Returning to normal life in the midst of a continuing pandemic
Over the last 6 months, many people have spent a lot more time indoors than normal, especially those who have been shielding because of a health condition(s). Whilst many have begun an attempt at ‘normal’ life, it may feel strange and take a while to get used to things that used to be second nature, such as going to work, seeing friends and family and going to the shops. Many friends and family members have stayed apart during periods of lockdown or shielding; meeting them in person is a great way to boost your wellbeing. Some simple steps to keep the infection risk as low as possible:
- Meet outdoors in open spaces rather than in crowded areas indoors; it is less likely that the virus will be passed on in open spaces
- Limit the number of people you meet (e.g. only see one group of people a day)
- Wash your hands before and after meeting someone
- Do not share items like cutlery or food if you are eating together
Going out to pubs and restaurants
With pubs and restaurants now open, some suggestions that could help reduce your risk of catching the virus:
- Opt to go at a quieter time (e.g. a weekday rather than a weekend evening)
- Sit outdoors if possible and preferably facing away from people you do not live with
- Wash your hands before and after eating
- Use contactless payment rather than cash.
Remember that there is no compulsion for anyone to go out if they do not feel comfortable doing so. Everyone has a different attitude to risk and if you know you will not feel safe doing a particular activity, suggest an alternative plan, perhaps a walk outdoors or a catch up on video chat…
If you have been shielding and getting online deliveries and would like to continue, please do so. However, if you choose to go out to the shops:
- Choose times of day when it less likely to be busy
- Select shops that are quieter, or have more space for shoppers to socially distance
- Make sure to wipe down the handles of your trolley or basket
- Try and do one big shop instead of lots of small ones
- Use contactless payment instead of cash
Attending medical appointments
If you have a health condition, many of your check-ups may have been cancelled over recent months. This can be worrying, especially if you have questions about your health or are not sure when you will be able to speak to your healthcare team. As normal appointments begin to be resumed, you may be asked to attend your appointment online or over the phone. Please try not to miss your appointment; it will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have and to make sure that your condition is being managed as well as possible. If you are attending a face-to-face appointment, you will be required to wear a face covering for the duration entailed.
If you are worried about any symptoms, please do get in touch with your healthcare team by calling 20052441.
For Covid-19 related symptoms, please return home if you are out and call 111 for advice.