With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus called COVID-19, it is more important than ever to guard ourselves against unwanted germs and microbes. Only three months after the outbreak, the current strain of coronavirus has already affected 70 locations outside of its origin country, China, with more than 97,800 cases worldwide.
Declared a “public health emergency of international concern” by the WHO, this virus has only continued to spread throughout the world and affect people across the US.
One thing is clear: we need to take extra precautions with how we interact with the outside environment. This is especially true for SCI patients and those with compromised immune systems.
What does this mean for SCI Patients?
Though the death rate for the coronavirus seems relatively low at 3%, it has most heavily affected those of old age and with compromised immune systems. As a result, it is extremely important for SCI patients to avoid crowded spaces and public areas.
Studies have shown that patients dealing with spinal cord injuries generally deal with decreased immune function as well. They show lower levels of immune cells as well as decreased responsiveness of these cells. This also contributes to SCI patients being more susceptible to infections like pneumonia, which is one of the possible outcomes of contracting COVID-19.
At a time like this, it is essential for SCI patients and people with weaker immune systems to take all possible preventative measures against getting the COVID-19 virus. Plus, there are currently no vaccines or specific treatments for the coronavirus.
Public gyms are breeding grounds
One important routine to consider during an outbreak is where you exercise. Public workout spaces are notorious for being breeding grounds for viruses and infections. The combination of a closed indoor space with shared equipment is the perfect recipe for transmitting viruses between individuals.
Like the flu virus, the coronavirus mostly spreads through droplets that are exhaled, coughed, or sneezed from an infected person. Though scientists believe that the coronavirus does not spread as efficiently as the flu, it is still easily transferable in a public space like the gym. Because viruses can live for some time outside of the body, infected droplets can land on gym equipment, which can then be transferred to the next person who uses it.
As a result, avoiding public areas like the gym is key to staying healthy during this period.
Continue your rehabilitation at home
Though hand sanitizers, thorough hand washing, and respirator masks may help, the best defense against a disease like this is to minimize contact with unknown environments. If you are dealing with limited mobility or a spinal cord injury, the need to continue rehab might make this seem unrealistic.
One great option to combat the need to exercise in a public space is to adopt a virtual reality program like MieronGO. The MieronGO system and VR headset comes with a full library of experiences and exercises that help with strengthening your mobility and building your muscle mass. With MieronGO, you can continue to build strength and independence through immersive activity based training VRNT exercises, in the safe environment of your own home.
To find out more about MieronGO, click here.