Self-isolation Survival Guide
As someone with a heart condition I'm considered to be in the 'at risk' category for Coronavirus and it's associated complications. I am not a medical profession but I thought I'd share my preparation for self-isolation.
1. Wash Your Hands
I wash my hands a lot but I've noticed that the increased frequency with which I am now washing my hands. I must of washed my hands 20 times this morning already. It is the most important piece of advice.
2. Technology and Social Media
Take advantage of the technology we know have access to. Order your shopping online and have the delivery driver leave it on your doorstep. Use Skype or Facebook messenger to make video calls to your family and your elderly relatives in particular.
3. Cancel all non-essential appointments
I have about 4 outpatient appointments scheduled in the next three months. I have contacted all hospitals and asked for my appointments to be telephone consultations. Many hospitals locally have started to cancel all non-essential surgeries and appointments. My doctors surgery is now doing telephone triage for ALL patients.
4. Essential medical care
I am on blood thinners and must have my blood tested regularly. I attend my GP surgery every 1-2 weeks depending on how stable my levels are. Due to the virus outbreak my surgery are making arrangements for the district nurses to visit me at home. I have also requested that my local pharmacy start delivering my prescription medication.
Figure out how you plan to keep yourself occupied whilst on locksdown. Remember , lockdown means you cannot go out and cannot invite people over for coffee. I have decided that I will work on producing some content for my blog and my social media accounts. I have purchased a few photography backdrops so that I can start experimenting with flatlay photography. I also have a couple of university assignments due over the next three months so I will be working on those too. There will definelty be Netflix and lots of reading. A good friend of mine also suggested adult colouring books . I also need to practice my photo editing skills. I will also be keeping a video diary and posting it on my Facebook page.
6. Friends and family
If you live alone and don't have access to the internet ask your friends or family if they would be happy to do your weekly shop for you. They could either leave it on the doorstep or place an online order and book a delivery time for you.
7. Get outside
It is important that your try and get some 'fresh air' if you are going to be in isolation for several weeks. I don't mean going for a walk with a friend. I'm talking about sitting outside in your garden for 10 minutes or walking around your garden. The problem with being in isolation for several weeks is the risk of developing depression or other psychological issues.
Be careful where you get your information from. There is currently a lot of press and media coverage about the Coronavirus. And there is an icnreasing amount of 'fake news' out there. If you are keen to get regular updates use reliable sources such as Public Health England, The British Heart Foundation , The American Society of Cardiology or The World Health Organisation. If you want to discuss your particular situation contact your Cardiologist or your Cardiac liaison nurse.
It is important to fit some sort of exercise in to your routine. You can either buy an exercise DVD or download some apps onto your iPad to guide you through exercise. It doesn't have to be strenuous you just need to keep moving. For example, I have now informed my yoga teacher I will not be attending weekly classes and plan to download an app so that I can continue at home.
You will need to explore your options regarding work. Many people can now easily work from home (with a little adaption). The vast majority of people cannot afford to take unpaid leave. Be honest with your employer about your risk of infection and ask about what your options are in terms of sick pay . Seek employment advice from www.acas.org.uk or your local citizens advice bureau. Check your employment contract. Also explore your options about claiming benefits whilst your out of work.