With more and more precautions being taken in this part of the world in an attempt to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, anyone who thinks they may have come in contact with anyone affected is being advised to self-isolate. So, what does that entail?
If you have been told to self-isolate, you need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for 14 days. It is important to follow the advice for the whole period, even if you do not have any symptoms.
stay at home
* separate yourself from other people – for example, try not to be in the same room as other people at the same time
* only allow people who live with you to stay
* stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened
* ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you, such as getting groceries, medicines or other shopping
* make sure you tel* delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online
* clean toilets and bathrooms regularly
* think about a bathroom rota if a separate bathroom is not available, with the isolated person using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves
* use separate towels from anyone else in the household
* wash crockery and utensils thoroughly with soap and water; dishwashers may be used to clean crockery and cutlery
* stay away from your pets – if unavoidable, wash your hands before and after contact
* do not invite visitors to your home or allow visitors to enter
* do not go to work, school or public areas
* do not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis
* do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home
Living in shared accommodation
If you live in shared accommodation (for example, university halls of residence):
stay in your room with the door closed, only using communal kitchens, bathrooms and living areas when necessary
avoid using a shared kitchen while others are using it
take your meals back to your room to eat
use a dishwasher (if available) to clean and dry your used crockery and cutlery; if this is not possible, wash them by hand using detergent and warm water and dry them thoroughly, using a separate tea towel
What to do about work or other responsibilities
During an outbreak, it is important to reduce the risk of further spread of the infection. This will require understanding and support from employers, family members and friends.
It can help to:
* talk to those around you, including your employer, about the importance of self-isolation to reduce the risk of spreading infection at work; if you are well, you may be able to work from home
* make plans with your family and friends on how to manage shopping, dropping children to schools and events
* ask people not to visit your home while you're self-isolating; if you need a healthcare or care visit at home during this time, tel* them in advance that you are self-isolating so they can follow their local employer's guidance
I am finding this hard, what should I do?
For some people self-isolation can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings being affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping.
There are simple things you can do that may help, such as staying in touch with friends and relatives.