Life in the times of corona

The present unprecedented situation with the corona pandemic reshapes everyday life. We need to adjust to this new normal for quite some time to come.

Two people walking while keeping a good distance between themselves

Illustration: Helsedirektoratet / Eva Rustad de Brisis

General advice

We can all benefit from proactively looking after of our mental as well as our physical health. During the ongoing corona pandemic this can be of extra importance.

Social support and staying connected is important

We should all limit the number of people we are in contact with in person. You should not have more than a maximum of 20 guests visiting in addition to those who are part of your own household. You should also be able to keep a distance to those who are not part of your own household.

We should meet up outdoors rather than indoors as far as possible.

Keep in touch with family and friends. Instead of meeting up in person we can find alternative forms of social contact.

Be kind to yourself and to others

The present situation can be stressful to connections and relationships. Accept that these can be tough times both for yourself and for those around you. It is also important that we accept other people's prioritizations on who they choose to spend time with or if they need to cancel an appointment, visit or event due to illness. Try not to set the expectations too high.

Structure your day and set goals along the way. Remember to include time for rest. Appreciate what you accomplish.

Do things that you enjoy doing - either alone, with a friend or with your family

Read more about tips to boost mental health and quality of life (in Norwegian).

Seek support – do not hesitate to ask for help

When times are tough and you need someone to talk to, or if you are worried about someone who might not be doing well, there are places you can turn to. Here is an overview of help lines and chat services that can help out.

Diet, physical activity and sleep

Keep a daily meal plan with food that is healthy and varied

A healthy and varied diet is important for your health and well-being. This will contribute to a well-functioning immune system as well as the ability to concentrate.

Read more for more info on a healthy and varied diet here.(in norwegian)

Vitamin D

There is an increased media focus on vitamin D and the coronavirus. We do however not know if vitamin D has any effect on the disease caused by the coronavirus. The advice still is to follow the national recommendations for vitamin D.

In Norway the daily recommended intake of vitamin D is 10 micrograms for infants who are breastfed, children and adults. The recommended dose is 20 micrograms per day for persons over the age of 75 years old. There aren't many sources of vitamin D in our diet. The main sources are oily fish and cod liver, as well as milk and margarine with vitamin D added. The sun is an important source of vitamin D during the summer. However, due to long winters we are exposed to low levels of vitamin D in Norway.

If your diet isn't rich in foods containing vitamin D or your skin is exposed to limited amounts of sunlight, a supplement corresponding to the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is recommended.

Some people – in particular the elderly - will need vitamin D supplements to reach the recommended intake, especially during winter. People of a non-Western ethnicity are particularly prone to have low levels of vitamin D.

Go for a walk or engage in other outdoor activities

Let the outdoor activity become a part of your daily routine. (in Norwegian).

Maintain your daily rhythm and bedtime routines

Getting up at roughly the same time every day is a good idea, even during weekends. Try to get at least 30 minutes of daylight every day.

Here you can find additional (in Norwegian).

What about sex and corona?

You can still have sex with your regular partner given that you are both healthy. If you are ill with signs of a respiratory infection, you should keep a distance also to those closest to you and not have sex.

There is no evidence of the coronavirus being sexually transmissible. The coronavirus spreads mainly by droplet transmission and can be transmitted via kissing if you infected by the virus. Contact transmission can occur if your hands have virus on them and you come into contact with mucous membranes of the nose or mouth. Washing your hands is therefore a good advice prior to having sex with yourself or others.

  • Enjoy your own body. You are your own safest sexual partner - masturbation will not spread the coronavirus. Wash sex toys well before and after use.
  • Enjoy sex with your regular partner.
  • Stick to one partner and avoid random sexual contacts. If you are having sex with others, limit the number of sexual partners as much as possible. Avoid kissing and oral sex. If you choose to have oral sex, use a condom / dental dam to avoid saliva. Do not share sex toys.
  • If you meet your sexual partners online, via dating apps etc, you can consider taking a break from meeting people in person. Video dating, sexting and chat rooms can be an exciting option. Be webwise!

Alcohol and tobacco

Limit your intake of alcohol

Here you can read more about alcohol and health (in Norwegian).

Do you consider quitting smoking?

Here you can read more about help and advice on how to quit smoking ( (in Norwegian).

Follow the advice for infection control

We've grown accustomed to hearing them, but the following advice are still very valid to the present coronavirus situation:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly
  • Keep a physical distance to others
  • Stay at home if you are ill
  • Follow the recommendations from the health authorities

All rules and recommendations