Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Social Distancing and why is it so important?
With the spread of the Coronavirus in Ireland the Government has asked that we all engage in ‘social distancing’ but what does it mean exactly?
Essentially it means that:
Work from home where possible
Avoid crowded places like trains, restaurants and hotels etc
Scale down the number of people you meet in the day
Avoid close physical contact with others and keep a distance of 2-metres between you at all times.
Why is social distancing necessary?
More than likely if you are a student in school or college, you have probably been home for quite some time now and may be starting to feel like a prisoner in your own home.
It is normal to be agitated by the people we live with, miss social occasions with your friends or family at this time.
If you are thinking that you might meet up with your friends and kill some time it is vital that you refrain from doing so.
It may not seem like a big deal; however, it will have a knock on effect for everyone around you.
In reality your friends may have the virus unbeknown to themselves and show no symptoms at all and simple things like hugging, touching, kissing and high fiving will spread the virus more rapidly in your community.
How do I social distance appropriately?
Making small and manageable adjustments to our life style can help slow down the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. We all must play our part and in protecting the vulnerable in society.
Simple tips are:
Wash hands often
Work from home where possible
Reduce time spent outside and spend with people you live with instead
If you must interact with others remember to keep a safe distance of 2 meters between you.
Follow all guidelines as set out by the Government as and if they change.
Take care of your mental health, talk to people you live with or on the phone, take part in homework outs, stick to a routine or read a book.
If you are feeling the stress of this situation is getting too much for you, have concerns about a friend or family member, can’t shake the feeling of loneliness remember it is important to talk to someone about it and ask for support during this time.
Other services you where you can reach someone to talk to are:
Samaritans offers a 24 hour listening service over text message, text 'Hello' to 087 260 9090 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) or call 116 123 to talk to someone over the phone.
Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am - 4am every day to young people under 18, text 'Talk' to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message or call 1800 66 66 66.
Visit Your GP:
We always recommend that you visit your GP. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. Your doctor is a professional health care provider and will be familiar with how you are feeling. You mental health is just that - your health. You would visit your GP if you had been feeling physically unwell right ? Your emotional health is just as important as your physical well-being - in fact the two go hand in hand. If you don’t have a current GP you can find a list of services in your area here. You can also contact the CareDoc service on 1850 334 999
Contact the Emergency Services:
If you are an immediate danger to yourself and are going through a suicidal crisis please contact the emergency services by dialling 999 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.