicron and other COVID-19 variants is to use proper hygiene. It seems obvious, sure, but it is still the number one way to avoid illness.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, coughing or sneezing, using the restroom and before handing food – whether you are making something to eat or eating. The CDC says, that “If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. And avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.”

Masking, whether you are vaccinated or not, is also another major way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. (cont’d.)

Editor’s Note: Information within this three-part article titled “All Things COVID-19” has been obtained in part by research done through the Centers for Disease Control’s website (www.cdc.gov). Should you be concerned that you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or any of its variants, please seek medical attention.

We are quickly approaching the two-year anniversary of the first known cases of COVID-19 in the United States and the beginning of this worldwide pandemic. We have learned so much over the past two years about COVID-19 and all its subsequent variants, but as conditions are constantly changing, we also must adapt to those changes regarding hygiene, masking, symptoms, vaccines, and so much more. In this three-part article and with the help of research conducted on the CDC’s website, we will talk about many different aspects of COVID-19 and its variants.

Symptoms – According to the CDC, people with COVD-19 (any variant) have experienced a wide-variety of symptoms – from mild cold and cough type symptoms to more severe life-threatening symptoms. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

While many of these symptoms are simply inconvenient, there are many symptoms that are more severe like trouble breathing, (cont’d.)

  • Or stay
  • Colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

It’s February… again. Yeah, we know that for some February is their least favorite month (Hello Groundhog Day?!) but this short month is the perfect opportunity to start a Winter Challenge!

 

This easy at-home winter challenge can be adapted any way that you see fit. Want a harder workout? Double the amount of reps/miles/etc. Need a more laid-back work out? Lessen the reps/miles/etc. Any way you look at it, you are still getting that much-needed mid-winter exercise.

Here’s the 28-day (thanks short month!) February Fitness Challenge breakdown and feel free to adjust accordingly!

Day 1: 25 squats

Day 2: 10 burpees

Day 3: 30-second plank

Day 4: 10 push ups

Day 5: 1-mile walk

Day 6: 25 walking lunges

Day 7: 30-second bridge

Day 8: 20 donkey kicks

Day 9: 50 high knees

Day 10: 2-mile walk

Day 11: 25 burpees

Day 12: 15 pushups

Day 13: 150 jumping jacks

Day 14: 45-second plank

Day 15: 50 jump squats

Day 16: 30 jump lunges

Day 17: 45-second bridge

Day 18: 30 donkey kicks

Day 19: 20 pushups

Day 20: 3-mile walk

Day 21: 60-second plank

Day 22: 20 single leg bridges

Day 23: 150 skiers

Day 24: 40 walking lunges

Day 25: 50 squats

Day 26: 20 burpees

Day 27: 60-second bridge

Day 28: 100 high knees 

We are well into the cold and flu season and unfortunately everyone knows someone that has been down and out with cold and flu symptoms this year. Or even worse, COVID.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to help you stay healthy throughout the winter. Here are five simple ways to stay cold and flu-free:

  1. Load up on garlic. It contains allicin, which has antiviral properties.
  2. Sweat it out in the sauna. Sweating helps to release toxins in the body.
  3. Get the proper amount of sleep. Sleeping helps you to be feel more energized and helps your immune system fight off germs.
  4. Eat your chicken noodle soup. It contains anti-inflammatory deliciousness that strengthens disease-fighting cells.
  5. Have your yogurt. The probiotics help strengthen your immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells in your body.