The strategy to stop Covid-19 from spreading further and causing chaos and mayhem on an even larger scale is ‘prevention’. Keeping to ourselves as far as possible cuts off the risks and path for cross infection. Here we take a look at the tacticts being employed to reduce the risks of spreading the virus.
The overall and number one tactic is to reduce, as far as possible, the number of people we interact with on a daily basis. We can best do this by staying home. Remote working and remote schooling are now being employed as far as possible. Some governments have passed laws ordering the private sector to employ remote working for a minimum of 80% of their workforce, while in the education sector schools are closed and exams have been cancelled.
Which tactic we employ is purely dependent upon the state of health we are in, and may mean that we switch from one tactic to another. The three tactics are Social Distancing, Self-Isolation and Quarantine.
This is for those of us who are lucky enough not to be infected and wish to remain uninfected. The advice is stay home and go outside only for essential trips. Such trips can include tasks such as:
- Shopping for essentials. In such cases only 1 member of the household should go.
- Essential workers where remote working is not possible such as technicians in utility plants.
- Exercising. We need to maintain our health so we have been advised to exercise at most once per day and even then not more than two people at a time.
WEAR A FACE MASK in all situations where you must venture outside and maintain a distance of at least 2 meters between yourself and all other people – there have been some unique responses to this!
Remote working and remote schooling are other tactics that have been employed to help us all maintain social distancing.
Self Isolation is for those of us who are displaying symptoms. The primary symptom of any illness is a fever – this is normally the give away and tell tale sign. If suffering with fever (anything over 37.9 degrees C) then immediately self isolate.
Self Isolation is one stage further than Social Distancing and means taking to a room and literally locking the door.
If self isolating then remember to take with you a 7 day supply of:
- your prescription medicines;
- plenty of paracetamol (always follow the dosage guidance and never take them on an empty stomach). DO NOT TAKE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATION. If you have already been prescribed these by your doctor then seek medical advice immediately;
- sanitisers and wipes;
- a stock of dry foods;
- plenty of water;
- disposable bin bags;
- clean clothes;
- face masks and disposable gloves;
- reading materials, paper, pens, pencils, puzzle books and any thing else you need to keep your mind occupied;
- a computer or a laptop if you are lucky enough to have one.
- PLENTY OF TISSUES as the likelihood that you will develop a flu will be quite high.
The idea of taking the supplies with you are to minimise the interaction with the other members of your household, so you will need to develop a communication mechanism between you all.
If you are lucky enough to have an ensuite bathroom then this is a huge advantage. If you only have a shared bathroom then here is the protocol:
- Alert everyone through you chosen and agreed communication method that you need the bathroom;
- when you have the all clear proceed to the bathroom;
- take the santisers, wipes, change of clothes if needed and bin bags with you and when finished wipe down and sanitise every surface that you touched and came in to contact with. If you are not well enough to do this, then have someone else sanitise the whole bathroom as soon as you have vacated it. They will need to wear a facemask and disposable gloves when they do so;
- place all wipes that you used in a bin bag and tie it off;
- wash your hands thoroughly;
- place the bin bag in another bin bag and tie it off. Because you have washed your hands you have significantly reduced the chances of infecting the second bin bag so it is now safe for you to leave it behind for someone to dispose of it. Whoever disposes of it should be wearing disposable gloves.
- return to your room and alert everyone that the area is clear.
You will need to adopt a similar strategy and protocol for food. Make sure that you use disposable plates and cutlery as far as possible. Basically have someone place your cooked meal outside your door, knock and leave. Repeat in reverse order when ready to dispose of your rubbish in bin bags.
When it comes to washing clothes, the medical advice is to wash your clothes in water of at least 60 degrees C.
If your symptoms have not improved after 7 days, or worsen within the 7 days then seek medical advice immediately.
Of the many symptoms associated with Covid-19 if you only have 1 symptom then the chances are that you don’t have Covid-19. But DON’T take chances and self isolate if you have any of the symptoms. It is possible for viruses like this to mutate and or to affect people in different ways.
If you are unsure SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Don’t try to be a hero by ‘soldiering on’. This is not the time to be British and to hold a stiff upper lip as you are quite possibly putting others at risk. Do the right thing, self isolate if you have any of the symptoms.
If you have been tested depending on how severe your symptoms are you may be sent home for self isolation. In such cases you will be given advice similar to the above – please follow it until you know your result.
Whether you test positive or negative, if your symptoms worsen rather than improve then seek medical advice immediately.
Whether in good health or not, always drink plenty of water and keep yourselves hydrated.
Now we’re getting serious. There are two stages to quarantine.
If you suspect that you have been in contact with someone who is positive for Covid-19 then you must go in to quarantine for 14 days. This can be done at a medical facility, but you are probably safer doing this at home. Medical facilities are preferring this method as it places less load on an already overwhelmed health service.
If at a medical facility you will probably be sent home after 7 days, if you don’t develop any symptoms, to complete your quarantine.
Chances of Recovery
Much is always made of those that die. However the news is actually not so grim. The mortality rate is stable at around 5% globally, and the recovery rate is 20%. So there is a much higher chance that those who are infected will recover. Reason for optimism!
Take the advice Seriously
This does not mean be afraid, be scared, panic and pull your hair out in fear of the end of the world or even be sad! It just means PLEASE FOLLOW THE ADVICE. We all have a duty and responsibility to each other to keep ourselves and by extension everybody else safe.
Be yourself, don’t change who you are and don’t scaremonger – we will get through this.