How careful are you being about the v... - Asthma UK communi...

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How careful are you being about the virus now?


Hi all, I was wondering what lengths you're going to in order to (try and!) avoid the virus now compared to what you were doing at the start of the outbreak? E.g. I'm still wiping over my weekly shopping and quarantining anything else/including parcels and letters that don't need to be opened immediately...and wondering how long I'll be doing this for! By the way, I'm just being nosey really and wondering whether I'm the only one still keeping up certain habits. This is by no means to say there's a right or wrong with these things! 😆

51 Replies

Hey! I still do all of this, and refuse to touch anything that hasn’t been disinfected or quarantined! The only thing is I work in a nursery, so in a front facing role with zero social distancing or ppe apart from hand over time... but apart from work I haven’t been anywhere at all in the best part of a year! I agree there is no right or wrong, it is very much an individual thing with each person doing what they feel is right for them and their own individual circumstances x

GFloss in reply to Nicki-Lou123

I often think of how it must be for all the many people with asthma who have to leave the house for work. It can't be easy, especially in such a front-facing role as you say. I admire how you still manage to reduce your risk as much as you can around your work.

Nicki-Lou123 in reply to GFloss

Thank you! It is beyond terrifying, especially as we are doing all we can to minimise the risks but we can't get around the fact that we can't avoid contact with each other and the children in our room bubble! I cannot even begin to imagine how anyone with asthma who works in a hospital or care role etc is feeling right now! It has caused me so much anxiety, especially as I was supposed to be in group 6 for the vaccine, I'm on Fostair, but now with the Government cutting us from that group, and the fact that I'm 29, that bit of hope has gone now!

GFloss in reply to Nicki-Lou123

I've heard of some people being called up quite a way ahead of the listed group order, so it seems as if there's a bit of local variation even though they're largely following the group. Fingers crossed this is true for your area and you'll have less of a wait than expected.

Nicki-Lou123 in reply to GFloss

That’s so good to hear! I’ve just had a follow up phone appointment with one of the GPs at the surgery re my anxiety but she wasn’t holding out much hope I’d be able to get mine any time soon! X

GFloss in reply to Nicki-Lou123

It's such a shame, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and also hope they're being supportive about your anxiety. X

Hi , I'm still wiping shopping down and leaving post and the ever present Amazon parcels in quarantine. It just seems second nature now ! There was an outbreak at my local tesco recently so I probably think its best. I'm at home shielding so not much else to do !

GFloss in reply to Duckface

It definitely helps having more time to do it, doesn't it! I feel lucky that we also have a bit of space to use as our parcel hub right now! 🤣I know time and space are both real luxuries (not that there's anything luxurious about our house!) in ways and there are probably many who don't get much choice but to just get on with things right now.

I pretty much haven't been strict with it since the summer. Hand washing yes (including after undoing post etc) and if rates are really high then I don't go in shops etc. But I personally can't be doing with the omg had the letter into shielding mode thing - in the autumn, friends would do that when the previous day they'd met their 5 other friends in the pub garden quite happily - the rate was exactly the same, the wording had just changed. Similarly here now the rate is a quarter, maybe even a fifth actually, of what it was at the end of Dec and seven times less than in the autumn - both times there wasn't shielding. So although now is shielding, things are much better. I mean it helps that it's still lockdown so most people aren't out that much anyway. Also helps that I don't like busy places anyway (too peopley!) I also think staying in the house literally all the time is just 😩. But that's just my view. I know others who are way stricter.

GFloss in reply to twinkly29

It sounds like you're taking a good logical approach for you and your area - and I'm totally with you on preferring to avoid busy places at the best of times/pre-pandemic! Our area hasn't been the worst statistically but I think I get too paranoid that the minute I stop what I'm doing then I'll be caught out!

LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

I haven't wiped anything down for a while, since evidence came out that transmission risk that way is low (the virus can survive for a while on surfaces yes, but generally not in a way that can really infect people. I would obviously not want to pick up something where I could see it had been sneezed on etc). I'll wash my hands/use sanitiser after touching something definitely dirty like a wheelie bin but then I always have (bins are dirty regardless of COVID!)

I've never quarantined anything and have no plans to start - if I were especially worried I'd wipe something, but definitely not bother with both wiping and quarantining.

I went out for walks in the first lockdown and do more now as lungs permit. My consultant actually encouraged this to avoid deconditioning. I did get online shopping in and avoid shops mostly in late Dec/January when the new more transmissible variant was prevalent.

Have to admit I'm doing my own shopping and pharmacy now (with a mask) which I didn't in first lockdown - but it was so frustrating relying on others and on substitute items. I will also take public transport on the rare occasions I need to go somewhere, though avoiding busy times and wearing a mask. Eg for appointments - if I need something done and it's essential/better face to face I will do it (again being careful and with a mask).

