With all the talk about self-isolating and social distancing it is easy to get confused by what you need to do to help protect yourself, your family and friends and the wider community.
So what is social distancing?
Social distancing is a way to slow down the spread of the virus by reducing the chances of a person with the infection unknowingly passing it on to lots of other people. The virus is contagious in the early stages of the infection. This means that someone could potentially spread the virus before they are even aware that they have contracted the coronavirus.
By limiting our social interactions we are reducing:
a) the amount of people we might be infecting unintentionally if we have already contracted the coronavirus
b) Our chance of becoming infected.
This is already starting to happen in the UK after the decision by the government to move into the “delay “phase of the coronavirus outbreak.
It is expected that a large percentage of the UK population will contract the coronavirus and there is no way to stop this from happening. However by slowing down the spread and delaying the expected peak in the number of cases we can all help the NHS to be able to deal with patients that become seriously ill.
So what should you avoid doing?
As of March 17th, you should avoid:
- Group gathering
- Non-essential travel
- Visiting the elderly with children
- Museums, arcades, shopping centres
- Church services
- Sporting events
- Going to work IF it is possible to work from home.
Although schools, colleges and universities are not currently on this list – they are expected to close at some point in the near future.
If you are not showing any symptoms
You will still need to get supplies and essentials but when doing so you should use caution and only do so when necessary. Before going out and as soon as you return you should wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
You should try to keep a safe distance from others when you:
- Go to the grocery store
- Order Take Out food
- Pick up Medications
- Check on friends & family safety
- Public transport
If you have symptoms and are in self isolation
If you are in self isolation and you require essentials you will need to ask a friend, family member or neighbour to deliver your shopping/prescription to you and get them to leave it on your door step to avoid face to face contact.
Stay in Touch
To stay connected to family and friends during this time you should contact them via phone, post or online. Video chat through facetime, video messenger or skype for example would be an alternative way to see your friends and family. It is important to stay in touch and to build it into your routine as it will help look after your mental wellbeing.
Use Telephone or Online Services to contact your GP
Please see the current advice from your local surgery: