The Ins and Outs Of Coronavirus
It’s an unprecedented time we find ourselves in – and that’s putting it mildly. Whilst we can’t control what’s happening in the world right now, there are a few things we can take charge of to keep ourselves safe, and sane. So we’ve pulled together a list of information from experts and healthcare professionals to get you through the coming months; here’s how to spread nothing but love and kindness to yourself and others.
First things first, what is coronavirus / COVID-19?
The NHS defines it as: COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms vary for everyone, but the most common are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough (coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three plus coughing episodes in 24 hours).
What if I think I have it?
If you’re thinking ‘that’s me!’ there’s a chance you might have it, but that’s not guaranteed. The important thing to remember is not to visit a GP or hospital – stay at home so there’s no risk of infecting others. Or you can use the online 111 coronavirus service if you’re unsure.
If your symptoms are really bad, including being short of breath, call 111 who’ll be able to advise you. This all might sound scary but most people will make a full recovery, as their immune system eventually defeats the virus.
How can we stop it spreading?
Stopping the spread of something that’s invisible is no mean feat, but there are certainly things we can do to limit this happening. The NHS advises the following:
- Wash hands thoroughly and regularly and try not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands)
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Avoid close contact with people (that includes no travel on public transport unless necessary)
Here’s their full list of dos’ and ‘don’ts.
How should I wash my hands?
Now there’s a question we thought we’d never need to ask. But it turns out we’ve been washing our hands wrong this entire time – who knew?
Watch the video below for a guide on one of the easiest ways to protect ourselves. It advises singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice whilst doing this, but to save us going stir crazy (and ruining birthdays forever), we prefer these alternatives.
Can’t I just use hand gels?
Hand gels, which admittedly are like gold dust at the moment, aren’t as effective as soap and water but are a great alternative if you’re out and about, or don’t have access to the traditional methods.
What is social distancing?
It’s a phrase we’ve heard a lot of lately and in short, it means keeping some distance between yourself and others to avoid the virus spreading. WHO advises at least one meter – which is why we’re being told not to go to school, work or any large social gatherings.
When can life return to normal?
In all honesty, it’s impossible to say. But vaccines are being worked on by scientists as we speak, in the effort to treat the virus effectively. And the government believes the UK can “turn the tide against the outbreak within the next 12 weeks”, if everybody sticks to the recommended guidelines. So what we can do in the meantime is to follow expert advice to say ‘good riddance’ to coronavirus as quickly as possible.
What do I do if I’m feeling anxious?
We’ve found ourselves in a situation we’ve never-before been in – one that nobody asked for – so it’s only natural to feel anxious, unsettled or worried about the health of yourself, friends and family. And that’s ok.
But there are things we can do to keep those feelings developing into those that become dangerous for our mental wellbeing; like limiting the time we watch the news and being mindful. With the help and advice from some brilliant experts, we’ve put together our top tips and resources here.
And that’s coronavirus in a nutshell. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be committed to bringing you information, inspiration and much-needed distractions to get us all through this challenging time. So keep an eye out, keep well and keep on keeping positivity. Together, we’ve got this.