There is so much information circulating about the coronavirus it is hard to know where to begin. Reports of stockpiling items such as toilet roll and hand sanitizer continue as more and more cases are found worldwide. Whilst there is undoubtedly an element of concern as this escalates into a global pandemic, there are simple precautions you and your loved ones can take to stay safe from the virus.
We round up our top tips below:
Firstly: don’t panic
This one is key. It’s easy to see the figures, read the news, be inundated with images of people in face masks and believe the situation is worst than it is. This is what has led to people in countries all over the world stockpiling items such as toilet roll, tissues, face masks and hand sanitizers. Simply put- you don’t need to do this. There isn’t a global shortage of toilet roll and tissues, so only purchase what’s needed. Hand sanitizer may be harder to find but is still available, and face masks are only effective at protecting others from you if you already have the virus- not from protecting you against the infected. So leave these face masks to the medical professions who actually need them.
Currently, the rate in which coronavirus is spreading means it is likely to reach your country and location at some point. But remember to think rationally about it: 90% of those who get the disease will experience nothing more than the flu- which is one of the reasons it is so hard to contain. Stress and worry will only lower your immune system, which if you do happen to catch it, will make it harder to fight.
Third: Take sensible precautions
Rather than stockpiling or barricading yourself in the house, there are several sensible precautions you can take to protect yourself from coronavirus:
- Hand-washing- get into the habit of washing your hands properly (for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap) before you arrive somewhere and afterwards- and especially before consuming food. If you need to sneeze or cough do so into your elbow.
- Avoid crowds- many events which draw large crowds have been postponed or cancelled to limit the virus spreading, but when in public do your best to avoid areas with lots of people, confined spaces or where you don’t have access to wash your hands.
- Consider travel options- All travel to mainland China is now banned, but each country has different policies on where they advise their nationals to travel to. Check your countries government website daily for the latest news and up to date advice rather than rely on the tabloids.
- Look after the elderly- the elderly are the most susceptible to coronavirus due to their low immune system. So for them, it may be best to stay indoors until the situation has improved. You can help them with groceries, travel etc so they are limiting their exposure to possible infection
Fourth: What if I think I have been infected?
Self-isolation is the priority. To limit the spread of the disease and to protect more vulnerable members of society, you should remain indoors for at least 14 days. Do not go to your GP or hospital. Instead, many governments have set up emergency helplines you can ring that will advise you on the next step to take should you become infected- a quick google search will find the numbers.
If Cornovirus is causing you unnecessary stress and anxiety, visit our website here for tips on how to deal with these emotions: https://www.choicesretreats.com/what-we-treat/
As well as intensive CBT sessions, Dr Jeremy Alford is now offering sessions online from the comfort of your home during this period when people are asked to stay home. For more information, contact him here: https://www.choicesretreats.com/