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Three Important Health Lessons from the Pandemic

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So, folks…with the light appearing to come into view at the end of the proverbial pandemic tunnel. It may be fairly tempting for a lot of us to revert to our pre-pandemic ways and then forget some of the important health lessons we’ve learned and practiced. And at the risk of semonizing, it really is worth remembering how maintaining good habits can continue to help us going-forward.

Joining us today is Mihaela Vincze, Public Health Expert for nonprofit Transamerica Institute®, and she’s here to discuss three important health lessons we’ve “hopefully” learned through the pandemic and should keep in mind moving forward.

Perhaps stating the painfully obvious, this has been quite a year for all of us. So then…Why should we be reflecting on our pandemic experiences and for that matter, those lessons learned?

Mihaela Vincze:

Even as we begin to see COVID-19 restrictions lifted, we don’t want to let ourselves forget how this pandemic has highlighted the importance of prioritizing health and wellbeing. Reflecting on the health lessons we have learned this year can help us to be more conscious of our health and take precautions to avoid future health problems.

Al Waller:

Absolutely, because after this year and … Oh what a year! We now know that good health is no longer a given, right? So, in your mind, what should be at the top of the list as far as health lessons we should continue focusing on?

Mihaela Vincze: The first lesson is to prioritize hygiene and sanitation. As the pandemic unfolded last year, we all drastically increased the amount of times we washed our hands, sanitized our belongings, and avoided coming in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces in order to prevent COVID-19 infection. Looking forward, it is important to maintain these hygiene and sanitation efforts, not only to avoid COVID-19 but also to avoid other viruses and contaminants.

Al Waller:

Yeah, and after the year we’ve had, I suspect I’ll continue to keep myself armed with hand sanitizer at all times. What’s next on your lessons to bear in mind?

Mihaela Vincze:

The second lesson we must remember is to consistently prioritize healthy habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In light of COVID-19, we learned how habits such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep could help boost our immune systems and protect ourselves from the virus. We also learned how chronic conditions that are linked to unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, and physical inactivity could worsen the impacts of COVID-19. It is important for us to remember how a healthy lifestyle can improve our defenses against disease and prevent chronic health conditions.

Al Waller:

Agreed and another great point- because I think the pandemic has prompted many to do some personal soul searching and recognizing the importance of healthy habits as something we should prioritize and integrate into our futures. Okay, so what’s the third health lesson we’d benefit by reflecting on?

Mihaela Vincze:

The third lesson has to do with mental health. Mental health was a huge discussion this past year because the pandemic introduced new levels of stress and deprived us of our sense of normalcy. Being in lockdown forced us to explore new ways to take care of our mental health; many of us turned to strategies such as meditation, exercise, hobbies, virtual socialization, or online therapy. These mental health strategies should not be left behind, as they can continue to serve us in the future.

Al Waller:

I have to say I’m with you there and as you’ve illustrated, despite the challenges introduced by the pandemic, I think it’s clearly taught us some very valuable lessons about our personal health and life in general.

That’s all the time we have today. You’ve been listening to another episode of ClearPath – Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth. This is Al Waller on WYPR, Your NPR News Station. Until the next time, please-continue to stay safe & thanks for listening.

Clearpath - Your Road To Health and Wealth is paid for by Transamerica Institute.

Al Waller is a long time native of the Baltimore area. He entered the field of Human Resources Management starting as an HR Generalist with PwC (Pricewaterhouse-Coopers). This marked the beginning of a 30 year career that advanced into the management level for locally and globally based corporations. His primary area of expertise has focused on but not limited to: Talent Acquisition /Retention, Employee Relations as well as Training & Development.
Mihaela is a public health expert for nonprofit Transamerica Institute