Protect yourself and others by following safety protocols to help slow the spread
Are you experiencing pandemic fatigue? The term refers to the exhaustion, anxiety and stress you may experience as you struggle with a myriad of situations, experiences and emotional distress around the Covid-19 pandemic. You may also feel demotivated and tired of following the recommendations and restrictions.
With the third wave looming large across the country, South Africans can’t afford to let down their guard. Healthcare experts are cautioning citizens to exercise extreme caution. This means practicing non-pharmaceutical interventions, and practical things we can all do.
What can you do?
- Follow the rules
The rules and restrictions are there to keep you safe and to protect the country’s healthcare system. If too many people contract the virus in a short time, the number of people requiring hospital treatment rises and there may not be enough beds for those who need them. Follow the guidelines for washing your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Masks are mandatory in public places.
These are the new rules under Adjusted Level 4:
- No gatherings except funerals
- Restaurants may only serve takeaways or do deliveries
- Alcohol sales are prohibited
- No leisure travel is allowed, to or from Gauteng but is allowed between other provinces
- New curfew times are 9pm to 4am
- You should work from home if you can
- Call your own family meeting
If you have children, call a brief family meeting. Younger children may not fully understand the situation and a simple explanation can help reassure them and alleviate anxiety. Urge your older children and teenagers to follow social distancing rules and to keep their masks on at all times when in public. Show compassion and patience towards others in these stressful times.
- Social distance but stay connected
Stay at home as much as you can and avoid social situations. If you and your family are quarantining (you or someone in your home has been in close contact of someone with Covid-19 and you are waiting to see if you become ill) or isolating (you or someone in your home tests positive for Covid-19), stay in contact with friends and family through social media, instant messaging and phone calls. If your loved ones have Covid-19, support them by offering to pick up groceries and medication or cook and drop off meals.
- Practice self-care
This is not only beneficial for your physical health, but also for your mental wellbeing. Taking time to do things that make you feel refreshed and more relaxed can help you cope better with the pressures around you. Self-care includes following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, taking exercise and maintaining your personal hygiene. If media reports bring you added anxiety, limit your exposure for a few weeks. Ask a friend or family member to let you know about any important news. Set aside time every day to do something for yourself, like read a book, write in a journal or meditate. Reach out to your primary healthcare provider if you are struggling with anxiety or depression.
- Have the vaccine when you become eligible
Vaccines don’t only protect you as an individual, but also your greater community.
They work by helping the immune system recognise a pathogen and stimulate the production of antibodies against it, without the risks of contracting the virus directly. Your immune system keeps a record of the virus, so if you come into contact with it again, it will respond quickly, and you won’t get seriously ill. Healthcare workers, seniors over 60 years of age and teachers are currently eligible to get their vaccines. Over the next few weeks people between ages 50 to 59 will also be able to register.
Myths about the Covid-19 Vaccine
If you are still unsure about whether to have the Covid-19 vaccine, here are some myths and facts to consider.
Myth: Covid-19 vaccines are unsafe
Fact: Medical health professionals and scientists across the world collaborated to create the vaccines, which has decreased the time taken to produce them. Testing and approval procedures have been followed and the vaccines are deemed safe and effective. Most people who have received the vaccine report no side-effects, but some people do have a sore arm or feel mildly unwell for a few days after.
Myth: I’ve had Covid-19, so I don’t need to get vaccinated
Fact: If you’ve had Covid-19 you will have some immunity, but doctors aren’t yet sure how long this will last. Antibody levels are much higher after vaccination than if you’ve developed them naturally after contracting the disease. Even if you had Covid-19, you should still get vaccinated.
If you are still unsure or have concerns or questions, speak to your healthcare professional for further advice.
If you feel you need health and wellness support or advice, please contact us on 0861 GOLIFE (465433), SMS “Wellbeing” to 43821, or email email@example.com.
Categories: COVID19; General Health; Communicable Diseases; General Health Tips; Health;