Ramadan 2021: Fasting Amidst the Pandemic
For most Muslims, stepping into the Holy Month can be the most exciting and, for many, even the most challenging time of the year. From April 12th to May 12th this year, Muslims will fast every day from dawn to sunset, abstaining from food, negative thoughts, impatience, anger, and other vices.
Dietitians claim that fasting during Ramadan can have many health benefits, including immune system restoration, weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and mental health improvement. What’s more, clinical dietitian Danya Al Atrash claims intermittent fasting is one of the topmost diets to follow. She explained that what makes this type of fasting during Ramadan special is that individuals abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset for 30 days.
When done correctly, the Holy Month is an excellent way to improve daily habits and jump-start fitness goals. However, we should take measures to keep our immune systems strong throughout the fast. The best way to achieve this is by consuming adequate calories during the allowed eating hours. It is also recommended to include sufficient amounts of micronutrients (supplementing vitamin C, iron, and zinc) and macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates).
What happens when someone tests positive for coronavirus, you may wonder? Should they break the fast? Here’s what experts advise.
If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever), it is best to stay away from fasting. According to Dr. Harris Chundiyan Moochi, coronavirus patients may require to take medicines to treat the symptoms, which counts as breaking the fast. However, if no symptoms are present, patients can observe fasting.
But, what about the vaccine? Will receiving it during Ramadan break the fast? Dr. Moochi explains that the Covid vaccine can be taken during Ramadan. It is administered intramuscularly, so there’s no danger of breaking the fast.
Nevertheless, if a person develops any symptoms following the coronavirus vaccination during Ramadan, they should break the fast and immediately reach out to a healthcare professional for proper treatment.
Photo by Hasan Almasi from Unsplash