Every little step you can take to help protect yourself,
your loved ones and your community through the
coronavirus pandemic is a good step. For all of us.
Be Alert, Brave and Considerate.
Get plenty of rest and reach out for help (or practice
social media distancing) when you start to feel
overwhelmed by the news and updates.
Maintaining Physical Distance 101
Physical distancing 101: A quick guide to keep you safe(r) during a pandemic.
Maintaining the social distance is important in all situations we find ourselves in, even when we’re not in a group. It is important when we’re just passing each other on the street, when we are queueing up to pay in a shop or to get on a bus, tube or train. In every single place where we may meet each other, we must remember to maintain our distance.
The physical distancing guidelines are there to help us reduce the number of times we interact with each other outside our own homes. The guidelines apply to all of us, including the children, and their purpose is to keep us as safe as possible and to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
If you live in an area where socialising indoors in your own home is allowed, the physical distacing guidelines should still be observed. The only exception is for people who live together in the same household. 
Please note, the guidance in this text is based on information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. No matter where you live, you must always check (and recheck!) your local guidance for information about what you can and can’t do.
1) Stay Away from Mass Gatherings
Stay away from mass gatherings, and make sure you know what the local guidelines for congregations are. (They can change, so make sure you check often.) In some places it may be okay for six people to come together, and in other places they may allow groups of up to 50 people. In some places the guidelines may be mere suggestions and in others they may be legal requirements. 
To stay safe, and to avoid unwittingly ending up in a mass gathering, here are some things you can consider:
- Public transport: If you can, stay away from public transport and try to walk, use a bicycle or take your own car (if you have one) as much as possible.
- Rush hour: If there is any way you can avoid travelling during rush hour, this is your best option. It doesn’t matter which mode of transportation you are using; just avoid travelling at these times.
- Work from home: If you have a job that could be done from home, now is the time to brooch the subject with your employer. If you are the employer, consider solutions that will allow your staff to work from home. These are unprecedented times, but nothing good will come out of doing business as usual in the midst of a pandemic. Not all people can work from home, but if those who can stay at home do we will all be safer.
- Don’t go to the GP’s, the hospital or any other essential services: If you have any medical concerns, whether they are related to the coronavirus or anything else, seek medical advice online (from official pages, not Joe Blogs Alternative Therapies!) or phone your local health provider. Do not go there in person unless you have been told to come in.
- Don’t host gatherings, parties or play dates: There is no cause or reason big enough to risk your life. Or someone else’s life for that matter. Be it birthdays, children who want to hang with their friends, friends dying to have pizza night, a political campaign or the death of a family member or dear friend, the meet-up will have to wait until we have made it through this. I can see a lot of celebrations coming up at the end of this pandemic…
- Think before you act: If you need to leave your home, think it all through and plan properly. Consider where mass gatherings may occur and how to stay safe. What you can do to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
2) Maintain Six Feet Physical Distance
Keep a distance of six feet (or two metres) from other people. At all times! This is equivalent to one body length, i.e. someone lying on the ground between you while you stand by their head and the other person by their feet. Or, by all means, to all people walking around with their arms stretched out to their sides and everybody having to avoid their fingers as much as brushing past someone else.
Please bear in mind that spoonies may not be able to follow the distancing rules as easily, or swiftly, as others. People with sight loss, autism, learning disabilities, dementia and/or other communication or mobility needs may not be able to see special signs, or queues, and may need more time to change ther course to avoid coming too close to others. Try to be considerate and be the one to give way when you see one of us.
To stay safe, and to avoid breaking the distancing guidelines, here are some things you can consider:
- Give way: If you have to go outside, or find yourself indoors in an area with people who are not part of your household, don’t assume they will be the ones to step aside. We would like to think that the most able would be the ones to afford us this courtesy, but the reality is that we can never be sure. Neither ability nor intent can be easily observed, so the best favour we can do ourselves is to assume that we will have to look after ourselves.
- Cover your face: In enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is more difficult and where there’s a risk of close contact with multiple people who are not members of your household, you should wear a face covering.
- Stay outdoors: When meeting family and friends you don’t live with. don’t go indoors unless you must use a toilet.
3) Avoid Touching Other People
Avoid touching other people. Yes, that includes handshakes and hugs. This may turn out to be the hardest guideline to follow. Not in the least for us spoonies who may be lonely and hungering for physical contact with other people. But in a pandemic everything has to give.
