It’s hard to escape any news about the coronavirus at the moment, or its official medical term – COVID-19.
Although we’re seeing a lot of people respond to the news about this new illness in different ways, some reactions have been more extreme than others.
When it comes to online learning about the disease, we round up ways in which you can keep you and your family healthy in the home, and any prep you could do to your house to help in the long run.
Primarily, it’s important for the public not to panic. People need to be taking the virus seriously of course, but there are cases of media scare-mongering currently taking place, which are, unfortunately, attributing to some cases of extreme public behaviour, such as stockpiling.
It’s important to keep in mind that although this is a new virus, and a vaccine is yet to be developed, we should keep calm, follow the government and NHS’s health advice, and put things into perspective about how these stats relate to other diseases (eg. the flu mortality rate).
When it comes to your home, there are a few things you can do to help stop the spread of the virus on a day-to-day basis.
Keep your regular cleaning schedule, but perhaps do it a little more often. Keep handwash and sanitisers readily available around the home, and remember to wash your hands thoroughly when you come in from outside. At least 20 seconds is recommended for a thorough clean, with warm water and soap.
High-alcohol products are recommended to kill the most bacteria, as well as the more traditional methods such as bleach (only on the recommended surfaces, of course). For more advice about keeping your home sanitised, head to the official NHS site.
Make sure everyone knows what to do, from the youngest to the oldest person in the house. Educate the little ones on how frequently they should be washing their hands, keep tissues handy for sneezes and teach them to catch it, bin it and kill it.
If you often travel on public transport, make sure your family knows to wash their hands once they get back home, and avoid touching too many things on the journey (especially their faces).
There is absolutely no need to panic buy. In fact, those who are doing so are causing more harm to others. This is especially detrimental for the elderly, those who may not be as mobile as others, and those who cannot afford to stockpile items.
Yes, make sure you can feed your household in the same way you would normally, but avoid buying extra toilet roll, soaps and gels or bags of pasta and rice – there simply is no need.
A total of 14 days self-isolation is being recommended to help prevent infection; so, if it comes to it, the most amount of time anyone in the household would likely be out of action, without hospital care, would be this time.
If you’ve been told to self-isolate then do so. However, unless you’re displaying symptoms, have called 111 (do not go to hospital, a GP or a pharmacy) and have been told to self-isolate, there’s no need to lock yourself away.
Sticking to the professional advice of the NHS, Health England and the government is vital to making sensible decisions during this time.
As part of our range of online courses focussed on professional learning online, we offer a free online course on COVID-19 with health advice from experts at The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Enrol today.
Explore more commentary on coronavirus.