On Monday night, 24th March, Boris Johnson addressed the nation once more, announcing even greater restrictions on the movement of people. for me it didn’t go far enough, but was necessary as people refused to isolate. So we decided to look at the guidance on social distancing.
This guidance is for everyone, including children. They are less at risk, but can still get ill. no one is excused from following guidance, difficult as it may be. The guidance lays forth social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people. This is in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Guidance includes situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers. Those at greatest risk should be absolutely rigid with the measures they take, and isolate at all times.
This group includes those who are:
People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). So basically, the general advice is to keep at least two metres from people at all times. That is the equivalent of a tall man! If you know of someone who is infected, then simply stay away. That person needs to self-isolate for 14 days. The symptoms are well-known now – high fever, and a dry cough. But some have had tests and know they have it without showing symptoms. Many simply are carriers, and this is why we must keep our distance from each other.
If you adhere to social distancing then naturally you should not use public transport unless absolutely necessary. If you are not a key worker, your employer must allow you to work from home, or not at all. There is guidance available on the government website with further details. Always avoid large gatherings, though they are not allowed anyway. The Coronavirus bill that will be passed through parliament on 24th March will confirm that police will deal with rules being broken. You should leave your house for essential purposes – medical reasons, to get food and drink, and if you are a key worker.
Wash your hands regularly, with soap or hand sanitiser. Do it for 20 seconds and get in every nook and cranny. Try not to touch your face as much as possible. The virus enters your system through the mouth, nose or eyes. And often from your hands. It can survive on surfaces for up to 3 days, or so scientists think. So scrub those hands at every opportunity. Disinfect and clean your house often too. Time for that spring clean!
Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help. Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are there to assist those forced to stay at home. It is vital to speak to others and ask them to help you to make arrangements for the delivery of food, medicines and essential services and supplies. Your well being is the most important thing. If you have hospital or GP appointments during this period, then get in touch to check if they are still going ahead. It is likely they have contacted you already anyway. My GP surgery has started sending me regular text messages with updates.
This is a tough time for all -but for many it will be unbearable. The financial worries will only add to the anxiety already being felt by pretty much everyone. So mental health will be a huge challenge for many. I cannot give many pearls of wisdom to make everyone better. All I will say is look after yourself. Use modern technology to keep in touch with those you love. Keep occupied, at all times. We will all come out the other side and appreciate what we have.