I think I was more wary before I had the vaccine. Now, 3 weeks after jab 1, I am careful to observe national restrictions but less willing to shield. Like Twinkly says though, with national lockdown I don't feel like there's a huge difference this time - obviously going to work is one but irrelevant to what I do, though I know I am lucky with work.

Obviously this is all me - I"m not suggesting anyone else should or shouldn't be doing anything. It's definitely up to people what risks they take, though I do think getting outside wherever possible is an important and positive change from the first lockdown.

Totally agree about the whole getting out as much as possible thing... I haven’t been anywhere apart from work but I do walk my dogs, but only to quiet areas at quiet times when I know there is an extremely low risk of me being in contact with anyone and I don’t touch anything at all apart from my dogs lead etc... I couldn’t walk much during the 1st lockdown as my hay fever was off the scale, and that is my biggest asthma trigger, but I’ve been struggling with anxiety and I’ve found that even just a short walk round the block makes such a difference done safely x

GFloss in reply to Nicki-Lou123

Yes, even a short walk makes the world of difference for anxiety! I've found it such a help to clear out thoughts of the day in the evening...a bonus that it's also so quiet then!

GFloss in reply to Lysistrata

Thank you and all for the detailed replies, it's amazing to get a chance to hear what everyone's doing and I admire how considered you're being with your decisions. I've also gone for one short (almost) daily walk during quiet times all the way through the lockdowns. I've definitely noticed my asthma is worse on the days I haven't got out or have been more sedentary at home.

I’ve always gone out for daily walks. I didn’t often go to shops other than the pharmacy - complete with hand gel and face masks. They only let 2 people into my chemist at a time anyway. Husband goes into Tesco once a week. Usual PPE etc. and we always wash hands when we come indoors.

Husband has always gone for click and collect for food and still wipe food and letters or parcels etc but we’ve never really quarantined our mail/ parcels. I do use a wipe on the doorbell, the letterbox and the handle on the gate, bins etc that strangers may have handled.

I’ve never touched banisters and things that people could have touched when I’ve been out so that’s not new for me.

I wouldn’t particularly want to use public transport but I don’t need to. I’ve been to the dentist a few times since the first lockdown and the podiatrist, I also had a course of face to face physiotherapy and I went to the hairdresser after the first lockdown.

I had the first Pfizer vaccine three weeks ago on Friday but even with that I can’t see me wanting to get back into close proximity with other people (especially strangers) if I can avoid it but I’ve never been one for crowds anyway and I imagine I will wear a mask outside for a long time.

I’ve got a friend who is really, really neurotic and panicky about it all, I’m not like that but in my own way I’m careful and I think I’ll continue to be so.

This is all so interesting, thank you. I love how many people have shared as it shows just how much we're all figuring out our own ways of muddling through this time! I can imagine I'll be similar about wanting to avoid getting too close to people after the first dose. And, like you, have never been a big fan of crowds! I don't feel too panicked day-to-day but the idea of changing things too soon panics me, which shows me there must be some underlying anxiety about it all!

Hi, I disinfect everything that enters the house, wash all my clothes if I was in clinic or visit, if I just take a walk, than no. I change my mask after every use, cut the strings (for poor animal not to get caught in those). Disinfect my hands after every contact with sanitizer, open door at my flat, open door at the store, grabbing shopping basket....I find it a lot...I do not quarantine parcels, but wash my hands after throwing the package. Keep some lotion at hand, because my hands are so dry...After my vaccine I started to see my patients live. I have some distance between them so I can air the room, I wipe door knobs with alcohol. This is not over yet. I look forward to the day it will be...In conclusion, I wash many many clothes, my weekly budget is higher with masks, disinfectants and overall cleaning products, I do not wipe hard floors with nice smelling solutions, I now use chlorine.

GFloss in reply to corinusha

Yay to thinking of the animals with your mask use! But all the processes can feel like a lot, as you say (and I feel the dry hand pain!). It sounds as if your job would already have required high hygiene standards, so it'll be nice when you can revert to normal means. Hopefully this will all be super worth it in the long run!

That’s great as we are too , it’s no time to give in now ☀️

GFloss in reply to Dizzart

Can't wait until we can hopefully all look back on this as a strange old time in our lives.

I still quarantine everything that comes into the house for three days - fourteen days for glass. My shopping is bought online and if it needs to be refrigerated, it is kept in the fridge inside a plastic bag. I walk most days and give everyone I meet at least six feet. If I climb a stile I gel my hands and quarantine my clothes afterwards. I can do neurosis with the best - I just do not want to see if I can do serious Covid. Keep safe.

Ah, when I said my friend is neurotic about it I meant she takes all normal precautions quarantining goods in - and then some - but she is living her life in a constant state of fear which can’t be good for anyone and she still has a terror of covid somehow getting her - even though she lives in the middle of nowhere and has almost no contact with other people. I think you’ve got to find a happy medium somewhere although that’s maybe her happy medium.

