Unhealthy habits have a knack for catching up with us…and during COVID-19, that schedule becomes accelerated. While we’re not trying to say that everyone with bad habits will catch Coronavirus, certain aspects of our lifestyle can compile into making it easier to catch.

From poor sleep to not wearing a mask, there are a few different factors that could potentially make you more susceptible to catching the virus. And if this is something that you’ve been trying to avoid, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common habits that could lead to infection, as well as how to avoid them.

How Likely Are You To Catch COVID-19?

The likelihood of catching COVID-19 is contingent upon a number of factors. Generally speaking, those who are immunocompromised are at higher risk, as well as the elderly; in fact, as noted by MIT Technology Review, those over the age of 75, have an incredibly high chance of dying from COVID-19, which is why cases are particularly bad in retirement homes.

On the flip side, those who are younger and healthier are at less risk of showing COVID-19 symptoms; however, that’s not to say the infection still can’t cause serious damage. Even amongst young, healthy people, there are still reports of things like lung damage and decreased testosterone. Yes, this pandemic is an unprecedented medical phenomenon, which is why minimizing your risk and exposure is crucial for your health.

Habits That Could Put You At Risk

There are quite a few habits that could potentially put you at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. While these aren’t necessarily definitive, they can compound with other issues that could cause a higher risk. Here are a few of the most popular examples:

Improper Sleep

Not getting proper sleep can definitely play a factor in your risk of contracting COVID-19. Although a bad night here and there is nothing to worry about, some people have had a seriously hard time getting sleep during the pandemic. According to Harvard Health, the stresses of the pandemic has led to increased cases of sleep problems, which then can have a residual effect on the rest of your health. Take your time in trying to get proper sleep; putting in the relaxing effort can definitely serve you well.

Smoking

Another habit that could absolutely put you at risk for COVID-19 is smoking cigarettes. As most smokers will tell you, trying to get over a cold or the flu while actively smoking cigarettes feels (and tastes) terrible, with symptoms often becoming exacerbated from the irritation. With COVID-19, smoking most likely can play a role in increased infection, as well as potentially make symptoms worse. Instead, take a chance on a smokeless alternative, or even quitting the habit in general.

Excessive Drinking

Drinking is another habit that can tear up your health. After drinking in excess, you’re putting your body under a lot of stress, making it harder to catch up and defend itself. Not a smart idea if you’ve been exposing yourself to others; try to keep drinking at a minimum during COVID-19.

Not Wearing A Mask In Public

Although a relatively new habit for most, wearing a mask in public spaces is an absolute if you’re trying to avoid COVID-19. As noted by UC Davis, on average, a mask reduces the risk of catching COVID-19 by 65 percent. Furthermore, you’re also helping those are you stay protected in case you’re an asymptomatic carrier. Wearing a mask is a huge help to yourself and those around you, which is why we put such an emphasis on doing so.

What You Can Do To Minimize Your Risk

If you’re trying to minimize your exposure to COVID-19, it’s important to not only follow the steps above, but also implement other social distancing measures as well. This includes limiting the number of people you’re in contact with, as well as the number of places you go to. Take note of keeping your circle small and try to only go places that are essential. By working together, we can minimize the impact of COVID-19, as well as give you a chance to improve your well-being and health post-pandemic.