It’s hard to think of lockdown easing without getting nervous about COVID-19. A lot of people have not yet gone out of lockdown or relaxed the safety measures in their households. With social distancing being reduced to 1 metre in the next few days, more and more public venues can reopen their doors – as long as they maintain safety regulations.
Needless to say, we can’t afford to relax our attention about the virus.
But have you ever considered what other health risks could a relaxed lockdown cause?
While our attention is focused on the coronavirus, we could be falling behind on other issues. Indeed, if you’re carefully planning your summer around COVID-19 risks, you may miss some pressing threats. There is no denying that 2020 is going to be a very different summer. If you had planned to take a vacation abroad, you might be cautious about travelling, despite the air bridges to be introduced in as many as 75 countries for safe travel from the UK. Ultimately, as the situation is evolving in the UK and some cities are said to be going back into lockdown, international travel is an unknown entity you’d rather avoid for now.
Is staying home safer? It could be: you have control about most elements so you can react quickly if a new outbreak hits. But what families forget is that the summer out of lockdown presents other health risks that are not related to COVID-19. Here’s what you want to consider this summer:
There are no public toilets
Most shops have reopened. Soon restaurants and cafés will also be able to open as long as they can keep their visitors safe. But public restrooms, on the other hand, have become a game of luck. While some venues are making their public bathrooms available to all visitors, others have chosen to keep the toilets locked. As a result, if you’re planning a day out this summer, you may not be able to go to the bathroom for several hours. It’s not only uncomfortable, but it could also lead to health complications.
Did you know, for instance, not being able to go often enough to the toilet could lead to a urinary infection? If you don’t want to find yourself buying treatment for cystitis in an emergency after an unlucky day out, you need to research your destination carefully. For the time being, avoid any place that doesn’t have available toilets. You don’t want to spend an entire day without going to the loo!
You don’t have a balanced diet
Why should your diet be a risk this summer? Surely, I can eat whatever I want during my holiday, you think. And you would be right. However, you have to consider the available eateries during your days out. Restaurants can safely reopen their doors from July 4th; however, most will need longer to adapt their layout and their menu to meet the new health and safety regulations. As such, you may have limited options when it comes to grabbing a bite on the go. You may have to rely on sandwiches bought in shops, or the usual crisps or biscuits. Unhealthy food options are likely to drive cravings. More importantly, they don’t replenish your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs. As cravings appear, they tend to take over other sensations, such as thirst, so in the end, the unhealthy meal options could leave you dehydrated, which can be dangerous in summer.
What’s the right approach? Prepare your own lunchbox to carry around with you. To keep things under control, a balanced diet, using nutritional ready meals or homemade ones, can keep you healthy and safe this summer.
Finally, we’re out in the sun!
How long has it been since your last proper day out? Granted, even during the lockdown, people were allowed to go out one hour a day, but that is never enough to enjoy the warmth of a British summer day. So, now that you can spend an entire day outside, let’s make the most of it!
However, don’t be tempted to skip the necessary sunscreen because you’re worried that self-isolation has added an unpleasant pallor to your skin. Sunscreen protection protects you only against harmful AVA and B rays. But it doesn’t mean you can’t get a tan. You can build a golden glow while still wearing SPF. As your skin is unprepared for prolonged sun exposure, as a result of the lockdown, skipping sunscreen SPF is likely to cause nasty sunburns.
Can we stop washing our hands so often?
The short answer is no. The long answer is that your immune system has had a rest for the last few months. Staying at home most of the time means that you’ve avoided many of the typical winter bugs. In other words, your immunologic reflexes may be a little slow to catch up with the outside world. There are many bugs and viruses in summer that are way less harmful than COVID-19, but that could still knock you out for a few days. So keep up with the hand washing routine! There’s no need to take risks.
Are you getting thirsty? You’re likely to be this summer, especially if you have to queue to get into shops and buy a bottle of water on the go. Dehydration can come in many forms. At first, you may feel thirsty or dry. But if you don’t react quickly, over the course of a hot day, being dehydrated can have much more serious consequences. It can lead to extreme fatigue, combined with summer heat; you may experience dizziness and nausea. These are signs of a heat stroke, that can affect anyone in summer. However, with many shops and restaurants changing their opening hours and access, heatstroke is becoming a real risk in 2020. Stay on the safe side, and pack a rucksack with a bottle of water before you go.