The UK has been on a nationwide lockdown for over a month. Government-enforced measures to curb the Coronavirus outbreak aren’t expected to be scaled back any time soon and there have been similar actions taken in response to the outbreak around the world.
Whilst there have been dangerous infectious diseases before, and Coronavirus itself has been around for decades, this particular strain – more commonly known as COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease 2019) – was officially confirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020, indicating a very real threat to people all over the world.
Social Distancing Guidelines
Here in the UK, the government has set out steps for the nation to follow in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease, flatten the curve of the outbreak and protect our National Health Service in the process; the steps are as follows:
- Everyone should stay at home as far as reasonably possible, with the following exceptions:
o Shopping for food and medical supplies, as infrequently as possible
o Exercise once a day, such as a walk, run or cycle but only alone or with members of your household
o Medical needs, such as essential appointments, donating blood, escaping harm or assisting a vulnerable person
o Travelling to work, where work cannot be done from home
- While out of the house, maintain at least 2m distance between yourself and others that are not from your household
More information on these guidelines, including what you can and can’t do, can be found here.
In addition to these guidelines on protecting yourself, those most at risk – including people over the age of 70, those with existing health conditions and pregnant women (more information can be found here)– and the NHS, there are some very easy steps you can take to slow the person-to-person spread of Coronavirus:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – especially when entering your home
- Where soap and water are not available, clean your hands with hand sanitiser gel
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, not your hands – used tissues should be discarded into the bin immediately and you should wash your hands straight after
- Don’t touch your face – particularly eyes, mouth and nose – if your hands are not clean
- Ensure areas of your home that get more use than others are cleaned after use with soap and water, or disinfectant
o In addition, high traffic touchpoints around the home should be cleaned frequently, including light switches, door handles, appliances, remote controls, technology that is shared, taps and handles
o Cleaning cloths should be cleaned on a hot wash regularly
o Towels and bedding should be cleaned on a hot wash regularly
Symptoms and Self-Isolation Guidelines
There are two core symptoms to be aware of when it comes to COVID-19: high temperature or fever, and a new, persistent cough as the WHO has reported that between 60-85% of all confirmed cases have presented with these symptoms.
It is thought that many people who have contracted Coronavirus may be asymptomatic or only show mild symptoms, and for the majority of these people, no treatment will be required. However, it is advised that if you have any typical cold symptoms, such as headaches, sore throats and fatigue, then you should self-isolate.
- If you live alone, and have symptoms, you need to self-isolate for seven days. If high-temperature symptoms persist, continue to isolate until this returns to normal. Seek medical advice as needed or if your condition gets worse.
- If you live with someone else who has symptoms, the house will need to self-isolate from the day the symptoms started; if you don’t get symptoms until later, you will need to isolate for a further seven days, regardless of whether this surpasses 14 days
- If you have symptoms and live with a vulnerable person, it is advised to arrange for them to stay elsewhere for 14 days. If this is not possible, maintain 2m distance at all times and limit shared spaces where possible
- If you need to self-isolate, do not leave your home. Ask family or friends to drop off food or medical supplies if you are unable to order them online or over the phone
- Do not allow any visitors into your home
- Exercise should be done within your home or garden
- Treating symptoms at home – rest, stay hydrated and take paracetamol to reduce your temperature
If you are concerned about your symptoms or your condition has deteriorated, please use the online Coronavirus service here.
Reducing Coronavirus Worries
There is a lot of uncertainty in the world now and for many people, this can lead to increased anxiety or worries. Being kept apart from your family, friends and loved ones during such turbulent times can only exacerbate this, even more so if you are living alone.
For a lot of us, maintaining relationships through this pandemic is restricted to phone calls and online interactions. The obvious pitfalls of this come through social media, where a lot of opinions can be mixed in with fact and official guidance.
For instance, many people believe that gloves and masks should be worn in public places, however, if you follow the guidance and advice stipulated by the WHO and NHS, then these additional protective measures are not essential.
In addition to this, consuming too much social media and conjecture that isn’t necessarily always the truth can add to your worries. However, there are steps you can take to avoid unnecessary stress:
- Spend some time away from the online world every day, reading or exercising
- Keep a routine that allows you plenty of time to eat, sleep and practise self-care
- Focus on facts, avoid speculation and non-expert opinions
More information about protecting your wellbeing during this pandemic can be found here.
Coronavirus around the World
While the effects of this pandemic are very close to home, they can also be felt around the world. If we consider how it has affected us here in the developed world, then the impact it has had in those places around the world that do not have such systems and structures in place is both devastating and distressing.
We are all doing our part to help our family, friends, neighbours and those within our communities that are struggling, but we can do more.
Global COVID-19 Appeal
UK Islamic Mission have launched our Global COVID-19 Appeal that can help provide essential hygiene and food packs to those most in need around the world. In addition, thanks to your generous donations, we are also working to provide life-saving medical equipment, such as ventilators, oxygen and patient monitors.
With the effects of this pandemic on a worldwide scale, we need your help to provide relief to the most disadvantaged. You can help us save lives by donating today.
- Just £20 can provide hygiene essentials to help stop the spread of this virus
- Just £50 can provide a family with enough food to last a month, helping them to stave off any illness they may face
- A £500 donation will go towards purchasing much-needed life-saving equipment for hospitals
- A £5,000 donation could help buy a ventilator outright, saving lives day-in, day-out
Just as you are doing your part to protect your family and loved ones, you can also protect your brothers and sisters around the world.