Women, men & family

Fasting in the Age of Corona

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk on social media on whether fasting in Ramadan would increase your chances of getting Corona or negatively affecting your immunity.

To begin with, I’d like to clarify that this article is directed towards healthy people who are capable of fasting.

However, those who have been forbidden from fasting by doctor’s orders, should follow their doctor’s advice.

Studies have proven that the intermittent fasting diet (which is similar to Ramadan’s fasting) has many benefits:
1. Strengthens your immune system against viral and bacterial infections/diseases
2. Lessens the chances of suffering from autoimmune diseases
3. Helps your body rejuvenate damaged cells and replace them with new ones.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that the fasting is very beneficial to the human body.

Here comes the question, is a dry throat is a risk factor for contracting corona virus?

The truth: Scientifically, till this moment (according to WHO), no evidence supports the allegations that this is a preventative measure to combat the disease.

Even though, dehydration is known to weaken the body, it should be noted that being well hydrated or avoiding fasting does not, at all, guarantee that you will not contract the disease.

Notice how all the corona virus victims across the globe were not fasting, and despite drinking and eating normally, they contracted covid-19.

So practically speaking, it’s safe to assume that drinking liquids constantly does not prevent COVID-19.

It should be considered that many of us have been fasting twice a week during this past month, in accordance to Islamic rituals and have been mostly healthy.

In a nutshell, we cannot say that fasting contracts COVID-19 or that breaking our fast prevents it.

In fact, we’re all susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

So, we need to adhere to W.H.O.’s regulations and we also need to adhere to our religious rituals.

W.H.O.’s preventative measures:

1. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus (stay home).
2. Maintain social distancing at least 1 meter (3 feet), virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets.
3. covering mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing, Dispose of used tissue immediately in a closed bin ..
4- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Therefore, you should:

1. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public or coughing.
2. If water and soap aren’t available, you can always use a disinfectant or hand sanitizer that has around 60 -70% alcohol.
3. Avoid touching your face at all times.
4. cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects

How to avoid feeling thirsty during Ramadan?

. Drink a glass of water every hour from dusk till dawn.
. Avoid drinking large amounts of water before dawn as your body will take what it needs and excrete the excess. You are neither a camel nor a cactus.
. Avoid food with excessive salts or seasoning as this is bound to make you thirsty.
. Also avoid overly cooked food.
. Avoid food that is high in sugar as not only will it make you thirsty but it will also weaken your immune system.
. Avoid intake of coffee and tea right before dawn as they are diuretics.
. Consider having baked beans for sohour with tomatoes and cucumbers as they keep you from feeling hungry or thirsty during fast.
. Consider yogurt for sohour.
. Bananas and apricot help keep thirst at bay
. Avoid eating your leftovers during sohour as they will be too high in salts and seasoning
. Sleep for at least 8 hours to strengthen immune system
Note: that if you feel too parched during your fast, you can always gargle water to comfort you and healthily continue your fast.

Adhering to these regulations, you should fast with a clear, anxiety-free mind.
Happy Ramadan