As you are all well aware, WHO (World Health Organisation) recently declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Covid-19 (the official name given to the current Coronavirus) is part of the Coronavirus family, which also includes the SARS and MERS virus. The outbreak started in China however the epicentre has now shifted to Europe, where we are observing an exponentially growing number of Covid-19 cases.
Many European zones are now in a stage 3 epidemic situation. This means that the infection is widespread and we must all do our best to contain it as much as possible. We need to “flatten the curve”, as many specialist keep on reiterating. Currently 20% of the reported cases end up in hospital and if we don’t succeed in containing the virus (or at the very least drastically slowing down the spread) our health care capacity will be saturated in a few weeks’ time. This is why it is essential that we understand our responsibility towards each other to restrain the virus from spreading.
What should we do?
Covid-19 spreads very easily from person to person when an infected person coughs or exhales. Someone infected with the Coronavirus is estimated to infect three others. We must try to prevent this through strict personal measures, such as heightened hand and cough hygiene. Furthermore, we now also have to have to comply with structural measures to enhance “social distancing”. One of these measures, was the decision, taken by the Administrative Unit of the OSG of the European Schools, to temporarily suspend “obligatory regular attendance”.
Staying ot home…
Our age group is relatively safe but even people with mild or no symptoms at all risk infecting others. The greatest risk is for the more vulnerable, such as people of old age like our grandparents or people with pre-existing health conditions. Because we spread it so easily, without even being aware that we are infected in the first please, we have to keep our distance from friends and relatives. In order to do this we should stay at home as much as possible and limit our social interactions to the bare minimum.
If you do decide to go out, and disregard all recomedations by specialists, keep away from crowded places and keep your company as limited as possible. Even with only one friend around, you should keep a distance of at least 1,5 meters between the two of you and whenever you enter the house immediately wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
There is no need to start hoarding things. Shops with essential products, such as food and medicine, will remian open. Just make sure that your visits to the supermarkets are as few as possible.
So please just sit this one out and enjoy your time at home as much as possible 🙂 Spend some time with your family and stay away from your friends and grandparents for a while. No one forbids you from calling them of course, in fact it is more than encouraged! Don’t forget to take care of our mental health, and make the best of this situation!