In the last few days, Qatar has been experiencing relatively cold weather with temperatures dipping below 10°C in some places early in the morning. Last Saturday, 22 January, Qatar Meteorology Department even reported that the lowest apparent temperature felt in Abu Samra was at -2.4°C.

It is expected to get even chillier during the ‘Bard Al Azariq’ days – the coldest days in the country, according to Qatar Calendar House. With the cold weather in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we simply cannot afford to get sick. Some people are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19 or the flu—or both—and need to take precautions to stay well and enjoy this snuggle weather. We have rounded up some tips to make it through the winter illness-free.

Wash your hands regularly and properly

Good hand hygiene serves as an effective line of defence against any virus that can live for hours on surfaces. Washing your hands with soap and clean running water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser helps in killing these germs and viruses. It is also best to avoid touching your face.

Clean and disinfect

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill. Your phone, your computer keyboard, doorknobs. pens, the handles in public transport, elevator buttons—keep these and other ‘frequently touched’ areas clean during flu season to help prevent any germ transmission.

Avoid confined and crowded places

As much as you can, avoid going to crowded places where any virus can spread exponentially. But if you really have to go to places like supermarkets or ride the Metro, always make sure that you keep your safe distance from people. Gatherings and celebrations, even small ones, are encouraged to be held outside, if possible, of course with proper cold-weather gear. If held indoors, limiting group size and ensuring good ventilation by opening a door or window are key to reducing the risks of exposure. Minimum safety standards like properly wearing facemasks are no-brainers.

Get enough sleep, stay active and prioritise nutrition

A strong, healthy body offers protection against sickness. This winter, make sure you eat plenty of fluids, nutritious food like fruits, vegetables and limit sugary, fatty, and salty treats. Staying physically active is also important during flu season. If you’re uncomfortable exercising in the cold, take it inside. Getting enough sleep also helps keep your body in good condition.

Get vaccinated and take your vitamins

vaccine stock image

Including Vitamin C and Vitamin D in your diet not only helps your immune system stay in shape, but it can also even boost your mood. Talk to your doctor for more information on how vitamins can supplement your diet, support your immune system and help you feel better. Vaccine booster shots are also now being administered at various vaccination sites and are proven effective in preventing serious COVID-19 illness.

Be responsible

You can also do your part to avoid spreading any illness. Flu and COVID-19 symptoms can be very similar and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. If you start to notice these symptoms, better take precautions such as isolating yourself from others and get tested.

Winter only happens once a year and it will be disappointing if we won’t be able to enjoy it because we are sick. Combining vaccination with these simple preventive measures this winter helps us to live our lives while controlling the virus and avoiding widespread lockdowns.

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Author: Weslee Dizon

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