20th March 2020
Coronavirus – (COVID19 – Corona Virus Disease 19)
COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic.
It is therefore vital, for your health and that of your family, friends and neighbours that you:
- stay in as much as possible
- wash your hands thoroughly each time you come in and regularly during the day.
Some authorities recommend that if you do go out, you should:
- Avoid handshakes and embraces.
- Keep at least six feet away from anyone you meet to help prevent the chance of further viral spread,
- Wear gloves, preferably rubber gloves, to protect you from potentially-contaminated surfaces such as door handles, shopping trolley handles, touchscreens and cash machines. The gloves should then be disinfected and washed after each use, or, if they are disposable, thrown away.
- Wear a mask – even a homemade one – to protect others from your coughs and sneezes (you can be a carrier without knowing). A mask will afford you some protection from others. For example, American authorities are recommending hospital staff make their own masks in the absence of professional kit. In large parts of Asia, you are not allowed on public transport without a mask, principally to protect others. If you google DIY anti-viral masks, you can find suggestions.
- You may also want to consider wearing goggles, like swimming goggles, since there is evidence the virus can enter through the eyes. Glasses and sunglasses may offer a little protection, but, of course, they are not sealed to your face.
Some authorities recommend that when you come home, you should:
- walk straight to your room without touching anything, if possible, and put all your clothes to the laundry. The virus can sit on clothing for hours – this is why health workers use plastic overcoats as protection.
- Have a shower with plenty of soap, paying especial attention to cleaning your hair.
- Put on fresh clothes.
For more information on this potentially deadly virus, click here.
In summary, the government’s health campaign promotes the message of Catch it, Bin it, Kill it – which is all about enhanced hygiene:
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
- Wash your hands often – with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and warm water dissolve the outer membrane of the virus – the so-called envelope -which kills it. This is particularly important after taking public transport, or shaking hands with someone.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, especially after shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment, especially phones, keyboards and door handles.
- if you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
- see the Public Health England Blog
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease, and it’s likely to be spring 2021 before one comes. In the meantime scientists are working on drugs that can attack the symptoms, which include lung blockage, some based on antibodies created by victims who have survived the disease.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.