As the infection continues to spread, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still fundamentally changing the way we live our lives. The Prime Minister has been infected and our government has warned that measures to slow the spread of the virus could be in place for up to 6 months.
As this global pandemic continues, many of our patients are keen to understand what they can do to help reduce the risk of infection. We’ve put together a short guide to answer some of the frequently asked questions.
Why should we slow the spread of the infection?
There are two main reasons why we should do everything we can to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Firstly, the infection itself is very unpleasant and in some cases it can be life threatening. Although we don’t yet understand everything about the virus, we do know that it can be very dangerous for anyone, but especially vulnerable people and those with underlying health conditions. Even if you don’t fall into that category there’s still a chance that you could inadvertently pass it onto someone who is at risk.
Secondly, by controlling the spread of the infection we’re buying essential time for our NHS. An uncontrolled surge in the number of coronavirus patients could overwhelm frontline services, so by slowing the spread of infection we’re helping ensure that help is available for patients when they need it.
What can I do to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?
Stay at home
As per government advice, you should only leave your house for the following reasons:
- To get food
- For health reasons (essential appointments and one daily half hour of exercise)
- For work (only if you absolutely cannot work from home)
This means putting a stop to unnecessary journeys and all social interaction in person. If you do have to leave the house, it’s important that you stay at least 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times. Please note that any public gatherings of more than 2 people are banned. This doesn’t include the people you live with.
If you do go outside, make sure you wash your hands as soon as you get inside and be mindful of any door handles or keys you might have touched to let yourself back in the house. Give those surfaces a wipe down too.
The risk of infection can be limited with safe hygiene practices:
- Wash your hands:
- Make sure to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, using soap and water.
- If you don’t have soap and water, hand sanitiser will do.
- Wipe down surfaces regularly, including metal, glass and plastic. This also applies to your mobile phone.
Getting food, medicines and other essentials throughout the pandemic
At the moment, going to the shops is a very different experience to how it was before the pandemic. Supermarkets are controlling the amount of people who can enter at any one time and a strict distance must be maintained between shoppers.
As we’re all looking to limit the amount of time we’re spending out of the house, many of us are looking to get our essentials delivered. Thankfully, there are online services available which can help reduce the need to leave your home. Supermarkets are still able to deliver groceries and Pharmacy2U can help make sure you still receive the prescription medication you need. You should plan ahead for delivery services as longer delivery times are likely to be expected.