The latest updates for you on Coronavirus news, self-isolation, issues facing older people… and some fun!
Latest update: 20 March 2020
Mother’s Day – how to celebrate it
Mother’s Day – and this one is going to be a bit different. While our mums may be applying social distancing, however reluctantly, it does mean that many of us won’t be spending the day together.
But there are plenty of ways to stay in touch and make the day a virtual celebration.
We’ve come up with 10 Top Tips for giving mum a happy day on Sunday, from very old-fashioned methods to using tech to unite the family.
Check out our Virtual Mother’s Day blog.
Reassurance on power supplies
Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed an emergency package of measures to ensure vulnerable people do not get cut off amid a virus outbreak.
People who are on prepayment meters will receive help if they cannot get out to top up. This may include credit being sent in the post or funds automatically added to their meter.
Those struggling to pay bills will receive support and no credit meter disconnections will take place.
Debt repayments and bill payments could be reassessed, paused or reduced where needed, if energy customers are finding it difficult. Read more about this in the BBC News report
The Green Goddess is back – at 80
The Green Goddess – the original keep-fit queen of the 80s – is making a comeback on BBC Breakfast. Eighty-year-old Diana Moran will be doing exercises three times a week from self-isolation so viewers can follow along at home.
It’s just one of a number of initiatives aimed at getting people who aren’t getting out and about to keep moving.
The NHS has a raft of online goodies – video workouts and exercise plans for all levels of fitness. All of the routines count towards the recommended guidelines for daily activity.
We are particularly keen on belly dancing for beginners!
Gin-makers are a real tonic!
It’s emerged that gin distilleries across Britain have switched to making hand sanitiser in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Distilleries across the UK have shifted their production lines to make hand gel after shortages were reported across the country when the virus began to gather speed earlier this month.
They are using their high-strength alcohol – normally mixed with flavoursome botanicals – to make the hand-wash. Cheers to them all!
19 March 2020
First things first: I’ve got symptoms. What next?
A quick guide on what to do if you have coronavirus symptoms in the UK.
Symptoms are defined as either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
NHS advice is that anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days.
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.
After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine. But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they’re at home for longer than 14 days.
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
After 7 days, if you no longer have a high temperature you can return to your normal routine.
If you still have a high temperature, stay at home until your temperature returns to normal.
If you still have a cough after 7 days, but your temperature is normal, you do not need to continue staying at home. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. Source: NHS England on 18 March 2020
For people at “high risk”
From Monday 23 March the NHS will be contacting contacting people at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus. They will be given specific advice about what to do.
The advice from the NHS is not to contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.
People at high risk include those who
- have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine
- are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
- have a severe chest condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
- have another serious health condition
Free access to National Trust parks and gardens
Although its buildings, cafes and shops are closed, The National Trust hopes to keep as many of its gardens and parklands open, free of charge, alongside coast and countryside, to encourage the nation to enjoy open space, if appropriate, during the pandemic, while adhering to the government’s social distancing guidance.
They advise checking their website for updated information before visiting.
Guidance for care homes
The Government has produced guidance for people in residential care, supported living and receiving home care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
It’s aimed at local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and registered providers, who support and deliver care to people in their own homes, including community health services. Access the guidance here
Coronavirus news and BBC plans for ‘unprecedented times’
The BBC is setting out how it will ensure it keeps the nation informed, educated, and entertained – and exercise classes for older people are on the menu.
That’s just one idea from a package that includes religious services, recipes and advice on food for older people and low-income families and old favourite shows will appear on TV and on BBC iPlayer.
News channels will also be providing the latest coronavirus news.
- Using The One Show as a consumer programme show for all aspects of the crisis. This will include health and well-being advice, keeping fit and healthy eating tips, as well as links to other BBC output that can help and support.
- In BBC One daytime, Health Check UK Live will directly address the concerns of viewers who are in isolation, offering tips on how to keep healthy and happy at home.
- Making BBC Homepage the BBC’s bulletin board supplying clear information – the answers to all the key questions, with public information, health advice and recipes.
- Subject to outside broadcast capacity and our partners, the aim is to broadcast a weekly Sunday morning church service on BBC One, and explore how to support other religions and denominations, including in the run-up to Ramadan.
- Working with partners to get older age group exercise routines and other fitness programming into people’s homes on TV or radio.
- Retargeting the BBC Food website around collections of recipes and advice on what can be made with essentials, especially for older people and for low-income families.
Sing up from your sofa!
Gareth Malone is launching a digital music project to allow people to sing together while they are social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.
The choirmaster and composer will bring together amateur and professional performers around the country for The Great British Home Chorus.
Meanwhile The Sofa Singers, is an online choir that you can join direct from your couch.
It’s been set up by James Sill in response to Covid-19 and the potential for global self-isolation. James is a musician and ‘vocal leader’ by trade, so he’s always had a passion for music, a passion which he’s now using to bring people together and raise spirits.
The Sofa Singers takes places online via the video- conferencing service Zoom. It’s totally free to download and join in. The next session is on Friday 20 March at 7.30pm GMT. Just download Zoom and then follow the access link here.
We have a space on our website dedicated to Coronavirus and advice and guidance on how to deal with it when you are looking after elderly relatives.
We’ve also set up a dedicated coronavirus support community group on Facebook for you to share advice and get support from others.