This guide has been created using research from Harvard University and the NHS. Make sure you receive all your Covid-19 news from reliable sources!
How does the coronavirus spread?
The coronavirus spreads through person to person contact. This usually happens when people are in contact with one another. Droplets from an infected person can be released when they sneeze or cough, and if this lands near the mouth, eyes, or nose of another person, it can possibly cause infection to occur.
Covid-19 also spreads through contact with infected surfaces. If someone coughs onto their hands, then touches an object (such as a train seat), and then another person touches that object and then touches their face, the virus can be spread. That is why it is so important to consistently wash your hands, and avoid contact with surfaces. It is thought the virus can remain on surfaces for a few hours, so great care must be taken when going outside.
How do I know if I have the virus?
- Check your temperature. Even if you feel hot to touch your chest or back, this is potentially a sign of coronavirus.
- Do you have a cough? If you have a new, continuous cough (3 or more coughing episodes within 24 hours), then this is another
- It is impossible to know for certain whether or not you have coronavirus unless you get tested. However, the health service recommends people with symptoms stay at home and self-isolate, as testing kits are difficult to get during this busy time.
- If you think you have symptoms, visit the NHS website and go through their online service. You may have to call 111.
- Only if your symptoms get worse should you call the doctors. Do NOT go to the doctors / hospital without calling.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Stay home if you don’t feel well
- Clean surfaces regularly with alcohol-based spray or wipe.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap.
- Cough into a tissue or your elbow.
How to stay healthy in general?
It is important you maintain a strong immune system
in order to reduce your risks of catching Coronavirus. Here are some strategies you can follow to maintain a healthy immue system:
- Keep relaxed and avoid stress.
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
- Take vitamins if you are not getting enough.
- Maintain a healthy weight through exercise and diet.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume
- Try to get 8 hours sleep.
How do I self-isolate?
The most important thing to do if you are sick is to stay at home. This is called ‘self-isolating’. By staying away from other people, you can help stop the spread of the virus throughout society:
- If you have the symptoms of Covid-19 (dry cough or high temperature), you need to call the doctors and tell them you may have the virus. They will ask you a series of questions, and give you advice as to the next steps to take. Do not simply go to the doctors, as you could infect other people!
- Try to avoid public transport. If you need to travel anywhere, take a car or walk.
- You should not go to work or university. You must stay at home and rest. Even public areas (such as parks or shopping centres) should be avoided.
- If you live with other people, try to stay away from them as best you can. If possible, use a separate bathroom.
- If you live with other people, try to stay away from them as best you can. If possible, use a separate bathroom. You should also avoid sharing personal items such as dishes or towels. After using these items, make sure to wash them well. Similarly, keep surfaces very clean, and other highly-touched areas such as desks and tables.
- You need to keep your hands as clean as possible. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. After going outside, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. If you don’t have soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
The Good News
Even if you have symptoms of coronavirus, there is no need to panic. Experts suggest the death rate is less than 1%. The reason for the higher figures (2-3%), is that most cases are not being recorded, as people are simply staying at home and self-isolating. However, for students, the death rate is even smaller.
Young people generally have healthier immune systems and lungs compared to elderly people. As such, the death rate of coronavirus for young people is basically 0%. The youngest person to die in the UK has been 45, and sadly also had Motor Neurone Disease. The youngest person to die in Europe was 21, but they tragically had leukaemia as well.
If you do not have a serious underlying health condition, the chance of a young (or even middle-aged) person dying is almost 0.
In fact, for 80% of cases, symptoms will be very minor. Many people have reported symptoms being less severe than a normal winter flu. So, even if you do get sick, the chance of thing getting seriously bad are very low.