It feels like this year is going past very quickly with Winter nearly here again. I hope you all managed to enjoy some surprisingly sunny British weather over the past few months while it lasted.
The mood in Britain seems to be one of concerned optimism as the Government launches its Winter Plan to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Because while the scientific data all points to a likely rise in Covid cases in the coming Winter months, we do have a huge proportion of the population double vaccinated with additional booster shots now being rolled out for the over 50’s and vulnerable people.
So how do you protect yourself in this period? Whilst it has been positive to see some normality returning to society we must also be mindful that Covid has not simply gone away. And many of the routines and rules which have kept us safe so far will continue to do so and should not be discarded.
The first and most important point is make sure you’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The NHS app makes it very easy to manage this while the NHS website is the easiest place to book a jab. If you have older or younger people in your family, be sure to keep an eye on the news as they too may be eligible for their first dose if over 12 or a third “booster” jab if older or vulnerable.
It would also be sensible to exercise caution when going about your business in the coming months. The Government states while it’s no longer mandatory to wear a face mask in England, if you are on a busy train for example it would be the sensible thing to do for everyone’s protection.
The same goes for crowded spaces and events where Covid spreads more rapidly in indoor settings. It is always worth listening to the little voice in your head asking if you feel this is a safe situation and to take steps to protect yourself and others.
Finally, the pandemic has been a wake up call for many people to stop and take a good look at their own health. Is your diet as good as it can be? Are you getting enough exercise and sleep? Is now the time to cut down on your drinking? Finally give up smoking? Or invest some time in making sure your mental wellbeing is as good as it can be?
As Winter sets in and sunlight reduces, many people may also experience lower levels of Vitamin D which our bodies normally generate from the sun. The NHS has advised people to consider a Vitamin D supplement in the Winter months for some years now which is another good way of ensuring your body has what it needs.
A good place to start your research and new leaf is the NHS website which has accurate, factual guides and expert advice on kickstarting your health. https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/
Until next time, stay safe.
Dr Hilary Jones.