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‘Coronavirus’ the word of 2020 you might say (and not for a good reason either…). Since Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first discovered in December 2019 in the Chinese provenance of Wuhan it has become a global pandemic, effecting and devastating many countries around the world.
Coronavirus is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (CoV) which comes from a large family of viruses that cause many illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov) which was first identified in 2003. The -19 part of COVID-19 simply just refers to the year in which the disease was formally identified – December 2019.
Coronavirus’s are zoonotic, meaning that they are transmitted between animals and people. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommend the following to prevent infection; regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. They also advise to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing or sneezing.
While we all know how important it is to stay informed, there is a fine line between knowing the vital information and overwhelming yourself to the point where it can affect your mental health. Rumours and speculation that sometimes circulate via social media and unreliable sources can often fuel anxiety, especially when we are dealing with a global pandemic. For reliable news sources and factual information we recommend the following:
Across the UK, lockdown measures were first introduced in March 2020 which included the closure of all non-essential retail, pubs and restaurants. Since then there have been several further lockdown measures put in place to control the spread of the virus with the most recent lockdown being announced on 5th January 2021. As we now prepare for ‘freedom day’ in July 2021, which is said be the day that all current restrictions of mask wearing, social distancing and maintaining strict level are abolished, many people may find the easing of the measures difficult to process which could lead to FOGO (Fear Of Going Out).
If you find that you are struggling to come to terms with life after lockdown or simply want some further advice on how to cope going forward there are many places that are offering support, whether that be an informative page of tips to follow or an over the phone conversation: