What can we do to protect ourselves and others from coronavirus infection?

Wellbeing

What can we do to control coronavirus?

UK’s new infection and death numbers continue to decrease, thanks to all the efforts by public and Government’s leadership and the efficient UK vaccination programme.

Easing lockdown rules

UK’s new infection and death numbers continue to decrease, it is a great news.  However, we do need to be cautious as we have seen the continued cases of more transmissible variants.

While lockdown rules are easing, we need to continue reminding ourselves “avoiding crowds, physical distancing, hand hygiene, masks and ventilation”, even after vaccination. 

The prime minister announced all UK adults should be offered a first dose of vaccine by the end of July, this is a great achievement. However, fear of unknown might prevent some people to take this great opportunity.

Is Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine safe?

The MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) reaffirmed that the benefits of the vaccine “continue to far outweigh the risks”.

We are aware that no medicine nor Vaccine is risk free, however it is essential for us to be aware of the risk, symptoms to watch and how to act should we have such symptoms.

CVST (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) occurs when a clot forms in large veins in the brain.
As a result, blood cells may break and leak into brain tissue leading to a stroke.

Following extracts are some valuable information from BBC news.

How can I tell if I have one?

Anyone who has any of the following symptoms four days or more after having the vaccine should seek prompt medical help:

  • A severe, persistent headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Persistent stomach/abdominal pain
  • Unusual bruising or red/purple pinpoint spots beyond the injection site where the vaccine is given
  • Neurological symptoms such as weakness in the legs or seizures

How long after the vaccine do clots appear?

Most cases have been seen between four days and a few weeks of people having the jab.

Medical experts in the UK now suggest doctors should consider this rare condition as a diagnosis in anyone who has matching symptoms up to a month after they have had the vaccine.

Can the clots be treated?

Generally, the quicker that cases are identified, the better for the patient.

Treatment can involve a number of medicines and includes immunoglobulins – immune proteins – given through a drip. Some patients will be sent home with new generation blood thinners and have regular monitoring.

According to blood specialist, Prof Adrian Newland, current evidence suggests 75% of people survive. An expert panel of blood specialists in the UK have put together guidance for doctors, which is being constantly updated.

Extract from BBC News “ Rare blood clots – what you need to know

 

WHO COVID-19 Situation Report  18-05-2021

Source : WHO COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update 18-05-2021

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from India (2 387 663 new cases; 13% decrease), Brazil (437 076 new cases; 3% increase), the United States of America (235 638 new cases; 21% decrease), Argentina (151 332 new cases; 8% increase), and Colombia (115 834 new cases; 6% increase).

 Source:WHO Weekly epidemiological update – 18-05-2021

 

Update on SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Interest (VOIs) and Variants of Concern (VOCs)

As surveillance activities to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants are strengthened at local and national levels, including by strategic genomic sequencing, the number of countries/areas/territories reporting VOCs and VOIs has continued to increase.

Source:WHO Weekly epidemiological update – 18-05-2021

Situation by Country in the last 7 days to 1 May 2021

Source: WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard

We are responsible for our own well-being

Life will never be the same, we need to make adjustments to live life with-corona. It is important to remind ourselves that we are responsible for our own well-being, we need to take personal responsibility.  This would include receiving vaccines when we are invited.

We need to take personal responsibility

Medical team are asking people to stop “bending” the rules because it’s leading to people in their 20s, 30s and 40s dying. “Even if you don’t think you are doing any harm by bending the rules a little, you are. It has a knock-on effect.”

‘One of the worst shifts of my life – overwhelming’
How NHS nurses and doctors are struggling to cope with Covid as cases continue to rise in England.

COVID Conspiracy Theories

Most of our guests have been co-operative in creating safer environment at The Rufus House, however we notice that there are some people who deny the existence of this very infectious disease.

“COVID-19 is a hoax, why are you so strict!” said one of the guests. I did not know then that COVID Conspiracy Theories existed.

