Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

So, how has everyone been doing amongst the madness? The situation in the UK seems to be moving fast and it feels like there is an update every few hours. Whether that be the change in numbers of confirmed cases, the new guidelines on what to do, or yet another announcement, it’s impossible to get away from Covid-19 news. You do not have to read and watch everything, especially if this is going to just make you more anxious. I have found that only reading the news twice a day, once in the morning and once after the Prime Minister’s daily update. If it helps you, I suggest turning off notifications for news apps and doing your best to avoid constantly reading about Covid-19. 

Life continues even with a pandemic happening, today I thought it would be best to focus on university. Although there aren’t any more face-to-face classes for the rest of the academic year, Queen Mary hasn’t closed. For many of us, classes have just transitioned online and coursework assessments will continue as ‘normal’. A lot of students have been affected by the Covid-19 disruptions that overlapped with the UCU strikes. The university has now introduced a 2-week deadline extension on coursework to account for the disruption to students studies, however, the uncertainty surrounding progression and graduation still leaves many students unhappy with their current situation. If you are affected by the disruption caused by Covid-19, I suggest you email your academic advisor and programme tutor(s). If you are feeling anxious about the current situation, the future, or anything else this page on Mind.org gives a few different tips on everyday living.

 

Self-Isolation

I have finally made it through my 7 day self-isolation period in my room. Although I am no longer symptomatic or in isolation, I am staying at home as a way of social distancing. Social distancing, along with washing your hands properly, is currently the best way to limit the spread of the virus. 

I’ve only been outside once since I stopped self-isolating and that was to go for a routine scan. The whole experience was very strange as everybody seems very wary and someone even got told to go home as they were showing symptoms of Covid-19.

One silver lining of being in my room for an entire week has been my discovery of TikTok. Before this week I hadn’t been aware of how entertaining TikTok can be, from coronavirus content to dance challenges, there is enough content on there to keep you entertained for a long time. The last thing I am going to say about self-isolation is, if you are going to remain in isolation for the foreseeable future, it may be a good idea to make a schedule. I’ll talk more about scheduling your days in future articles!

 

The Government

Since the last article, the government has decided to close all schools across the United Kingdom from Friday, until further notice. Another major change in the UK situation has been to close restaurants, pubs and cafes from Friday evening. Many tube stations have also closed in an attempt to reduce the number of people using the TFL Underground.

 

The latest advice from NHS England and Public Health England

The advice from the NHS remains the same, as always continue to wash your hands more frequently (for at least 20 seconds). Touching your face, especially if you are in public spaces is advised against. To keep the most vulnerable people safe, social distancing is the best strategy.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

 

NHS Covid-19: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Public Health England guidelines: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

 

In the next article, I plan on talking about looking after your mental health whilst in isolation, quarantine, and whilst social distancing. As always, stay safe and check up on friends and family.

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