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Mind in Bradford’s latest information on coronavirus

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a virus that causes a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. This illness is called COVID-19. You might hear both of these words used.

What are the symptoms?

The coronavirus can cause flu-like symptoms including:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature, sometimes called a fever
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the illness but does mean you need to follow all of the advice below.

If you live with someone who has the coronavirus symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days even if you don’t have the symptoms yourself.

How serious is the coronavirus?

The illness is not serious for most people, and most will get better. However, some groups of people are more at risk from the illness, such as the elderly or those with existing health problems.

How can I lower my chance of catching and spreading coronavirus?

Hygiene:

It is really important to wash your hands often with soap and water, and to wash them for 20 seconds. This includes before cooking and eating, after using the toilet, after blowing your nose or coughing, when arriving somewhere and when you get home. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitiser.

Follow the NHS’s hygiene advice when you cough or sneeze:

CATCH IT: Germs spread easily. Always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue use your sleeve, not hands.

BIN IT: Germs can live for several hours on tissues. Put your tissue in the bin as soon as possible.

KILL IT: Hands can transfer germs to every surface you touch. Clean your hands as soon as you can.

It is also important to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth without washing your hands first. Don’t share items that come into contact with your mouth, such as cups and bottles. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Working, socialising and travelling:

Stay at home.

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

From Saturday 21 March 2020, those with serious health conditions must be largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks

If you have travelled outside of the UK there may be additional advice to follow. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public for up to date information. Please call 111 if you are unsure and don’t have internet access (this is a free number).

As we are being advised to stay at home, think about if you have a way to get food, if you have some cleaning supplies, managing your budget, and checking you have enough medication. More information and advice is available at https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

What do I do if I think I might have coronavirus?

  • If you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough, stay at home for seven days if you live alone or 14 days if you live with others
  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy, hospital or Mind in Bradford
  • You don’t need to contact 111 to tell them you are staying at home

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/.

How does coronavirus affect me coming to Mind in Bradford?

Based on government guidance we have made the hard decision to stop all face-to-face contact with clients from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.

We are trying to keep services running by moving to telephone and on-line support where this is possible. Our Guide-Line telephone support service is open on 01274 594594, and Elefriends on-line help is available at https://www.elefriends.org.uk/

Mind in Bradford staff and volunteers have moved to remote working. We are learning quickly about how we can carry on helping people this way, and ask for your support and patience as we do this.

How can I look after my wellbeing?

You might be worried about coronavirus and how it is affecting your life. It might feel difficult or stressful, but there are things you can try that could help your wellbeing. It is understandable to feel worried or anxious at this unsettling time. Perhaps try writing down how you feel, practicing mindfulness or talk through your worries with us or someone you trust. One thing to consider is being careful where you get news and health information from. Up to date advice can be found on the NHS website. If the news makes you feel anxious or confused, think about switching off or limiting what you look at for a while. 

What can I do to help look after my wellbeing?

  • Hand washing and anxiety – Please ask for support if hearing about hand washing causes you difficulties.
  • If you are feeling trapped or claustrophobic – open windows to let in fresh air, or spend time on your doorstep or in the garden. Regularly change the room or space you spend time in.
  • Routine – plan how you will spend your time and try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible.
  • Keeping active – physical activity can be built into your daily routine by doing activities such as cleaning, going up and down stairs or dancing to music
  • Getting sunlight, nature and fresh air – these can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing. Try opening windows, sitting comfortably by a window, listening to natural sounds such as birdsong or having a plant in your home.
  • Finding ways to spend your time, including ways to relax, be creative and keep your mind stimulated – try activities such as colouring, yoga, meditation, doing puzzles, reading or having a sort out at home.
  • Connecting with people – consider if there are ways you can stay in touch with people on the phone or internet? You could also listen to a chatty radio station, or put up photos of the people you care about.

Members of some communities are experiencing acts of racism, discrimination and verbal abuse with the outbreak of the virus. The containment or spread of the virus is not based on ethnicity. Stop Hate UK are providing anyone experiencing or witnessing such discrimination with a confidential 24-hour third-party reporting service.

If you have particular questions or concerns, we will be happy to talk to you. Please call Guide-Line on 01274 594 594.

The above information is only an overview and may be updated regularly. This information was last updated on Monday 30 March at 5pm.

Posted on: 13th March 2020

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