On December 8th, the jabs began. A 90-year old grandmother in England was the first person in the world (outside of clinical trials) to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19. By mid December, that vaccine and the Moderna version were both approved and arriving in Canada. 

For the average Canadian, getting poked is still quite a ways off. Front-line healthcare workers and people most at risk are having the first go at it. Teachers and other essential workers will likely follow, with the general population possibly gaining access between April and June. The federal government has set a goal to “vaccinate anyone who wants it” by the end of 2021.

The sight of vaccinations on the horizon has caused many a happy dance (including this one from BC health minister Bonnie Henry), yet cases all over the country are still massively on the rise. This means we have several more months of mask-wearing, social distancing and potentially even more lockdowns before this thing is through.

Covid-fatigue is real though. In late October, an Ipsos poll for Global News found that half of Canadians (48%) said they were getting tired of following public health recommendations and rules regarding COVID-19. As attentiveness waned, families gathered. People partied. Masks were doffed. All of which led to December lockdowns.

Here’s what David Goggins, former Navy Seal and certified badass, would say: “When your mind tells you it’s quitting time, you are actually only 40% spent.” We all have more to give. So here are a few tips on getting through the last leg of this pandemic, virus-free. 

  • First, the usual public health guidelines still apply. We’ve come this far, we can do it a little longer. Stick close to home and your people. Wear masks and wash your hands. Stay home if you feel sick. Skip the travel for now.
  • Stay as healthy as possible this winter. Eat your veggies. Avoid sugar. Laura Schmidt, PhD at the University of California at San Francisco, told Healthline that “… just taking the sugar out of your diet can potentially lower your risk for severe outcomes if you do get the virus.”
  • Some studies have found that even 15 minutes of daily exercise, such as a brisk walk, can lower the risk of death from any cause. Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all offer apps with free fitness routines, while on YouTube, Yoga with Adriene offers an easy and free way to get back to the mat each day.
  • Take your vits. On Tatler.com, Dr. Tim Lebens, “one of London’s best private doctors” recommends daily doses of Vitamin D, Vitamin C, zinc and probiotics. “There is some evidence that zinc lozenges, if taken when symptoms first appear (ie sore throat) can help to impede infiltration of the virus,” he told Tatler.
  • Stay positive and present. Tara Brach, a psychologist and meditation expert, told Vox: “Human beings have a negativity bias. We get very fixated on threats and often overlook goodness and beauty. So it needs to be an intentional practice to celebrate goodness. By that I mean that we actually pause and savor seeing the gleam in our child’s eye or watching the new blossoms come out.”