The symptoms are (either or both):
1. A high temperature - in other words, if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back - you do not need to measure your temperature.
2. You have a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot during more than 1 hour of a day or three or more times when you are coughing lots over a 24 hour period. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.
If you are suffering with either or both of these, please read on..
3. OK, don't panic and don't be embarrassed. A lot of people will only experience mild flu-like symptoms but some will find it particularly nasty. If you have existing health conditions (those that cause breathing conditions, those that affect the immune system and we're sure there are others - use your common sense here), these are very likely to complicate the situation. The same is true if you are elderly and, if you are either of these, the situation is even more severe. All at CDIRF wish everybody affected a speedy recovery.
4. The only people who should be embarassed are those that do not follow this advice or at least competent advice from a different source (NHS Website for example or by telephoning NHS 111 - before you do that, please read when you should and shouldn't contact them due to high demand on their services).
5. Only call NHS 111 under certain circumstances as further detailed - you could otherwise delay a more urgent call. You do not need to let them know anymore that you are self-isolating - we're past that stage as a nation now. You can still call them for serious issues (that are separate from the Covid-19 Corona Virus) or if you are unsure. They won't bite your head off.
First, some practical things:
6. Call your Employer or the Jobcentre (as soon as possible or they could still sanction you) and let them know, if you are in work, you are entitled to sick pay if you have the symptoms from day one due to a change in the law as a result of the Corona Virus. People should self isolate generally for 7 days (unless you are elderly then the current advice is 12 weeks) Don't pass it off as a cold or "garden variety" flu, unless you have a test (which you won't have access to anymore), it's impossible to tell the difference and that's a risk too far to take.
7. If you have issues with your Employer continuing to support you financially during being personally affected by the corona-virus and, therefore, self-isolating, you can apply for Universal Credit (this has to be done online) by clicking here (opens a new window). If you have an ongoing claim anyway, update your journal or call your usual telephone number. Any medical assessments are being re-arranged for people self-isolating but, of course, you need to let them know quickly or you will get sanctioned.
8. If you have any issues with the Jobcentre (you must notify them immediately of self-isolating), call us (or Email) and we will help you deal with them. They say that they have robust arrangements in place. You can click here to be taken to the DWP Corona Virus Information Section (opens in a new window).
9. If you are self-employed or run a business, this is more complicated, the Chamber of Commerce offer a free telephone line to provide business advice and they are following the Corona Virus crisis very closely. They have some great information on their website too. Click here to open a new window taking you there. They also have a telephone number - 0161 393 4321.
10The government has been exceptionally and unacceptably slow about issuing advice to those who are self-employed. The country is waiting on that and their are increasing numbers of petitions and pressure on the government to introduce compensation to those who are self-employed.
11. If everything else fails and you are self-employed or you run a business and you are low on money, apply for Universal Credit - you might not necessarily get it as they will need to look at your income and circumstances. You can apply for Universal Credit (this has to be done online) by clicking here (opens a new window) and see how they might be able to help. If you have an ongoing claim anyway, update your journal or call your usual telephone number. Any medical assessments are being re-arranged for people self-isolating but, of course, you need to let them know quickly or you will get sanctioned.
13. If you get bored or lonely, why not come on the chat forum and start a new topic, we will be creating a Corona Virus topic as soon as possible but you might like to talk about something different. We need topic starters as many of our topics areas have never had anybody post in them - you win an award too for displaying on your profile! We don't just have the popular "The Vent" section you know! Also, parties are increasingly being hosted online, we are happy to try and help you for free, remotely, but data charges may apply for your internet usage. Check with your Internet Service Provider if you are unsure.
Now the really, really essential stuff:
14. Stay at home for 7 days if you are not elderly. If you are elderly, the current advice is to self-isolate for 12 weeks. This means not having face-to-face or otherwise close physical contact with people when you self-isolate, regardless of whether you are elderly or not. Use the telephone, Email and Social media (Facebook/Twitter etc) to keep in touch with others please. If you are elderly or you have existing health conditions, call NHS 111 immediately. You will be aware that the whole of the United Kingdom is now in lockdown.
15. Self-isolation is on top of the nationwide lockdown and it means not leaving for even the limited purposes that we are currently allowed to.
16. If you live with a partner, the advice is, we're sorry, to sleep in separate rooms and avoid coming into contact with each other. We feel your pain. Don't have any kids over (children are now evidenced to be able to contract the covid-19 (Corona) virus. If you live with anybody else, they should stay at home for 14 days from when you first have symptoms and in any event for seven days from when they first get it. If they continue to have symptoms, they should continue to self-isolate and contact NHS 111 immediately, regardless of age or vulnerability.
17. If you have pets, try to distance yourself from them as far as possible as it is unclear as to whether the corona-virus can be transmitted to animals (we feel your pain again). If you live with anybody that is 70 or over (without symptoms otherwise they should self-isolate for 12 weeks) or if anybody has a long term condition, is pregnant or has a compromised immune system that lives with you, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
18. Do Not attend GP Surgeries, Pharmacies or Hospitals either. These are not an exception to self-isolating. All standard operations have been cancelled, many services are moving online or are being offered over the telephone. Check by calling or Emailing the contact details that you have received for specific arrangements.
19. The Corona Virus can not be treated with anti-biotics as it is a virus and not an infection. Standard over the counter flu and cold treatments (including paracetamol if you are not allergic can be used and it's the best that you can do. If you are allergic, you might consider Ibuprofen or you could telephone the chemist for other ideas. Don't go there yourself.
20. Also drink plenty of fluids and try and eat what you can to keep your strength up and fight the virus (check out our Emergency Community Shopping Scheme if you are stuck for food, heating and hot water - link in the menu above). Don't be afraid to sleep as much as you need as your body fights the virus - it's a pretty nasty virus for a fair few people. Some will be lucky and only face minor flu-like symptoms. The jury is out here.
21. If your symptoms "significantly reduce the ability to undertake every-day tasks, (more than the average Joe or Josephine with the flu) or you have any other health conditions that could make things worse, for example, asthma, breathing issues or anything else that you are concerned about making you worse than anyone with the flu, Do call NHS 111 immediately for further advice on what to do (calls to NHS 111 are free from all landlines and mobile phones). You should also call NHS 111 if you remain unwell after seven days and you should continue to self-isolate.
22. If you become so severely ill that you can't even wait on the telephone whilst attempting to reach NHS 111, call 999 and ask to be transferred to the ambulance service, you can also text "help - ambulance" to 999. If you are able, please put your address, this will get you help more quickly. Be patient with them, they sometimes ask some odd questions but they generally get an ambulance on the way whilst they are talking to you further.
23. A repeat - If your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, you should call NHS 111 right away and continue to self-isolate altogether using doorstep deliveries for supplies. All the supermarkets, takeaway services, Royal Mail (and other delivery services) are aware too. We have started to hear stories of takeaways that are expecting you to come down to the ground floor. Please let us know about these and we will go ape sh*t at them for you.
24. We will have a boycotted companies list up pretty soon where we ask for you to act in solidarity. You should also hassle them (politely but repeatedly) day to day if they continue to do this - the aim is to be annoying whilst not breaking the law). This should sufficiently and justly annoy and scare them. We are not messing about and we will always be here for you.