The importance of self-isolating
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is more commonly know, is a new strain of flu that has quickly spread all over the world. It attacks the respiratory system (the lungs and the system that helps us breathe) and prompts symptoms such as coughing and high fevers.
The virus generally lasts for two weeks but can stay present for up to six weeks in severe cases.
COVID-19 is spread through contact with an infected person. This means through bodily fluids such as sneezing or coughing.
The virus can also be spread through common objects or surfaces such as doorknobs or handrails and then touching the face (primarily eyes, nose and mouth).
As the virus is incredibly contagious, we are all being told to self-isolate to slow and prevent the spread.
For some people, this can be confusing as we don’t normally have to self-isolate for illnesses such as the flu.
This raises the question: why do we need to self-isolate, and what does it achieve?
The most important reason for Self-isolating is to achieve Herd Immunity.
This is when those with stronger immune systems protect those in the community who may be weakened (known as immunocompromised).
Those people consist of the elderly, people suffering from cancer or other illnesses and newborns who have not yet received their vaccines.
As Coronovirus disproportionately affects the elderly, it is important for everyone to stay home so that we limit exposure to the older members of our community.
You may say, “But I don’t have the disease, why can’t I go outside?” For younger to middle-aged adults, the symptoms of the virus may not be as obvious.
They may display as just a little tickle in the back of the throat or just the morning sniffles.
This means you could be a carrier of Coronavirus and not even know it.
Limiting your exposure to the outside world reduces the chance that you may pass the virus onto someone else.
Social-isolation also protects you and your loved ones if you don’t have the virus.
If you were to come into contact with someone at the supermarket who is a carrier of the disease there is a high chance you could catch it and bring it home to your family.
Even though it may feel difficult at times, it's important to follow the guidelines set for us by health professionals.
By staying home we are protecting ourselves, our family and the wider community.
If you would like more information on the reasons we should self-isolate have a read of our 'The importance of Self-Isolating' Module below.