The Outbreak Diaries: Feeling Healthier These Days, Despite Epidemic

Healthier during an epidemic? As strange as this might sound, I’ve enjoyed one of the healthiest winter months of recent in the past 30 days or so, since the novel coronavirus epidemic started.

Of course, such an outbreak creates an inevitable motivation. As I detailed earlier in the post How the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Has Changed My Daily Life Here in China, we’ve experienced a lot of life changes that have made our health an important issue. We must pass temperature checks to enter the community and enter the main building. We have to report our health condition daily to HR as well.

And COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has symptoms that are very similar to the common cold. Which means, if you’re unfortunate enough to come down with a common cold, you might actually end up at the hospital anyhow for a check and confirmation you don’t have the novel coronavirus.

So staying as healthy as possible has really become my No. 1 focus over the past month. And that has meant things like more care with hygiene, avoiding going out or crowds, eating well, getting enough rest and just not pushing myself too hard on a daily basis. If I feel exhausted after coming home from work (which isn’t unusual, given that we’ve seen an avalanche of stories pass our desks because of the epidemic), I’ll just indulge in a relaxing foot bath and maybe watch my favorite nature series or finish off my latest book. I would rather rest more than risk overdoing it, which could lower my immunity and make me more susceptible to getting ill.

In fact, none of this is really earth shattering or worthy of headlines. It’s just good common sense that your mom or grandma probably told you about a long time ago. And as low tech as it all sounds, it truly does work.

(And also, to anyone out there who still continues to worry about me, my good health is a reminder that we are truly doing just fine, as I reported initially at the start of this whole outbreak.)

While we’ve seen a decline in new cases here in China, including a number of provinces and regions such as Beijing that have reported no new cases over a few days, the outbreak still hasn’t ended yet. The recent news of surging cases from other countries, such as South Korea and Italy, stands as a reminder that we all need to remain vigilant.

And authorities in Beijing have reminded the public here recently not to get complacent, despite the drop in new cases or reports of no cases. We still must avoid crowds in public, wear masks outside, and not pack too many people into the office, as many companies used to.

Which means health will continue to remain my priority, until the whole world finally wins the war on this novel coronavirus epidemic.

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