For some people in our town, they have to get used to the idea that work is open even though outside is closed.
Those fine people who are keeping us safe, keeping us fed, and keeping us on our meds.
Fine people like Fiona Roche who, like David Dodd and others here, has proven that, in a time of crisis, a pharmacist can be just about your bestest friend. Ever.
With the spread of Covid-19 hopefully flattening in this country over the coming days and weeks, we asked Fiona to offer the good people of Greystones some word of advice, and encouragement. Some reasons to be fearful, and some reasons to be cheerful.
Thankfully, we’ve all been pulling together by staying apart, and for many, it’s been more like a month of Sundays than any kind of national emergency. But the spread of Covid-19 is both a national and international emergency, and right now, we do have to be careful about how we live. Especially when we venture outdoors.
And it’s not like any kind of lockdown should be a shock to the Irish system. Sure, didn’t we invent the lock-in…?
Over to the mighty Ms Roche…
It’s great to see the town responding so well to self-isolation, and helping one another – the only lesson now being, let’s not get complacent. It’s still a battle out there…
Incidentally, on the washing hands front, I have seen quite a few people with skin irritation from medicated soaps and hand sanitiser, but remember, there are less irritating alternatives available if you do have sensitive skin – so, have a chat with your pharmacist to find a solution.
Which leads me to my current mantra – Don’t Touch Your Face. I see people wearing gloves and then rubbing their eyes or touching their lips. They are still at risk of contracting the virus. Gloves are great for keeping your hands clean when out shopping – touching trolleys, petrol pumps, etc – but you need to bin them often. You don’t absorb this virus through your skin – it accesses your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. We need to break the habit of touching our face.
So now that we are entering The Next Phase and Coronavirus COVID 19 is beginning to hit what should you do. Many people are getting upset about the delay for testing but, to me, this is just academic; the treatment will be the same. When it hits your home all you will care about it is how you get through it. The criteria for testing are now having a high fever and difficulty breathing.
At the moment, we are coming into hay fever season, so many sufferers get a dry throat and a dry cough. This can cause some confusion, so, if you’re worried just ask your pharmacist. The guidance we are getting is that a high fever generally accompanies infection. The treatment for this is very similar to treating any flu – paracetamol, hot drinks, plenty of fluids and REST. Menthol Vaporub, mucolytics, and anything else that gives you relief when you get a bad cold will also give you comfort.
You will feel completely floored. There is no treatment for this virus, so, you need to give your body the chance to fight it. To give yourself the best chance in anticipation of being stricken make sure you are eating well and getting a really good nights sleep. If you are not doing either of the above you need to address this.
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’ – you need to adopt this attitude. Expect that you will get it and be ready to ride the storm. Do not be afraid; be prepared.
Look after your mental health as well as your physical health. We have information overload at the moment – it’s really hard not to watch it. We need to consciously make time to switch off. Be it meditation, watching a movie, playing on the Xbox or – something I did today and loved it – have a virtual coffee with a friend. We both made a cuppa and then spent half an hour on the phone having a great ol’ chat.
If you have a history of breathing issues, make sure you have an in-date inhaler. Do not use a nebuliser, as this is more likely to diffuse the virus around your house and affect others.
To protect yourself, dig out that humidifier you have from when the kids had croop, plug in your lovely salt lamp, and sit near it. If you have a salt diffuser- use it!
If have any suspicion at all, then you need to isolate yourself. If there are other people in your house stay away, keep your rubbish (tissues, etc) separate, and double bag your bin before it leaves your room.
Bag your laundry – bring it to the washing machine when everyone else has moved to another room, and put on a hot wash. If someone else is moving the laundry – seal the bag, wear a mask and gloves, put it in the wash, wipe your face with a hot flannel, and put that into the wash too.
The whole point is to slow the progress, to Flatten The Curve. Many people will be infected; our aim is to make sure it is not everyone at the one time. We are seeing people recovering from it – Dr. Ciara Kelly did a fantastic job of describing how it affected her – however, there will be many people who will get into a lot of trouble with their breathing. This is why we need to slow the spread so there will be enough access to appropriate care for everyone.
Be careful of keyboard warriors and the spread of fear and fake news. Be happy that we have some very smart people managing the situation for us – we are the envy of people in other countries who might not have the same level of guidance.
I appeal to all of those who are behaving in a reckless manner, to their parents who have to put the foot down. STOP THE MESSING. If you have an underlying health condition and they are behaving recklessly – put their bed outside. I MEAN IT!
You wouldn’t let them walk into your house and shoot you – don’t let them into your house if there is the potential that they may infect you or anyone who is vulnerable. This is not scaremongering – this is serious. We know people are dying, and more people are going to die – if someone is acting the maggot they will have to live with that guilt forever!
In summary, when out and about, imagine that the person in front of you has the virus, so you prevent yourself from catching it. Behave as if you have the virus, so you don’t affect others. Plan as if you are going to get it, so you have a plan to activate if you do. Don’t dwell on or obsess about it, just develop new habits – let it become second nature.
We are running a military campaign against a deadly enemy. United We Stand Divided We Fall!
You can see the latest Irish Covid-19 figures here, keep up with the local reaction here, and find some fine ways to spend your self-enforced Me Time here.
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