As India reopens after the COVID-19 pandemic, we must still continue to take necessary precautions. While many are tired of adhering to social distancing, sanitising, and wearing masks, these things are still necessary as there are still several months to go before everyone is vaccinated. For those with comorbidities such as diabetes, adhering to COVID-19 rules is even more important.
Diabetes management in COVID-19 comes with its own challenges, as while being diabetic doesn’t make you more likely to contract the virus, it can cause more severe symptoms and worse complications if you do contract the virus. That’s why while India slowly reopening is good news and something we’ve all been looking forward to for months, precautions must still be taken.
Below are three tips for managing diabetes during the pandemic and as the country opens up:
1) Be smart about who you meet and where you go
The crowds are now back in restaurants, clubs, and bars. The malls are full of shoppers and the roads are loud again with the sound of engines and horns. The city is busy and back together, but that doesn’t mean you ought to be. It only takes one person at your favourite cafe to brush past you while walking to their table for you to contract the virus. It only takes you touching the same dress a customer with the virus touched five minutes ago to get it. Everything seems safe, until you actually contract the virus.
You’ve been vigilant for the last several months- don’t stop now. There’s a much higher chance now than ever as people move around as if COVID-19 is long gone. Be smart about where you choose to be and who you choose to see. Don’t eat out on the weekends. Order food, groceries, and clothes online if you can. Meet family and friends who are careful, but avoid those whose carelessness could land you in the hospital.
2) Prioritise healthy living
As a diabetic, eating healthy and exercising is forever at the top of your mind, but now, having a balanced, nutritious diet and getting regular exercise is all the more necessary. For a healthy immune system, you must get nutrients, exercise, and sleep. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight, get the required vitamins and minerals, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Use your glucose monitoring device to make sure you’re healthy in the blood glucose department as well. If there are any problems, book an online consultation with a doctor immediately. Being healthy will not only help in managing diabetes, but will also make you less susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and other diseases.
3) Be prepared
In case you do contract the virus, be prepared. Be in regular contact with a doctor who you can speak to right away if there is any problem. If you live alone, ensure you have enough diabetes medications with you in case you have to stay at home for the next two weeks or so. Ask your doctor how your medications will change if you contract the virus. Are there medicines that will not be safe to take with COVID-19 treatment medication? Have your sugar level checking machine nearby you at all times.
A continuous blood sugar monitor such as Abbott FreeStyle Libre can be especially useful in these times as the device gives you your current glucose reading, 8 hours of data, and the direction your glucose levels are heading in. Remember to take precautions, but don’t panic. Feeling stressed and anxious isn’t good for your immune system or overall health either. There is no reason to stress, as long as you’re well prepared.