Isolation and COVID-19

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Day 193: Stay Safe Minnesota

While in isolation, a sedentary life style may wrench our body, weaken our hears and lungs and may impair our brain function.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have remained in confinement for over nine months to stay safe from infection or others may be working from home in isolation. The CNN reporters Scottie Andrew, Kelly Flynn and Max Pepper write an important reminder that ‘life in confinement can cause physical ailments on its own’.

Being home-bound for so long contorts the body, weakens the heart and lungs and even impairs brain function. The effects of life in isolation may stay with us beyond the pandemic’s end (whenever that may be).

From the CNN

The following is a lists conditions, prepared by the CNN Health reporters, that may exert to our body due to isolation or sedentary life style:

  • Start Losing Muscles: According to Keith Baar, a professor of molecular exercise physiology at the University of California-Davis, one starts losing muscles in while staying isolation. Slowly muscle strengths (a sign of longevity) start getting weaker just like getting older. “The stronger we stay, the easier it is for us to maintain our longevity.”
  • Heart & Lungs Get Weaker: Lack of exercises or movements makes our heart and lung weak due to less heart pumping or less blood flow to the lungs. Exercise is the only key to improve both heart and lung function; not a single medication can do that.
  • Get Belly Fat: When in isolation at home, chances of frequently eating unhealthy food increases, which is not controlled also increases insulin levels. Insulin encourages fat storage and converts other fat molecules to fat. Though it may be normal to gain weight during stress, such a weight gain may turn into obesity and our body resists insulin causing other chronic health problems.
  • Affects Posture: While in seated position, our posture may slumped forward, shoulders hunched; spine curled, neck bent; on your chest, elbows up. “Getting up from your seat once an hour, walking around and stretching for a moment. You might even lie on the floor and let your back readjust.
  • Suffer Sleep: If we stayed at home entire day, our body may lack vitamin D (available from sunlight) which sustains bone density and keep fatigue at bay. “Getting enough sunlight in the morning helps synchronize your body’s circadian rhythm. So if you’re shut in all week or working in the dark, your sleep might suffer, too”.
  • Brain Slows: A sedentary lifestyle can slow our brain. “Exercise produces certain chemicals in the brain that break down toxins in the blood and even prevent them from going to the brain, where they can kill brain cells.

The effects of isolation are insidious — like the pandemic, the physical symptoms after months of seclusion often aren’t obvious until they become harmful or extreme.

From the CNN Health

Citing health experts, Scottie Andrew writes “prioritizing your mental and physical health while staying home requires some work, but it’s a healthier coping mechanism for uncertainty than staying stationary until Covid-19 is no longer a threat”.

Because I had started working from home before the pandemic began, this is a great reminder to all of us to be mindful of adverse effects caused by isolation to our body and follow appropriate remedies to stay well, fit and healthy.

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of Oct 5, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 104,799 (out of 2,169,786 tested) with 2,083 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of Oct 5, 1:23 p.m.) there are 7,445,897 confirmed covid19 infection with 210,013 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 35,330,119 with 1,038,958 deaths.