COVID-19: Common worries
A lot of the anxiety around COVID-19 comes from predictable worries. Will I get ill? How will I cope if my family gets sick? What is happening about my job? Will the healthcare system be able to cope?
In this episode, I will discuss some of the common worries and remind everyone that anxiety is a bias towards seeing the negative.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hey, it's Chris. And in this series we're talking about managing anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic. And in this video I want to talk about how to keep yourself safe because maybe you're trying to cut down your news and media and but also part of you is like, well I need to read all that stuff on how to stay safe and what's truth, what's fact. So rather than dealing with anxiety in general, in this specific episode, I want to give you a quick guy to the stiff that you should do to keep safe so that you can just consume it here in a nice, hopefully friendly, safe environment. And if you already feel like you know everything, then feel free to skip this and go into the next one. But let's just do a quick run down. So number one, obviously wash your hands. There's, you know, we tend to think we're going out in public, we're touching a bunch of stuff and there's so much stuff to touch now, right?
Speaker 1 (01:03):
You go to the supermarket and they've got like a touch screen thing to pay every time you go fill up your car. You've got the petrol pump, obviously door handles obviously a big thing if you're still doing cash as well. Cash really dirty contactless payments, way better. Don't have to touch anything, loads of chances, but just generally as soon as you get home just wash your hands and we're supposed to wash our hands for 20 seconds, which is a really long time and it of sounds stupid, but kind of learning to get better at washing your hands is something that every time an epidemic flares up is something I go back to because when you go to medical school, you get taught to wash your hands properly and it's way better than most of us do. There's some really good videos from the world health organisation out there on how to wash your hands properly and how to get between all the fingers, get backs, get round here.
Speaker 1 (02:07):
There's like, it's a real technique, you know, you want to get all the rest and stuff. It's not ideal to wear a watch in. I'm having two faults about this, like do I want to lose my garment steps or do I want to live tough choice, but it's really an art form washing our hands properly and so it's worth spending the time. As silly as it feels watching those videos and making sure that your technique is as good as possible. There's all the concerns out there about what kind of hand-washing they'd like. Most of it is use a little hand soap like the squirty bottles where you squirt onto your hands. Bars of soap seem to have gone out of fashion in a lot of places because people think there's like germs on them cause everyone's handling them. Even though you have to pump the top of the little bottle.
Speaker 1 (02:57):
Normally they're all fine. Some hand soaps label themselves as antibacterial really doesn't matter about that. So whether the soap is antibacterial or not, does it matter? Can we 19 is a virus anyway. It's not bacteria but soap works whether it's antibacterial or not, so it doesn't matter whether you want the handy thing, whether you want the bars of soap, whether washing up liquid also works fine. Any three of those options are great. I seemed really weird that everyone was panicked buying handwash here in the U K I don't know what it's like elsewhere. You just couldn't get it. The shelves were clear but there was loads of washing up liquid. I've got like seven bottles of washing up liquid because it's, it's great for washing your hands. Nobody else who's panicked buying. So I thought well I'll have a few of these and then if I can't get the hand wash cause it's all sold out at least I've got all this washing up liquid and works fine.
Speaker 1 (03:54):
There were also the alcohol gels you can use on the go. They're not as good as soap and water, but if you've got nothing else they will do. You might want to give you a phone and white down as well. Obviously a lot of us touch our phones loads constantly. We go out, we touch our phones and come back to our phones. We're touching our phones all day. Never hurts to give those a wipe down. If you're coughing and sneezing, you want to do that into a tissue, into your elbow. It's quite good as well. Tissues best. But the important thing is if you do that is go bend that tissue. Don't just leave it sitting around and leave it in your pocket because if it has got the COVID-19 germs on, you want to get rid of that soon as possible to protect over people if not even yourself.
Speaker 1 (04:43):
So make sure you try and bend that as soon as possible. Minimise social interaction. Most countries now are implementing some kind of social distancing, social self isolating, even lockdowns and that's really important because it stops it spreading the household and that's hard, right? It means not seeing our friends, our family, going to groups, trying to stay two years away from people, really difficult when I'm out exercising on the canal Towpath because it's a fine line between staying to me is a way and getting wet. But the more we can do that, the safer we're going to be. And also I see a lot of kind of shaming about people going outside. Now everyone's saying stay at home. And it's absolutely true. We should avoid, if you're in a country that is implementing social distancing, shouldn't be going, seeing friends, shouldn't be close interacting with people, but you should be going at and exercising.
Speaker 1 (05:44):
So 20 to 45 minutes, at least three times a week. That's going to really strengthen your immune system. Really important to go out and go get some sunshine, get some that. You don't want to be staying inside all the time. And the benefits of getting fresh air and exercise, huge impact on your immune system. So if you do get covert 19 you're going to do a lot better. Now you can also take that to the extreme. So if you're exercising for hours every day, then it's like a normalised curve bell curve. So back down here, doing no exercise, that's bad. Doing some exercise that's good. Doing ton of exercise. That can also drag your immune system down a bit. So if you're doing something like marathon training or like I, I do iron man triathlons typically training for say 12 hours a week, that's not, that's not brilliant for you.
Speaker 1 (06:45):
So they don't think the more exercise I do, the better it'll be. Do if you exercise that 20 to 45 minutes three times a week, that's perfect. If you're exercising loads already then it's not a disaster. But you might want to think about backing off. I'm looking at how I can reduce my training load down to two, maybe an hour a day that that's just me not a doctor. But um, there is a point where especially marathon runners get loads of colds because when you're doing like free four hour training wounds, that does bring your immune system down as well. But do make sure you get an outside that you're exercising at least three times a week because it is really beneficial. Okay. Things that don't help, we should look at that as well. I'm generally wearing a mask, like in order to make it work, you need to be really careful taking it on and off.
Speaker 1 (07:38):
You need to change it on a regular basis, especially when it gets wet. You need to know how to use it basically. And most of us haven't been trained on how to use it, so not necessarily going to keep you safe. Um, I seen a load of ridiculous suggestions out there that don't, I'm not sure how serious they are, but things like using saunas, using cocaine, getting drunk, none of these things help. That's why they're not on all the government guidelines. Um, so those are really the main things like washing your hands, uh, making sure you're not spreading on your journey by coughing and sneezing at minimising social interaction and getting some exercise. Those are, those are the four things I think you should focus on in, on stay safe. And I'll uh, I'll keep it updated, um, if, if there's more stuff, but right now you don't need to go trawling through all the media to find these little secrets because they would be in the government guidelines if they actually worked and everything else we can just ignore. Hopefully it's useful. I'll see you again probably tomorrow for another COVID-19 video back focused on mental health and psychology.