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COVID-19 Being Socially Responsible

We are faced with a new virus COVID-19 that affects the lungs and airways, our very lifeline!  This is the time to learn and know what belonging to a community is. All of us are in this battlefield and victory will only come if all of us without exception do our part. It is a global pandemic and each of us, each family, each community, and each country needs to do its part to stop the pandemic. Coronavirus knows no borders or ethnicity. We are so connected that if any of the stakeholders let up, the pandemic will not stop. Globally there are now almost 500,000 cases and more than 22,000 deaths. In the UK we now have almost 10,000 cases and 477 deaths. 

Symptoms and Actions

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough – that is coughing a lot more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours , and/or( if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • high temperature – that is you feel hot to touch on your chest or back and if you have a thermometer, then a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or more

Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital but stay at home and use the 111 online coronavirus service for advice.

Check the NHS website if you have symptoms and on what to do.

Protecting oneself and Others

We need to look after ourselves in order to be able to look after our loved ones and the community at large. For about 80% of us, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. But we need to protect our less vulnerable. People above 60 years of age and those with underlying medical conditions, regardless of the age.

The safest premise that we should work on is that none of us know who can infect us.  This is because if one person is infected, he/she will not know until 14 days later. Meanwhile, he/she can easily infect 10 people in a day depending on his/her activity. The 10 people, thinking they are healthy can infect another 100 people and so on...

Given the very limited testing kits and NHS resources, we have three ready tools at hand to stop the spread of COVID-19

  • Washing hands
  • Social Distancing
  • Self-isolation

Washing Hands

Washing our hands for 20 seconds properly interrupts the spread of germs.  Rinse your hands with clean running water, then turn off the tap (to save water) and apply soap to your hands working up a lather. Make sure you apply the lather by rubbing the front and back of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails. Then wash your hands with water. The temperature of the water does not matter, though warm water is more comfortable and will encourage you to wash your hands more often and properly.

Keeping washing your hands at intervals and especially when you come back from a trip to the supermarket or pharmacy, before doing kitchen chores and eating. If you need to cough, do it in a tissue and bin it straight away. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE.

Self Isolation

If you are displaying the symptoms, then you need to isolate yourself for 7 days. If you are living with a family, then everyone needs to be in self-isolation for 14 days.

If you are living alone:

  • Order online and instruct to leave deliveries at the doorstep.
  • Have contact details of family and friends on hand for help with groceries and medication.
  • Go to COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK and look up your local group to help you with your needs.
  • Keep an eye on your mental health:
    • go for a walk keeping at least a 2 metre distance from others;
    • spent time gardening as spring is here and the weather is getting kinder;
    • do home yoga and exercise, there are many online videos to follow;
    • catch up on your reading, knitting, sewing, watching movies etc.

If you are living with a family

  • Stay in a well ventilated bedroom with the door closed.
  • Use a separate bathroom and if sharing, use the bathroom last and wipe with anti-bacterial spray or wipes after use.
  • Do not share towels and do the laundry separately.
  • Either use separate crockery or ensure crockery is washed on a high temperature in the dishwasher.
  • Put waste in a double black bag and disposed off separately.
  • The rest of the family need to self-isolate from anyone else for 14 days too.

Make being good contagious.  If you are ok, find out if anyone in your neighbourhood needs help and support and do so without compromising yours and their health safety.

Social distancing

This in effect means physical distancing, i.e. keeping a safe distance of at least two metres from anyone else except your immediate family when making the necessary trips outside the house. You can still keep in touch with friends and extended family though the phone and social media. Keep in touch without touching!  No handshakes, hugs or kisses.

UK is in lockdown from Monday 23 March 2020. This means you will only be allowed to leave your home for the following very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

A few other quirky issues and myths

Wearing masks

Masks are in short supply and the NHS staffs need them more than you and me. If you are not showing symptoms, then wearing a mask is unnecessary. In fact with a mask on you are more likely to touch your face!  The mask is more to protect others from your respiratory droplets if you think you might be infected and really need to make an essential trip out of the house. If you think you may be infected, you should actually not be going out at all!

Panic buying

We have heard reports of panic buying and the empty shelves in the supermarkets despite being told repeatedly that there is no supply shortage.  Why the panic buying, especially for toilet paper? It is a perceived scarcity and panic buying is contagious. It is our herd mentality. But we need to stop it as we are severely disadvantaging the vulnerable who cannot fight for stuff and the overworked NHS staff from getting their necessary daily supplies. All we need is a two weeks supply at any one time in case of having to self-isolate.


There are many of these floating around to stop being infected:

  • Eating garlic will stop you from getting infected. While garlic has some health benefit, it will not.
  • Drinking water every 15 minutes to wash down any lurking virus in the throat into the gut!
  • Not eating ice-cream!
  • Drinking Colloidal sliver does not boost immunity, and in fact can damage your kidneys and cause a seizure turning your skin blue.

Don’t fall prey to misinformation; go to the following websites for your information and updates on COVID-19:

While we are totally absorbed by COVID-19, a contagion that is literally causing us to stop in our tracks because of the harm it can do to us and our loved ones, we must not forget another contagion we have nursed and encourage all these years and which is causing great and lasting undesirable impact and harm to our planet – plastics! As all eateries, restaurants and hotels are closed, most of them are turning to takeaways to sustain their business. Whilst practicing self –isolation and social distancing we can still take a break from cooking by ordering takeaways. But please ensure that we support takeaways that use eco-friendly food ware. Let’s not forget our diseased planet.

Element packaging offers a full range of fully accredited eco-friendly products food ware that are home compostable, compostable and biodegradable and made from bagasse, cornstarch, paper, card, PLA, bamboo fiber and wood.

Now is the test to be better than ourselves for each one of us as well as our leaders. Let’s rise to it.




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