How my mum fell for conspiracy theories
Sebastian’s mum has grown a big online following by spreading dangerous Covid conspiracy theories.

 

COVID-19 IS REAL, IT IS VERY INFECTIOUS

Asymptomatic People

Asymptomatic people without any COVID-19 symptoms, could infect others without knowing.

Coronavirus: Asymptomatic cases 'carry same amount of virus'
But the South Korean study couldn't say how much this group actually passed coronavirus on.

Long COVID symptoms

Even young and healthy, some patients are left struggling with “long COVID symptoms” including lasting fatigue, persistent pain and breathlessness for months.

Long Covid: I used to run, now I can only walk 200 metres
Dr Nathalie MacDermott, 38, explains how Covid-19 has affected her life.
'Long Covid': Why are some people not recovering?
Why is coronavirus leaving some people with long-term health problems including fatigue?

COVID-19 Risk visualisation videos

COVID-19 is a very infectious disease, asymptomatic person can infect others without knowing that he/she has virus.

It is rather difficult to visualise how virus can spread. I found those COVID-19 Infection Risk visualisation videos by NHK very useful in creating safer environment.

Visualizations of COVID-19 Risks | NHK WORLD-JAPAN On Demand

What can we do against coronavirus

We have lived with New Coronavirus for some time, science gained enough knowledge on “how to stay safe” by reducing the risk of being infected.

As far as we keep taking those personal responsibilities, we do not need to fear coronavirus.

  1. Avoid Confined spaces ⇒Ventilate air
  2. Avoid Crowed places ⇒ use face coverings
  3. Avoid Close contact ⇒  2m  Social Distancing
  4. Other point:
    Frequent hand wash, do not touch your face, do not share food/towels etc. and disinfect objects and surfaces frequently.
  5. Join vaccination programme.

Enhance immune system

To fight against any virus, it is recommended to enhance our innate immune system.

  1. Take Vitamin D supplement which enhance immune system: Vitamin D 1000 IU (25μg) daily, softgel capsules are easier to swallow.
  2. Balanced diet: Lots of vegetables, fruits & root vegetables. Eggs, fish, mushrooms & beans.
  3. Daily exercise: Daily walk using five senses, be comfortable with warm clothing and good walking shoes.
  4. If you practice yoga: practice one asana slowly and mindfully with full awareness to body’s sensations which stimulates sympathetic nervous system, then practice shava-asana pose to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which creates a relaxing effect. By practicing alternately, you can regain balance in autonomic nervous system, thus enhance your immune system.
  5. Warm your body :  🛀 Soak in hot bathtub before going to bed.
  6. Sufficient sleep   💤

Avoid the 3Cs by WHO

What we can do now

A new four-step plan to ease lockdown was announced this week, great news indeed. All legal limits on social contact could be lifted by 21 June, should strict conditions are met. The PM described the plan as a one-way road to freedom and added he could not guarantee it would be irreversible but the intention is that it should be.

Rightly so, as it is up to each of us, how we take personal responsibilities.  It was reported, as the first data, on the UK’s coronavirus vaccine rollout suggested it was having a spectacular impact on stopping serious illness.

Horizon - 2021: Coronavirus Special - What We Know Now
Dr Chris Van Tulleken takes us through the latest developments and answers concerns.

We all have to work together

First we need to control pandemic!

  • Stay safe by avoiding Three Cs and practicing hygiene: one has to be responsible in reducing infection risk.
  • Any doubt of infection, follow government guidelines. Strictly follow self-isolation procedure to protect other people.
  • Try to overcome fear of unknown and receive vaccine when invitation arrives, unless you are advised not to do so by GPs.
  • Each of us needs to follow government instructions to control this pandemic.  It is time each of us cultivated Altruism, not Egoism.  We all need to work together to be safe, this would ultimately lead to recover UK economy.

 

Stay safe, but we do not need to be overanxious.

Etsuko Ito MSc.

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