Self-isolation and advice about coronavirus

The internet is currently filled with falsehoods and mis-information about the coronavirus, or COVID-19. We here at JUSNews wanted to bring you the most up-to-date and accurate advice out there, to help get you through these uncertain and confusing times.

The bottom line

  • You should self-isolate by staying at home if you have either of the two main symptoms of Coronavirus:
  • A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
  • You should self-isolate for seven days
  • Do not go to a pharmacy or to the doctors
  • You do not need to call 111 or be tested for coronavirus if you are staying at home
  • Only call 111 if:
    • You feel you cannot cope with the symptoms at home
    • Your condition gets worse
    • Your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Avoid catching the virus

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, for 20 seconds each time
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitizer gel if soap is not available
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

How best to self-isolate

  • Try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions
  • Ask friends and family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them
  • Sleep alone if possible
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Try to stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions
  • Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms
  • Do not have visitors (ask people to leave deliveries outside)
  • Do not leave the house, for example to go for a walk, to school or public places

What about shared-housing?

Self-isolating is difficult at the best of times, but it becomes a whole lot harder if you, like the majority of millennials, live in shared accommodation. Don’t worry though, because there is advice on this too.

  • Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens and sitting rooms as much as possible and keep shared spaces well ventilated.
  • Aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from people you live with and sleep in a different bed where possible
  • If you can, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household
  • Make sure you use separate towels from other people in your house, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes
  • Ask your family or the people you live with to remember to use their own towels
  • If you do share toilet and bathroom, it is important that you clean them after you have used them every time
  • Another tip is to consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with you using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bath, sink and toilet yourself
  • If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it while others are present
  • Take your meals back to your room to eat
  • If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry your used crockery and cutlery
  • If this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly, remembering to use a separate tea towel

What about face masks?

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
Flyers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport wearing facemasks on March 6th, 2020 as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads throughout the United States.

Mis-information

There is a great deal of mis-information circulating the internet. When reading information about coronavirus, always research it before you share or react. The NHS and WHO are always good places to go for information about coronavirus.

Here are just a few examples of mis-information being shared on Facebook …

Claim:

To test for the new coronavirus, take a deep breath and hold for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, discomfort, stuffiness or tightness it proves there is no fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicating no infection.

Truth:

There is no evidence to suggest this test can show if you have the new coronavirus.

Claim:

Drinking water every 15 minutes can prevent you from contracting cotonavirus.

Truth:

Drinking Water Every 15 Minutes Does Not Prevent Coronavirus Infection

Claim:

The application of heat or heating your body can kill coronavirus

Truth:

We don’t have good enough evidence for this yet – but it’s unlikely that applying heat to your body will stop you from catching coronavirus