Fiona's Thoughts on COVID-19

Covid 19 – No Time For Complacency

How strange Greystones feels.
It’s like the child snatcher has visited our town as all the children are kept behind closed doors. 
Whilst, on the other hand, there are many adults working from home who rarely get to see Greystones in the daylight as their normal commute to work means an early departure and late return.
Before I talk about the ‘Next Phase of Covid 19’ let me address a problem that has come to light.
I have seen quite a few people with skin irritation from medicated soaps and hand sanitiser. This will naturally mean that those people, particularly children, will shy away from using these products. 
There are many soaps that are effectively cleansing and have a moisturizing effect – remember there are many hospital staff using these products in ‘normal’ life so there are less irritating alternatives available if you do have sensitive skin – so have a chat with your pharmacist to find a solution.
There is lots being said about social distancing, so I’ll presume that it’s a given and I don’t need to expand on that here.
Don’t Touch Your Face – to me this is the most important – I see people wearing gloves and then rubbing their eyes or touching their lips, they are still at risk of contracting the virus. Gloves are great for keeping your hands clean when out shopping, touching trolleys, petrol pumps, etc – but you need to bin them often. You don’t absorb this virus through your skin – it accesses your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. We need to break the habit of touching our face.
 
So now that we are entering The Next Phase and Coronavirus COVID 19 is beginning to hit, what should you do.

Many people are getting upset about the delay for testing but to me, this is just academic – its only numbers – the treatment will be the same. Yes, it is important for the state to have the numbers but when it hits your home all you will care about it is how you get through it.
The criteria for testing are now having a high fever and difficulty breathing.
At the moment we are coming into hayfever season so many sufferers get a dry throat and a dry cough – this can cause some confusion at the moment as people wonder “is it the virus’. Chat to your pharmacist – don’t bottle it up – if you are worried, just ask.
The guidance we are getting is that a high fever generally accompanies the infection.
The treatment for this is very similar to treating any flu – paracetamol, hot drinks, plenty of fluids and REST. Menthol vaporub, mucolytics and anything else that gives you relief when you get a bad cold will also give you comfort.
You will feel completely floored, there is no treatment for this virus so you need to give your body the chance to fight it. 
To give yourself the best chance in anticipation of being stricken make sure you are eating well and getting a really good nights sleep. If you are not doing either of the above, you need to address this. 
Benjamin Franklin famously said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’ – you need to adopt this attitude - expect that you will get it and be ready to ride the storm. Do not be afraid, be prepared.
Look after your mental health as well as your physical health. 
We have information overload at the moment – it’s really hard not to watch it. 
We need to consciously make time to switch off. Be it meditation, watching a romantic movie,  playing on the Xbox or – something I did today and loved it – had a virtual coffee with a friend – we both made a cuppa and then spent half an hour on the phone having a great old chat.
If you have a history of breathing issues make sure you have an in-date inhaler, do not use a nebuliser as this is more likely to diffuse the virus around your house and affect others. 
To protect yourself, dig out that humidifier you have from when the kids were small and had croop, plug in your lovely salt lamp and sit near it, if you have a salt diffuser- use it!
If have any suspicion at all that you need to isolate yourself stay away from other people in your house and keep your rubbish (tissues, etc) separate. Double bag your bin before it leaves your room. Double bag your laundry – bring it to the washing machine when everyone else has moved to another room and put on a hot wash. If someone else is doing the laundry – seal the bag and get them to wear a mask and gloves, put the mask and gloves in the wash and get them to wipe their face with a hot flannel and put it into the wash too. If any items from your room accidentally come in contact with surfaces near the bin or washing machine, those surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned using gloves and the gloves disposed of.
The whole point is to slow the progress ‘ flatten the curve’ – many people WILL be infected, our aim is to make sure it is not everyone all at the one time.

We are now seeing people recover from it – Dr.Ciara Kelly did a fantastic job of describing how it affected her – however there will be many people who will get into a lot of trouble with their breathing.
This is why we need to slow the spread so there will be enough access to appropriate care for everyone.
Be careful of keyboard warriors and the spread of fear and fake news.
 
Be happy that we have some very smart people managing the situation for us – we are the envy of people in other countries who might not have the same level of guidance.
I appeal to all of those who are behaving in a reckless manner to stop, and to their parents to put their foot down. STOP THE MESSING. If you have an underlying health condition and they are behaving recklessly – put their bed outside. I MEAN IT!
You wouldn’t let them walk into your house and shoot you –  don’t let them into your house if there is the potential that they may infect you or anyone who is vulnerable.
This is not scaremongering – This is serious.
We know people are dying, more people are going to die – if someone is acting the maggot they will have to live with that guilt forever!
In summary – when out and about imagine that the person in front of you has the virus so you prevent yourself from catching it, and behave as if you have the virus so you don’t affect others, plan as if you are going to get it, so that you have a plan to activate if you do – don’t dwell on or obsess about it – just develop new habits – let it become second nature.
 

We are running a military campaign against a deadly enemy
United We Stand Divided We Fall

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