How well informed or prepared are you to protect yourself from Coronavirus?
It’s just the start of Autumn in Australia and here we are, in the midst of a virus outbreak that is globally spreading faster than we would like and for which we have low immunity and no vaccine.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from Coronavirus?
First of all, I urge you to remain calm.
The fast and worldwide spread of COVID-19 is real and it would be wrong to be flippant about this. However, rather than trust all media we suggest you read from reputable sources and make an informed decision about your daily movements and actions.
My personal view is that it will get worse before it gets better. In the meantime, let’s do all we can to minimise the spread and to support our own immune systems as best we can.
What Is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause flu-like symptoms, such as:
- runny nose
- shortness of breath and
- sore throat.
In more severe cases, it can develop into pneumonia.
This particular strain, COVID-19 was initially discovered in China, in the Wuhan Province and has since spread quickly, especially to Europe.
Because there is no vaccine for COVID-19, nor a specific treatment protocol, this virus is making us scared. And when scared, we do unreasonable things such as buy toilet paper and pasta in bulk.
I am pretty sure this will not protect you from the virus. In fact, according to healthdirect (a government website for all things health related) hysteria is not conducive at this time.
People who have serious underlying disease, the elderly and those who are immunosuppressed will need more intensive medical treatment and can be cared for in hospital. This is the same for all viral and flu illnesses.
If you display any of the symptoms then it is best to get an early diagnosis followed by general supportive care.
Most of the time, symptoms will resolve on their own and if your immune system is strong it will fight the virus in a similar way to which it fights all other viruses that you come in contact with.
What Is The Government’s Stance On Coronavirus?
With the World Health Organisation declaring this a global pandemic, we must be sensible rather than irrational in how we approach this.
The advice given by the NSW Health Department on how to prevent COVID-19 is as follows:
- Clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and/or use an alcohol-based hand rub
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
- Practice cough etiquette (keep away from other people, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and clean your hands
- Travellers to Asia should not visit live bird and animal markets, including ‘wet’ markets.
The Australian Government has also issued a statement that:
- all international travellers returning from overseas are required to self-isolate for 14 days
- all international cruise ships are banned from docking in Australia and that
- non-essential static gatherings of more than 500 people be cancelled.
In the interest and safety of Australians, many businesses are also advising that their staff work from home if possible.
How Can You Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?
The number one advice to prevent contracting the virus is to wash your hands, often, for 20 seconds minimum and thoroughly.
You may also want to practice social distancing and avoid busy places where lots of people come together such as shopping centres and public events. This is of course your prerogative.
Only if you develop symptoms or have been in direct contact with someone who has the virus do you need to self-isolate for 14 days.
Our advice here is to contact your doctor or local hospital for the latest update as the advice may have changed after this goes to print.
Will wearing a mask help protect yourself from Coronavirus?
According to the heathdirect website only people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who are in close contact with a person with suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 need to wear a disposable face mask. If you are anxious and wearing the mask helps you feel calmer, then go ahead.
The advice from our Prime Minister via media is to ‘go about your business as usual’ while at the same time follow any new specific health advice and practice good hygiene.
So, with this in mind you may still do your gym session in the morning and have your lunch time massage.
Is It Safe To Come For A Massage?
If the current Coronavirus situation is making you anxious or tense, then a massage is a great idea. Please rest assured that we are taking extra precautions to help protect ourselves and you from Coronavirus.
“At SRM we take hygiene very seriously and ensure strict infection control practices are adhered to.”
A reputable professional massage therapist follows a very high level of infection control to minimise contamination or spread of disease.
At Sydney Remedial Massage, we use hospital grade disinfectant and all our therapists wash our hands (and arms) before and after each client.
We use new linen for every client and pump action oil dispensers limits the spread of any cross-contamination.
We also provide hand sanitiser for all our clients to use and we are extra diligent in disinfecting our door handles and common areas.
If you are unwell with a cold or something more serious it is advisable to NOT have a massage until you have fully recovered.
What Else Can You Do To Help Protect Yourself from Coronavirus?
The way to improve and support your immune system is quite simple.
- Eat healthy, vitamin dense food: It is more effective to get the nutrients required form a varied, balanced and healthy diet. Excess amounts of some vitamins may in fact be toxic so make sure you dose according to the recommendations if you are using supplements. More is not necessarily better.
- Choose foods rich in vitamins and minerals including: citrus fruit, garlic, almonds, fish, mushroom, ginger, leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli, berries and capsicums to name a few. Fresh is best but frozen will also work well.
- Hydrate: getting enough water has been shown to be important for general immunity and since it is virtually free why not make sure you stay well hydrated.
- Sleep: research shows that sleep-deprived people can have lower immunity making them more susceptible to viral infections. While you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which are needed to fight infection. Being sleep deprived reduces the number of cytokines produced. Getting sound sleep should be a priority. One way of getting better sleep is to switch off technology prior to bed and when possible leave the phone/tablet/computer in a room other than the bedroom. Yes!
And one more thing…. Make sure you clean your technology. A 2020 study showed that viruses similar to the COVID-19 can live on surfaces like glass, metal and plastic for up to 9 days…..scary thought…so get that 70% alcohol wipe out and disinfect everything.
Article by Sydney Remedial Massage
Please note that this article is for information only and does not replace medical advice. Please visit your GP if you are feeling unwell.
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