It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and scared by everything you’re hearing about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) right now.
The virus is currently dominating the news and with this in mind we would like to draw attention to the Young Scot Website which has useful guidance on things you can do to help prevent catching the virus and stop the spread of it to others whilst thinking about looking after your mental health if you’re feeling anxious or worried about it. Here are some tips on dealing with the the Coronavirus outbreak:
- It’s OK to be worried
It’s totally normal to be feeling a little anxious about what’s going on right now, especially when things seem uncertain. Whilst it’s important to take the NHS and government advice seriously and keep updated via official sources, it’s OK if you need to take a break to look after your mental health.
- Keep washing your hands
One of the simplest things you can do to prevent getting any kind of virus is thoroughly washing your hands. The handy video below from the NHS shows you how to wash your hands to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday’!
- Coughs and sneezes spread diseases
If you feel a cough or sneeze coming, make sure you do it in a tissue. It prevents bacteria getting into the air and possibly spreading to someone else. A proper #dab (covering your mouth and nose with the bend of your elbow) when you cough and sneeze is a good practice to protect yourself and others from #COVID19. If you don’t have tissues to hand and you’re not going to be able to get a tissue on time, cough or sneeze into your sleeve at your elbow. It’s always a good idea to keep a pack of tissues on you, just in case!
The current advice states that if you have a new continuous cough, or a fever, that you should self-isolate for seven days and then reassess your symptoms – even if you don’t think you have the coronavirus. Self-isolation means staying at home without having any contact with other people – which if you’re living at home with parents or carers and possibly siblings, might mean sticking to your bedroom. After 7 days, if your symptoms haven’t improved or have gotten worse – you should contact NHS 24 for free on 111.
- Avoid spreading the virus
Official reports have so far suggested that young people without underlying health issues are experiencing mostly mild symptoms and are recovering quickly. However that doesn’t mean that if you think you have symptoms but feel ok you should go about your business. Spreading the virus can be dangerous for older people and people with other health concerns such as asthma, diabetes and heart problems. Catching COVID-19 could be potentially fatal for someone in those circumstances, so make sure to be mindful of others around you if you think you might be showing symptoms, and follow the official advice.
- Stick to the facts
Panic can be caused by seeing and sharing fake news – unfortunately there can be a lot of information out there that just isn’t factual. Whether it’s on social media or other websites, make sure you’re checking sources before sharing them yourself, and looking for at least two other similar accounts to what you’ve read or seen to make sure it’s correct. The best way to avoid fake news is to stick to the NHS Inform website for the latest news and updates.
- Listen and support
At times like these, often the best thing that you can do is make sure you’re listening to each other and supporting each other to get through a difficult time. Whether in your local community, or amongst family and friends, remember that others might be going through a hard time too – and you can help by following the steps above.