What is Coronavirus?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) website explains that ‘Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.’
This virus has now spread to 212 countries across the world. In South Africa, it led to the 2- day lockdown of the country from midnight on 26 March 2020. We hope that it will be safe enough to lift this lockdown on the planned date of midnight 16 April, but there is doubt that this will happen.
In the meantime, we all need ideas on how to keep safe while at home during the lockdown. We have five tips to help you keep safe from Covid-19 and five tips to help you keep safe from criminals during the lockdown.
5 Ways to keep safe from COVID-19 during the lockdown
The WHO website has excellent advice on protecting yourself from COVID-19. As they are the leading authority on health in the world, we have repeated this advice here for you:
1. Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
2. Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
4. Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
5 Ways to keep safe from crime during the lockdown
We hope that the increased police and army presence on our streets means that we’re safer from crime as well as the Corona-19 virus during the lockdown. But there will always be those that take a chance, so here are some tips to help you stay safe while home during the lockdown.
1. Keep security gates closed and locked at all times
Open doors are the most vulnerable areas of your home because criminals can simply walk inside. This happened to a KwaZulu-Natal couple on the first day of the lockdown. They had a sliding security gate on their front door but had left it unlocked. Criminals opened the gate and robbed the couple. So, keep your security gate closed and locked at all times especially if you leave the door itself open for fresh air and sunshine.
2. Only open windows with burglar proofing on them
If you haven’t secured all your windows with burglar proofing, don’t open the ones that are not protected. They are an open invitation to opportunistic thieves. Only open windows with reliable burglar proofing on them. If your burglar proofing is of the type that can open for easy window cleaning, like Trellidor Clear Guard or Trellidor Louvre Shutters, then make sure these protective units are closed and locked when the windows are open. You will then be safe from intruders.
3. Keep the door or security gate between your home and the garage closed and locked
Many of us leave garage doors open when we’re home. This is because we’re in and out of the garage, fetching tools or garden implements to use while we’re pottering about. Some homes have a door or security gate from the garage into the house and this is a weak spot that needs attention. Keep this door or gate closed and locked, especially when you go back into the house for any reason.
4. Use your safe zone passage door at night
While we’re all stuck at home and there appears to be no-one on the streets, we may get lazy about locking our safe zone passage door at night. It is not worth taking the chance. Rather continue locking this very important door or gate and make sure you and your family are safe while you sleep.
5. Lock up when you go out
Because it is so quiet out there, it is tempting not to bother with locking up properly when we go out to buy food, visit the doctor or go to the pharmacy. Don’t risk it. Even if you leave doors and windows open, keep your security gates and burglar proofing closed and locked. Don’t leave the keys to your security gates and windows within reach of anyone standing outside either. Keep these keys plus remote controls hidden inside a cupboard, just to be on the safe side.
For more ideas on how to stay safe at home, read more Trellidor blog posts
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