Many people have asked me a host of questions on the Coronavirus. So I am setting out as complete an overview as possible. The situation is fast developing and changing all the time – I will try to keep this page as up to date as possible.
I hope this is helpful in providing information so you will know what has happened, the action that is being taken and as much information as there is to hand to help people in different walks of life.
I have organised the drop down menu to make it as easy as possible to find the information you seek. Below I set out an overview and the basics of how to keep healthy which I hope will be helpful.
The danger of the Coronavirus
The Coronavirus is a flu-type virus that first transmitted from animals to humans in Wuhan, China. It is infectious – on average each person with the virus will infect 2.5 other people. It can be deadly. The older people are, the more dangerous to life the virus is. The evidence is that up to the age of 40, 1 in 500 people will lose their lives to the virus. This then rises steadily to 15% for people who are over 80.
What the Government is doing to beat the Coronavirus
The Government’s strategy is simple. It is to save lives – whatever it takes. The experts advise that however much care we take, it will not be possible to stop the virus entirely, it will only be possible to delay the spread. Why is this important? Because delaying the spread successfully will mean people catch the virus at a rate that will not overwhelm the NHS. Put simply, if we can avoid the NHS being overwhelmed, more lives will be saved.
As with all such infections, it is expected that immunity will build up as the infection rate increases across the population. However, we can save more lives if those who are infected are among the strongest, not the most vulnerable. That is why firm action is being taken to shield the most vulnerable people with underlying health conditions and older people.
Over the next few weeks there is likely to be a lot of discussion about this and I have no doubt there will be strong views on all sides. However, the Government has been clear that its decision making is science led and informed by the experience of countries where the virus has spread more quickly than our own.
How this affects you
Life is not going to be the same for some time. The Government has taken strong measures to bring in “social distancing”. Large events are no longer going ahead – whether it is the theatre or the football field. Workplaces are doing all they can to make home working easier. Some people have stocked up preparing for the worst which has caused temporary shortages while shops restock. It is a very long time since we had a serious pandemic. We are all adapting to a new world and a very different challenge.
There is no doubt that the pandemic will have a very serious impact on our economy. All businesses will find the next six months very tough. The Government has taken immediate action to help and more support will be provided.
Urgent and detailed work is being undertaken with public bodies, agencies and others to ensure that our country is best able to meet the challenge.
Prevention To protect yourself against the virus you should:
- Stay at home
- Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. This is the length of time it takes to sing “happy birthday” twice. If there is no soap then use hand sanitizer
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Always use a handkerchief or tissue if you can. If not, cough into your sleeve – not your hands. Bin any used tissue immediately
- Only travel on public transport if you really need to.
- Work from home if you can
- Contact your GP online to the extent you can
Beating the bug
Here is what you should do to beat Coronavirus:
- Stay at home;
- Don’t go to a GP surgery or hospital;
- Be particularly careful to keep away from vulnerable people – older people or people who are pregnant;
- If your condition gets worse or you have not started to get better after a week, you should call NHS 111.
Do check the latest and most detailed health advice from the NHS can be found here