Author: M. Mand
One thing is dominating the news at the moment: the growing spread of the coronavirus. The virus is leading to sensational headlines and the spread of rumours on social media which can be frightening to read or hear. So, what is the truth and should we feel anxious about it? Knowledge is power, they say, so to stop worry and anxiety we need to avoid listening to the rumours and make sure we know the facts and what we need to do to keep safe. Ensuring that we are doing our bit to contain the virus.
First of all, it is important to know that young people appear to be less likely to become sick from coronavirus. The majority of fatalities to date have been older people – many of whom were already unwell.
The symptoms include…
Dr. Lisa Damour, an expert on stress and anxiety in young people has the following advice:
“Wash your hands, get a good night’s sleep, protect your immune system,” Dr. Damour says. She recommends that young people talk to a parent, teacher or carer, so that they know what to do to reduce the chances of getting sick.
Her common-sense tips include trying to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, all ways of passing the virus on, and keeping your distance from people who are coughing, although you don’t need to avoid public places unless a doctor has advised you to.
Psychologist Daniela Raccanello says, “It is important that young people continue their lives as normally as possible, but at the same time be aware of what is happening. Keep busy with your studies, and understand that worrying situations, like a school being closed, or exams being postponed, is the best way to keep people safe.”
The National Health Service recommends the following:
– Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
– Always wash your hands when you get home or into work or college
– Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
– Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
– Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
– Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
We don’t know yet how widespread this illness will become, but health experts and governments around the world are working together to keep us safe and to ensure that the chance of infection is kept to a minimum. The best way to avoid anxiety is to be aware of the facts and to take the above advice about hygiene and behavior; the best defense against coronavirus is for us all to work together and do our bit.
You can find out more information on the NHS website here.