Covid-19 no.1 (New Mini Series)

The last time I wrote an article about coronavirus, or as it now being called Covid-19, we seemingly had nothing to worry about. Slowly but steadily, Covid-19 has been spreading and the number of infections has been rising rapidly in Europe. Just last week many of us were observing from the outside as Italy introduced a mandatory lockdown. Now the UK faces a similar fate, not helped by the current governments’ inaction on the matter of public health. With the British government deciding that an approach closer to business as usual is the best approach despite the advice from experts, anxiety about life in the next few weeks and months is at an all-time high. The message from the World Health Organisation (WHO) is clear; testing as many people as possible is the best way to ensure we can contain the virus as much as possible. At the time of writing, there are close to 2,000 confirmed cases in the UK, but what can we do to combat Covid-19, if anything, and how do we know what’s real and what isn’t?

This mini-series about Covid-19 will aim to bring you the latest news about the virus, any updates from NHS England and Public Health England on what you should be doing at every stage whilst trying to find things to do while in isolation.

Self-Isolation
I am currently self-isolating in my room at home since I started showing symptoms, cough and fever, after arriving home from university on Friday. It is crazy to think that the same morning there were no guidelines on self-isolation if you hadn’t travelled out of the country. Now 5 long days into self-isolation, I am slowly starting to develop a routine which doesn’t involve me running low on things to do.

The important thing to remember in self-isolation is that although you may be physically alone, you should try your best to be socially connected to people through your phone and social media. Having friends you can talk to about coronavirus things, non-coronavirus things and ones you can just send memes to (whether that be related to what’s happening now or not). For me, it helps to think of self-isolation as time to do absolutely anything (as long as it is in my room) so you can use this time to catch up on all the shows you wanted to watch, read the books you wanted to read and facetime the friends you need to catch up with.

Another important thing is to try and remember why we are doing this, isolation isn’t fun but Covid-19 isn’t either. There are people who are more at risk than others when it comes to Covid-19, it is our duty to ensure we are doing what we can to protect them and one way we can do that is by staying indoors.

The Government
The government have advised everyone to reduce all social interactions in an attempt at social distancing. Social distancing is a method used to try and reduce the number of transmissions between people by reducing the number of interactions that occur between people. Large gatherings have also been advised against, this includes going to clubs, bars, concerts, as well as using the tube.

The latest advice from NHS England and Public Health England
When to stay at home:
If you are showing symptoms i.e. have a cough and/or fever
If you live with someone who is showing symptoms (cough and/or fever)
How long to stay at home?
7 days if you are showing symptoms
14 days if you live with someone showing symptoms

This is an unusual time and it’s normal to feel anxious and worried about everything but nothing is forever. Just looking at countries like China who seem to be coming out of the other end, it is vital to remember that there is a future where we can work towards a new normal.

NHS Covid-19: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Public Health England guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

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