Here's what you need to know about coronavirus (COVID-19), how it affects you, and what you can do to look after yourself, your friends and family right now.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a virus that causes respiratory infection. This can range from mild illness to pneumonia and may include fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue and shortness of breath. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. 1
You can get more information on COVID-19 here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
How does this affect me? How can I look after myself and others?
Well, everyone is being asked to do a few things to protect each other, because this virus can be spread without you even knowing you have it! And you don't want to be the one who makes other people sick. To avoid spreading the illness:
- Stay at home. Don't visit friends or family at this time
- Only go out if you are shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education
- Public gatherings and catching up with people, except for people you live with, has been limited to only two people. There are fines in place to enforce this!
- Follow physical distancing guidelines when you are required to be around other people: maintain at least 1.5 metre distance between yourself and others
- Stop shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting
- Stay healthy with good nutrition, regular exercise and sleeping well
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow
- Do not share drink bottles, plates, cups or cutlery
- Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly e.g. phones, keyboards, door handles, light switches, bench tops.
These tips and more are available here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-transmission-reduction-measures
Why staying home is important to stop the spread:
What can I still do?
It might seem like heaps of stuff has been postponed or cancelled and you have to stay home, but there's still a lot of stuff you can do - and the list is growing daily!
- Many of our programs and services are still running online - including Hangout at Home and Youth Support Service
- You can keep in touch with your friends online #techsavy
- Host social events online - watch the latest series or a movie with your friends watching at the same time
- You can still go outside, and run, go for walks to get your exercise with yourself and one other person, or the people you live - just no social gatherings and keeping your distance from others
- You could tour some really cool places online (link)
- Check out the animals on live cam at Melbourne Zoo or San Diego Zoo #AnimalsAtHome
- Try a new craft with what you have available in your house
- Read a book you've had on your shelf for a while (...you know the one)
- Download ebooks or click and collect items from Croydon and Realm libraries: https://www.yourlibrary.com.au/
- Practice meditation or mindfulness
The list goes on! We are sharing things you can do each day on our social media, so be sure to follow @maroondahyouth on instagram and facebook.
Your mental health during this time is very important:
Check out our page for local resources for looking after your Mental Health During COVID-19.
And please click here if you need support or information with Family/Domestic Violence and COVID-19.
Check out this video about how to calm down when you're feeling anxious, made by young people from Maroondah:
Where can I get further information?
It is normal that this situation, and what we see in the media, can make us feel anxious and overwhelmed. Following reputable information sources is very important.
Check out the latest up to date information on coronavirus via here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
You can also download the Coronavirus App here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/coronavirus-australia-app
Or you can use what's app - to get started: www.aus.gov.au/whatsapp