I’ve always been drawn to survivor type dramas, finding it terrifying yet fascinating to watch imaginary disaster scenarios. Today, watching the media frenzy is a bit like tuning into the start of a new Netflix series. The gripping pilot is set in China and although scary, it is far enough away to instil a short-lived sense of security. In episode one, it starts to spread through Asia and the Middle East to Europe and before we know it, the shelves of north west London supermarkets are attracting panic buyers like killer bees to a honey pot!

Whether this plays out to be a short, limited series (we hope so) or a multiple season global saga we really don’t know. We certainly do know that older people are more vulnerable, so for those involved personally or professionally in caring for an older person, it’s best to have access to up to date information.

The government’s guidance for the adult social care sector seems a good starting point. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19 

In summary, their advice to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses is to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Singing either Happy Birthday twice or the first verse and chorus of the National Anthem will pass this time.

Or if not possible, use min 60% alcohol sanitiser, especially after taking public transport. I asked my local pharmacy if they could get me any hand sanitiser as its out of stock everywhere I tried.  They have added my name to a waiting list for a delivery due in tomorrow. Failing that I’ve found a home-made recipe online. Hurray I finally have a use for the vodka I’ve kept in my cupboard for years. Every cloud….

They also advise covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing it in the bin and to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If you don’t have a tissue use your elbow or sleeve not your hands. Finally, always clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Guidance for the public is updated daily here  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

You can also get info from Public Health England Blog and the NHS UK page

Stay tuned for episode two, and in the meantime, please be vigilant about washing your hands.