By: Tobby Oniga
The global pandemic has forced us to undertake important safety precautions, including quarantining ourselves. Social distancing has become the new norm, and many individuals are having a hard time adjusting to our new reality, especially couples. However, certified Family Nurse Practitioner, founder of All About Healthy Living Foundation and the creator of teen, women, and men health parties and Know Your Health Status campaign, Dr. Katina Kennedy joined us to share safe sex tips for couples and relationship seekers during this time.
Bronze Magazine: COVID has impacted the world in unimaginable ways. What advice would you give to couples who want to show affection while remaining safe?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: This is the time to connect or re-connect as couples. COVID19 has caused anxiety amongst many people. The pandemic has definitely caused a high level of stress, fear, which leads to anxiety. Some people are worried about contracting the virus from their partner and scared to even kiss each other. However, we must remember that sexual intercourse has several benefits.
Sex promotes physical activity and releases endorphins which make persons feel better mentally and physically. If it makes one feel better, then go get tested for COVID19. Sometimes, knowing both parties are clear can ease the fear of the unknown. Then, have fun creating that companionship with each other. Talk and listen actively to each other, sexting, sending nudes, role playing, phone sex prior to coming home, set the mood, play games, roll the dice, cuddle, massage, listen to slow music and dance in the room together, and pretend like you are on a date.
Additionally, couples must ensure they are taking adequate precautions as they maneuver throughout their day. Maintaining social distance, proper hand-washing, wearing masks, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of COVID19 such as, fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, and nausea or vomiting. Diarrhea is essential. By taking these measures, you can decrease the chance of spreading the virus to your partner.
Bronze Magazine: Would you say it’s okay to be looking for a partner during a pandemic?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: Looking for a partner during this time is suffice. Going on virtual dates is a great idea to promote a bond or getting to know a new partner. However, engaging sexually with a new partner can increase your chances of acquiring the virus. Therefore, take this time to explore yourself. There is nothing like exploring your body with various toys or techniques to elicit an orgasm. Phone sex, sexting, virtual sex, or porn are other ideas that can assist as well. Having an orgasm increases the happy hormones in the body!! Orgasms can help you sleep, decrease stress, relieve pain, and help improve one’s overall mood. If it makes you HAPPY try to ensure you experience it more! Take this time out to examine and know your body! Discover those erogenous spots (back of the knee, neck, naval, etc.) that stimulate your vaginal senses.
Bronze Magazine: At a point, some health clinics were closed to combat the spread of COVID-19. What are some home remedies you recommend for protecting your body during a pandemic?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: During this time, it is important to partake in remedies or lifestyle changes to boost the immune system. Having a strong immune system can help fight the virus if you do contract it. Getting adequate sleep of at least 6-8 hours, drinking half your body weight in ounces of water a day, take daily vitamins such as vitamin C, Zinc, and a multi-vitamin, exercise, staying less stress by engaging in relaxation activities such as meditation, listening to music, reading, or whatever makes you feel relaxed. Additionally, eating fruits (especially berries which are anti-oxidants) and vegetables are ways you can improve the immune system thus protecting the body. Ginger, elderberry, citrus fruits, green tea, turmeric, and spinach are just a few of many foods that help protect and boost the immune system.
Bronze Magazine: How did All About Healthy Living Foundation come together?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: All About Healthy Living Foundation came to mind in the early morning hours. I woke up thinking about the importance and the need to educate and inspire people on healthy living (especially in the African American community). The foundation promotes health and wellness, and getting others to be physically active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. All About Healthy Living Foundation Inc. focuses on staying physically fit for managing and treating chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, anxiety/depression and much more. Our foundation runs solely on donations and we fund college book scholarships to deserving high school seniors annually whose college major is geared toward health science.
