The latest reports on the COVID-19 pandemic have confirmed that there are now three million confirmed cases of the infection around the world. As the death toll continues to increase, several health authorities have also cautioned for a second wave of the coronavirus in countries that had previously controlled the infection.
Amidst the fears of an even deadlier second wave, the World Health Organization and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that is it important to continue to follow the official guidelines for avoiding contracting and further spread of the virus.
Until there are confirmed reports of control over the pandemic, social distancing and limited contact are the two most significant guidelines to be followed. However, due to the lockdowns and stay at home policy, a number of other problems have also been noted by these authorities.
For example, in order to follow the guidelines completely, people have to stay at home and avoid anything that involves heading outdoors such as going out for food. However, not many people can cook on a daily basis due to workload or other reasons.
As a consequence, the stocking of foods, which are often processed and unhealthy, has become common. While it makes sense to store food to cut frequent grocery trips, health experts have stated that people are not particularly exploring healthy options.
Though the options are limited there are a number of choices when it comes to buying healthy non-perishable foods. The solution to this for some people is either giving in to processed and sugary foods, get a takeaway, or order food at home.
While cooking at home is suggested over delivery or takeaway, the options can be explored given that the bought food is healthy and dealt with in accordance with guidelines on handling food to cut down the risk of contracting COVID-19.
For example, in case of getting food delivered at home, it is recommended that the food should be left on the door and there should be no direct contact between the delivery person and the receiver.
Furthermore, packaging and containers should be changed immediately and discarded. The use of condiment packages with the food is not suggested as they are most likely to be touched by someone with COVID-19.
After handling the food, make sure to wash hands thoroughly and not touch the face or any other person during the process as well. Though there have been no reported cases of transmission through food, reheating the food at a certain temperature or freezing it does kill the virus.
On the other hand, getting a takeaway can also be a little riskier than getting a delivery. While doing so, make sure to follow the restaurant’s own safety protocol when picking up the food.
Some restaurants will already inform their customers to stay in cars and not come inside and the food will typically be left on the seat to avoid direct contact.
After picking up the food, the same safety procedure should be followed and packaging should be removed and tossed in the garbage followed by washing hands and disinfecting the car seat.
Lastly, it is important to go for healthier and more fulfilling options in foods. It is better to go for meals that contain veggies and lean protein rather than fries and deep-fried chicken to fulfill the daily nutritional need.
Portion size is also important when ordering or getting a takeaway. A meal serving for two instead of one can be ordered for having leftovers the following day or freezing the food and having it a week later.
Consuming healthy along with other guidelines is significant not only for the prevention of COVID-19 but also for other health problems that may develop during the lockdown such as obesity.