COVID-19: Guidance For All
Written by Ben Magson on March 18th. 2020

1. What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The news about coronavirus is all over the media and is heard in almost every conversation. COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called Coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common across the world. These viruses can cause mild symptoms ranging from a fever and cough to more serious conditions such as severe pneumonia, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In December 2019, a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan City, China. This virus has now spread to other countries.

What are the symptoms:

  • ​Fever (High Temperature)
  • A dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • ​Breathing difficulties
The virus seems to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then after a week, leads to shortness of breath and some patients needing hospital treatment.  

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness and are similar to those for much more common viruses, such as colds and flu.

2. How to Protect Yourself, Prevent Catching and Spreading The Virus

i. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel

ii. Catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues

iii. Throw away used tissues (then wash hands)

iv. If you don’t have a tissue use your sleeve

v. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

vi. Avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Like seasonal flu, the same public health advice applies for COVID-19: if you cough or sneeze, use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose, throw it away carefully after use, and wash your hands.

Once flu and similar infectious viruses begin to spread, the main method that can prevent further spread, is good personal hygiene. Washing your hands regularly will help prevent flu and other viruses spreading.

3. Advice For People Who Think They May Have Coronavirus

i. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

ii. If you or someone you live with has a ‘new, continuous’ cough or a high temperature, you should all stay at home for 14 days

iii. If symptoms persist or worsen, use the online 111 coronavirus service at In Northern Ireland, call 111

iv. A medical professional will give you advice on what to do next

v. You may then be tested for the virus

Stay at home (self-isolation and social distancing is necessary) if you have coronavirus symptoms

• Stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible. 

• Sleep alone, if possible. 

• Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from people in your home if possible. 

• You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home and testing for coronavirus is not need if you’re staying at home.

Lastly, given the spread of COVID-19, it seems plausible that people who are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) or mildly symptomatic could be playing a role in spreading the virus. Therefore, let's flatten the curve and implement these protective measures to keep our families, friends and communities safe.

Ben Magson

Ben Magson providing businesses with competent health and safety advice. An expert at helping businesses gain control of their health and safety, and taking the stress away from business owners. If you're interested in getting on with running your business and not having to worry about health and safety, then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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