Bronze Magazine: New studies have shown that children are just as likely as adults to spread COVID-19. Many parents struggle with getting their children to keep their mask on. What are some tips you can offer to protect your child during these times?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: First things first! Parents must take their child to get their yearly physical exams and make sure they are up to date with their immunizations. Additionally, back to school supplies should include what I call a COVID prevention care kit which includes hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and an extra mask. Moreover, parents should educate their child on proper handwashing, proper application and use of a face mask, and use of hand sanitizer, the importance of not sharing masks or personal belongings, maintenance of social distance, importance of not sharing pens/pencils/crayons, and the proper cough or sneeze etiquette (into the elbow even with a mask on). Parents should ensure their child is getting a good night’s sleep and nutritious meals throughout the day to keep the immune system strong.
Bronze Magazine: What are the most important vitamins we should be taking to protect our body right now?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: Multi-vitamin, Vitamin C, Zinc, Lysine, and Vitamin D. These vitamins help boost the immune system amongst other benefits to the body. My favorite plant (which comes in a pill form) is Echinacea. Echinacea helps boost the immune system and fight viruses and infections. It also helps persons recover faster when you are sick. It works great!!
Bronze Magazine: There is a lot of controversy surrounding Cardi B and Megan the Stallion’s hit song WAP. What are your thoughts about the music video and song lyrics?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: WAP is a vulgar song with various analogies that’s causing a lot of buzz. It was a smart way to initiate the topic of admiring and emphasizing the importance of taking care of one’s own vagina. We as humans tend to only listen to the negative aspects, however, positivity can be brought forth from many things.
Bronze Magazine: Do you think it’s okay for a female artist to release a “sexual” song?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: I believe it’s perfectly fine! A female artist can release a sexual song. What’s wrong with expressing one’s sexuality?!? A woman can take pride in her body and have the right to express herself sexually yet safely.
Bronze Magazine: What are some resources you would recommend for individuals to educate themselves about sex?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: My book, Let’s Talk Sex and STDs: The Student Edition is a great resource to understanding STD’s associated with sex. It is also a self-help medical advisory so that when students (pre-teens, teens, or adults) are learning about sex, they can educate themselves with the proper information in order to protect themselves in the future. It can be found on Amazon.com. Additionally, speaking with a sexual educator or a gynecologist who specializes in sexual health is a great resource.
Bronze Magazine: What are some tips to begin living a healthier lifestyle?
Dr. Katina Kennedy: First things first, #KnowYourHealthStatus. I started the #KnowYourHealthStatusMovement on social media, and @drkatina_drk, to encourage people to take charge of their health by being aware of their health status. Knowing your health status includes knowing the BIG 3 – blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar (#BCB). Just like you know what’s going in and out of your bank account, you need to know what’s happening on the inside of your body. Knowing the BIG 3 is vital to your health! Going for your yearly physical exam and blood work will help one to obtain their health status as well as the following tips:
Tip #1 Maintain a Healthy Diet
Food plates should be colorful:
- Citrus fruits, oranges, grape fruit, lemons.
- Foods high in vitamin C
- Strawberries, cherries, guavas
- Kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli
- Berries – blueberries, cranberries
Tip #2 – Take your daily Vitamins as mentioned above.
Tip #3 – It is important to have a bowel movement after each meal or at least once a day.
The immune system is in the gut. Removing waste from the intestines helps boost the immune system as well.
Tip #4 – Drink Water
You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
Tip #5 – Exercise
At least 3 times a week for 30 minutes to an hour. Partake in the physical activity you enjoy! Get the heart pumping and sweat pouring.
Tip # 6 – Sleep
At least 6-8 hours a night. Sleep is when the body rejuvenates. If you are not getting adequate sleep you may have difficulty concentrating, focusing, coming up with new ideas, have low energy, and won’t feel your best!
Tip # 7–Relax and enjoy “ME” time
Doing what you love at least once a week. In doing so it’s important to one’s mental health.
Thank you to Dr. Katina Kennedy for sharing all of this positive information. It’s extremely important to make sure we are protecting our bodies both physically and mentally, especially during a global pandemic. If you would like to stay up-to-date on more tips from Dr. Katina Kennedy, you can find her at:
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