Vitamin D is a necessary vitamin that we get from certain foods, such as fortified dairy, eggs, and sardines. Some scientists believe that low levels of this vitamin can contribute to anxiety and depression, and reduce our immune systems putting us at risk for colds/flus that many of us experience in the winter months. Ever wonder why we feel more energetic in the summertime? We need approximately 15 minutes of exposure to the sun to activate this vitamin. If you aren’t exposed to the sun for this amount of time, your levels will certainly be low.
Nursing home residents almost always have chronically low levels of vitamin D as they are indoors for much of the day. Glass blocks the rays of sun needed for us to process vitamin D, so even sitting in a sunny windowsill is not adequate. COVID19 has ravaged nursing homes, and low levels of vitamin D, while not the immediate cause, still could have contributed to its spread and severe symptoms.
Right now, most of us are not likely to be getting adequate amounts of sun each day due to isolation restrictions or being forced to stay home if we do have COVID19. I recommend taking a supplement with 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day during this time. Be sure to take it with food as it is a fat soluble vitamin and preferably in the morning. Take a walk whenever it is sunny (while maintaining at least 6 foot distance from others AND I would recommend wearing a mask).