29 Oct Get Covid-19 Information from Trusted Sources
It is so important to get Covid-19 information from trusted sources as highlighted by the recent debacle with leaked ‘Level 5’ rumours on Social Media.
Anxiety, stress, second-guessing and a lot of energy has been wasted with this and many other Social Media ‘news’ items in the course of this pandemic, all of which can contribute to mental health issues.
Furthermore, it acts as a needless distraction from the key Infection Control and public health issues which need to be adhered to in order to protect older people and those of us with underlying health conditions.
COVID-19 – Infection Control
The focus should be kept on the need to curb the COVID-19 outbreaks by encouraging and promoting infection control. This will also help reduce the occurrence of influenza and the other seasonal illnesses which increase at this time of year.
- Hand hygiene: Clean your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser when out and about
- Try not to touch you face (eyes, nose or mouth) with your hands
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze – into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue – encourage others to do the same
- Maintain a distance of 2m between yourself and others where possible
- Wear a mask in public places. Guidance on how to wear one properly can be found here.
- Open windows to allow for ventilation
If you develop symptoms contact your GP and follow the advice and prevent spreading it around.
Mental Health in a Pandemic
COVID-19 has resulted in increased anxiety and stress on everyone in society. Some people are suffering more than others – especially those who are grieving with reduced contact due to ‘cocooning’, self-isolating or quarantining. Other people have lost their support services and may be under tremendous strain trying to cope with no respite. A good source of information is available here. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and others you deal with – you don’t really know what people are going through.
Winter is hard and the ‘Zoom’ calls will be essential to vulnerable people who won’t have the opportunity to get out in bad weather. Use creative ways to keep in touch with people.
Reading ‘fake news’ on Social Media can add to anxiety, as can reading depressing stories of Covid doom and rising case numbers. Limit your time spent reading and listening to this and focus on something that gives you comfort instead:
- Talk to people –make sure to telephone someone every day
- Engage with texts, emails and social media from family & friends
- Try to keep a normal routine – getting up, meal-times and bed-time
- Do things/activities you like to do – gardening, You-Tube has Yoga, Pilates, Art classes, crafting, a jigsaw anything to distract you.
- Look after your own health – Eat and keep hydrated
- Try to keep a positive approach
- Seek out humour in TV, Books, People you know
Exercise for Mental & Physical Fitness
Even if we can’t get out due to weather or to indoor places due to restrictions we can exercise at home. Older people lost muscle mass from their cocooning last time around and this made them prone to falls. This useful information from Tallaght Hospital provides good advice and fact sheets.
Factual Covid-19 Information
- HSE information on COVID-19 symptoms and treatment
- Latest government information advice and guidelines visit here and it is updated daily.
- Mental health supports and about minding yourself in these extraordinary times.