Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19

In the space of a few weeks Corona Virus or COVID-19, which is the correct medical term, has caused worldwide panic.  This is now being classed as a worldwide pandemic and is having a major short term effect on economies, the stock market and travel and most of all human beings.

1000’s have already died and 100,000’s have been infected, with health experts predicting that it will get worse before it gets better.

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What is Corona Virus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.  The latest Covid-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

The below are all important steps to help protect you from Corona Virus.

1. Keep your immune system strong

The is also no cure for Covid-19 and health companies and authorities are months away from one, so right now your own immune system is the best defence.  Your immune systems job is to protect you from germs and other nasties that might infect you.   Most of the time your natural immune system will protect you and fight off viruses.  The following are steps to keep your immune system strong:

Exercise

Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can have the opposite effect and weaken your immune system.  Try get 30-60 minutes of exercise per day and you dont exposure to other people and germs, stay clear of the gym, the outdoors is the best environment to try stay active.  If playing sport, try stick these €“ solo sports in this time where social distancing is so important

Stay Calm

The stress hormone cortisol actually turns off cells in your immune system and the more you panic and stress about whats going on around the world with this virus, the more you are potentially weakening your immune system.  Going back to exercise, staying active reduces stress as does engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation.  And remember worrying too much about Covid-19 might actually make you more susceptible to it.

Avoid heavy drinking/smoking 

Heavy or binge drinking depletes our immune cells, fact.  Also smokers and those with respiratory disease have a higher rate of serious illness and complications from coronavirus.

Get adequate sleep

We cannot underestimate the importance of sleep for the mind and body.  Luckily all the above steps will promote good sleep patterns, so youre on the right track.   A lack of sleep can impair the disease-fighting ability of immune cells, making a tired body more susceptible to infection.  Poor sleep patterns can also change diet patterns €“ if youre very tired all the time you maybe less likely to prepare food and more likely to snack and eat convenient and less nutritious food.

 

2. Social Distancing / Self Isolation

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  • Keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people.
  • Reduce interactions with people outside the workplace and home.
  • Avoid overcrowded areas and dont shake hands or kiss while greeting someone
  • Work from home if possible.

 

3. Touching and hygiene rules

1.Wash your hands very regularly

Hand hygiene is the first and foremost line of defence.  Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water, doing this kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Carry a hand sanitiser and wash your hands before you eat.  Avoid shaking hands with people and try avoid touching your face and mouth with unwashed hands.

2. Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.  When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.  WHO

3. Touch as little as possible in public places

Be especially careful in busy airports, train stations and other public transport systems about touching things.  It is inevitable that we will touch our face but be much more wary of this in public places.   Also further caution should be used when eating, alway wash your hands before eating and do not share snacks from packets or bowls that others are using.

Stay safe and get in touch if you have anything to add to the above.

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