It’s not just a catchy song by M.C. Hammer anymore, it’s quickly becoming a lifestyle.
The other day I was talking with a friend about the coronavirus, after our chat, she paused and said: “do you even remember what we used to talk about before the virus?” and to be honest, I couldn’t. It seems, however, that after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Monday evening, conversations surrounding the virus are only going to increase.
Currently, South Africa is under a Lockdown until 17 April 2020. Since you’re going to be experiencing a lot of “me-time” at the moment, myself and the BLVD team decided to give you a list of fun and entertaining options so that you don’t feel tempted to leave the house when get cabin fever (could result in an actual fever.)
Before we get to the fun part, let’s unpack a few of the terms flying around at the moment:
What is the coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organisation, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a disease that affects your upper respiratory system. It is spread via droplets or discharge from sneezing or coughing. The disease itself can range from mild to fatal. According to worldometer, there are currently 378, 392 recorded cases of COVID-19. 16, 490 individuals have died from the disease and 101, 584 individuals have recovered from the disease successfully.
What are the symptoms of the virus?
- Dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Full body aches
Also keep in mind that COVID-19 takes two weeks to incubate and it can be asymptomatic, which means that you could have it right now, and have no idea. That’s why it is very important to self-isolate and make use of social distancing.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is the act of cutting out unnecessary socialising. It means that you avoid public spaces, group gatherings and try to avoid mingling with different people. I know, it’s an extrovert’s nightmare!
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is the practice of remaining at home. When self-isolating you don’t go to work, but rather work from home. You avoid visitors, leaving the house and socialising. If you need groceries or medical supplies then you go out, solely for that specific purpose and then you return home. As of Thursday, at midnight, we will all be in self-isolation for three weeks.
What is a quarantine?
Being under quarantine is one step further than self-isolating, you do not leave the house under any circumstances. People who should be under quarantine are as follows:
- Individuals with COVID-19
- Individuals who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
- Individuals who travelled recently (if you have travelled, you’ll usually be in quarantine for two weeks to see if you exhibit any signs)
What is a Lockdown?
For the first time in South African history, we are experiencing a Lockdown. As of 26 Thursday 2020 at midnight, South Africa will essentially shut down. Medical staff, certain retail staff and necessary municipal staff have been pardoned from this Lockdown as they are needed to run the country. Shops will remain fully stocked throughout this entire process, this is to discourage panic buying. It is advised that individuals only leave the house once a week or so to collect supplies and then return home. Previously we had been social distancing, now we are self-isolating.
How can I avoid COVID-19?
- Wash your hands, because the virus is spread through droplets etc. it is important to remain hygienic at all times
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and face
- Cover your cough with the bend of your elbow
- Avoid excessive socialising (I promise we can all party once this is over)
- Up your vitamin C
- Get your flu shot
How can I help during the COVID-19 outbreak?
- DO NOT PANIC BUY! It is so selfish and unnecessary. At no point, so far, has there been a shortage of supplies within the country. The only reason supplies are low is because of panic buying, in which individuals shop as if the apocalypse is on their doorstep
- Avoid people. I know it’s difficult, I am such an extrovert, but I know that I need to dodge people right now for my own health. Our age group is the most likely group to show asymptomatic signs. So you could have the virus and not know it and if you then decide to visit someone, you could give the virus to them and it could be fatal.
- Stay healthy. Eat lots of veggies and take those vitamins!
Be kind. Now is a time to band together. See if your elderly neighbour needs some help or if your friend is panicking and needs to be calmed down. Kindness will get us through this.