To stay safe, and to avoid touching other people directly or by proxy, here are some things you can consider:
- Wash your hands: Always wash your hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser). Do it more than you think is needed. This way, if you accidentally touch your face or another person, you have limited the risk of the coronavirus (or any other germs) spreading through your hands.
- Don’t touch any surfaces: All surfaces can be covered in coronavirus particles. Don’t touch any hard surfaces such as furniture, doors, handles, gates, walls, fences, park benches etc. with your hands.
- Carry supplies: Make a little pandemic pouch and make sure to pack items that can help you avoid the virus. Hand sanitiser, surgical/plastic gloves, tissues, face masks and a bin bag for used masks, gloves and tissues are sensible items to carry with you.
- Use your own cups, plates & cutlery: If you are eating at work or meeting family for outdoors picknicks, make sure you bring your own cups, plates and cutlery. Ideally, bring your own food too, but if you decide to share you can at least avoid touching the same items other people are using. No matter how much you like them.
4) Stop the Spread
Stop the spread. We can talk about guidelines and protection until the cows come home, but unless we can stop the spread we are all going to face some trifling times soon. Yes, we can make up our personal pandemic protocols, and we can make sure to follow the guidelines to a tee, but this we must do above all. #StopTheSpread.
Stopping the spread is dead simple and maddeningly difficult. The simple aspect is that all we really need to do is to catch it, to bin it and to kill it. Simples! The not so simple aspect is that we can control everything we do, but we have little to no control over other people’s actions. And I’m sad to say other people can be proper numpties when it comes to public health.
To stay safe, and stop the spread, here are some things you can consider:
- Catch it: Germs spread easily. Always carry tissues, face masks and gloves. Use them to catch your couch or sneeze, and to protect yourself from coughs and sneezes from other people. If you cannot avoid touching a surface, a pair of gloves will catch anything that would otherwise end up on your hands.
- Bin it: Germs can live for several hours (up to 72!) on most surfaces. Always carry a small bin bag where you can dispose of your tissues, face masks and gloves immediately. Throw the bin bag away as soon as you get back home. If you prefer multi-use products, carry a bin bag to put them in and make sure you wash them in hot water as soon as possible. And use protection when you deal with them.
- Kill it: Your hands can transfer germs to any surface you touch. In a pandemic, they can be your worst enemy. Always clean your hand after you have touched tissues, face masks or gloves. Clean them every time they may have come into contact with any kind of surface that could be covered in germs. That is virtually any surface that is not in your home. And in some cases even the surfaces in your home may be covered. Soap and water, if used correctly, kill the germs on your hands. Keep washing them and use hand sanitisers when you don’t have access to soap and water.
I hope this was helpful and that you feel ready to protect yourself and your family. Remember that pandemics come and go, and in between them we have other public health issues that threaten to make our lives complicated. With the advice above, however, you should be able to keep yourself safe.
Always check with your local authorities to make sure you have the latest, and most relevant, information. And bear in mind that, as spoonies, we may need to take even more stringent measures to stay healthy.
And remember that you’re not alone. We will get through this together.
Much love and many blessings,
- As spoonies (or spoonie allies) we may need to create our own pandemic protocols to see us through this. There is only so much governments can do to protect us, so we may be wise to look at all the guidance and decide what will serve us best. Maybe your personal pandemic protocol needs to be a lot more stringent.
- Remember, the rules and regulations surrounding a pandemic are there to protect us; and, as most parents know, sometimes prohibition is the only way to keep people safe.
- The sources this post is based on is the COVID -19 information available from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Scotland in March 2020.
After 25 years of anonymous blogging on a number of free platforms, Evalena decided to go pro and put all of her writings on a private wall. In her personal blog, she primarily writes about personal and professional development; living the dream; and how to go on living, and loving, when everything seems to be falling apart.
Using her knack for storytelling, Evalena dives into a sea of personal and professional experiences to bring a wide range of difficult and diverse topics to the surface. Get onboard and let’s talk about funkophobia, social exclusion, chafing societal norms, mental & physical health issues, racism, poverty, identity, creativity, nerdiness, lusting for life and longing for death. Then we’ll have a bite and proceed to the heavy stuff…
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QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Have you set up a personal pandemic protocol?
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