WHO Tips for Healthy Living in Quarantine: No Alcohol, Tobacco

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended some tips for healthy living in quarantine. Topping the list is the recommendation not to use tobacco and avoid or at least reduce alcohol use.

With COVID-19 spreading across the globe, over a 100 million people across the world are living under some form of limitation or physical confinement.

During this difficult time, it’s important to continue looking after your physical and mental health. This will not only help you in the long-term, it will also help you fight COVID-19 if you get it,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, as per CNBC.

Here’s the list of tips that WHO recommends to stay physically and mentally healthy during this time:

  • Avoid or at least reduce consumption of alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke. It can exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms and increase your risk of getting seriously sick.
  • Eat healthy to boost your immune system.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for adults and an hour a day for kids.
  • If you’re allowed to go outside, go for a walk, run or bike ride while keeping a safe distance from others.
  • If you can’t leave the house, dance, do some yoga or walk up and down the stairs.
  • People working from home shouldn’t sit too long in the same position.
  • Take a 3 minute break every 30 minutes.
  • Get your mind off of the crisis. Listen to music, read a book or play a game.

Alcohol weakens the immune system

So why no alcohol?

According to the World Health Organization, alcohol is not a necessary part of a person’s diet and not part of a healthy lifestyle and should therefore not be on people’s shopping list. Under no circumstances should people consume any type of alcoholic products as a preventive or treatment measure against COVID-19.

WHO says that alcohol is not only a mind-altering and dependence-producing substance, harmful at any level consumed, but it also weakens the immune system. Thus, alcohol use and especially heavy use undermines your body’s ability to cope with infectious disease, including COVID-19.

Evidence is very clear that alcohol weakens the immune system and can make it easier for the virus to attack. Read our blog article on this for more information.

Myths and Truths About Alcohol and COVID-19

Alcohol also makes certain medications less effective, while increasing the potency and toxicity of others. The WHO recommends not to consume alcohol in combination with pain medication, as alcohol will interfere with a person’s liver functions and might cause serious problems, including liver failure.

The World Health Organization recommends the following:

It is recommended that alcohol in general be avoided, but especially when in self-quarantine.

As a psychoactive substance, alcohol also affects your mental state and decision-making and makes you more vulnerable to risks, such as falls, injuries, or violence when under quarantine with someone else. Alcohol consumption is also known to increase symptoms of depression, anxiety, fear and panic – symptoms that can intensify during isolation and self-quarantine. Consuming alcohol is not a good coping mechanism, neither in the short nor long term, although you might think that it will help you deal with stress.”

Physical Distancing Coping Kit

Access our physical distancing coping kit for four concrete measures to cope (and thrive) in times of quarantine, self-isolation and physical distancing.

Physical Distancing Coping Kit