And we all know the high terror state doesn't do anyone's immunity any good either, hope she can relax more in time!

You are right, it is not healthy to live in a constant state of fear but with the media trying to frighten the more robust into being cautious it is understandable that some of us have become very afraid. Like your friend, I live in a rural area and have found that this does not reduce my worry of catching Covid. Ridiculous as it sounds it actually seems to make it worse as I do not have the chance to challenge my fear to the extent I would in a busy area. When I go out for a walk it is easy to keep a distance from the few people I meet. Likewise the only shop I go in is the chemist once a month. I would love to go to the garden centre - an open air space where logically I know it would be highly unlikely to catch Covid - but I shall probably order my garden supplies on line. I hope, with the reducing cases of Covid, your friend is able to widen her world and feel less stressed.

GFloss in reply to achyknitter

Haha, I read your "I can do neurosis with the best - I just do not want to see if I can do serious Covid" to my husband as it made me laugh. I can relate! Thanks for sharing what you're doing.

achyknitter in reply to GFloss

If you cannot laugh in this situation you are sunk. Keep safe

We still wash hands whenever we come into the house from being out (but them we often used to do that anyway before covid came along). The shopping is done on a once weekly basis by my husband (who’s been brilliant about the whole thing). Anything sealed that can be washed is washed. Anything that doesn’t need refrigeration gets put into the quarantine room (the advantage of having a spare room because of children who have left home) for a week, likewise post and parcels unless it is evident they need to be opened immediately. Any shopping that needs refrigeration and can’t be washed goes on a separate shelf in the fridge for a week.

After the cloth shopping bags have been unpacked and their contents sorted the bags get put straight into the washing machine. Hands are washed (again). All surfaces in the kitchen then get wiped down with disinfectant, as do all door handles, light switches and taps around the house. Hand washing again after that.

As we live in a very rural area it is possible for me to go for walks without risk of meeting anyone (and if I do maintaining a distance of two metres is easy). Otherwise I have an exercise routine I do three mornings a week (based on ballet barre exercises).

GFloss in reply to MaggieHP

It's so helpful to have a partner who understands these things, isn't it. I feel for anyone trying to juggle all this extra stuff alone and especially lone parents with young kids. Though I've heard of families where the kids get really involved in trying to protect their vulnerable parents too, so I'm sure everyone finds their way! Ooh, love the sound of the ballet barre.

In addition to disinfecting everything which comes into the house, except emails, all our food is delivered. Apart from the two people I live with I've only been in the same room with GP (twice), orthopaedic specialist at hospital (twice), podiatrist (twice), visiting hairdresser (twice), been for nerve conduction tests and electromyography at local hospital, and been for Covid vaccination. Apart from that try to exercise daily in an unpopulated area

GFloss in reply to Thomas45

Haha, except emails, though we know many of those spam ones could do with a good dose of disinfectant! 🤣 It sounds like you're being both practical and careful.

Gosh, your outings are very similar to mine. How I wish I was in a bubble with a hairdresser.When I went for my covid vaccine I came into contact with more people than I have since the first lockdown.

OK we were spaced at the recommended distance and all wore masks but the fifteen minute sit down in the hall we went to afterwards was the closest I’d been to a group of strangers since this all kicked off and I can’t say I loved it. Must have been ok because that was three weeks ago and my husband and I are fine 😉

Oh yes to craving a visit to the hairdresser! I've not been for more than a year...and it really shows! 😆

Well, i've pretty much shielded the whole time (anticipating that i'd be asked to when the preliminary shielding criteria came out before they revised it at the last minute).

I've not been into a shop since March (except for the chemist, and only then i only went a couple of times in July when the numbers were very low)

I don't disinfect packages, but I do have a dedicated space in my flat to let them "cool off" for a few days before I touch them (if it's something urgent I will open them and then scrub up afterwards)

The main thing is that I stay away from contact with people, only talking to friends and family via video call and brief encounters when I need shopping delivered.

I've worked from home the whole time, I already worked remote two times a week before the pandemic so there was no issues with adapting to that.

I also stopped ordering non-essential items online when the cases spiked this time around, the less contact, the better, but i'll start getting those again next month since the numbers are falling off now.

All in all, i'm pretty OK with the current situation, obviously will be a lot better when i'm vaccinated and better still when everyone is! (no prospect of that right now, asthmatic, on strong inhalers and montelukast, but not on oral steroids so i'm not in group 6 AFAIK)

I realised the other day I'm nearing my first anniversary of having not gone into a shop. Never thought I'd see the day I'd be saying that...though can't imagine what I would have done if it wasn't so easy to grab everything online! I do sometimes wonder how it's going to feel when suddenly being around a normal number of people again.

Think of how much you will have saved - unless you picked up the ‘Amazon’ shopping bug. I know we have saved a lot of money by not going out for a coffee which in our case usually included cake.

I'm sure I should have more savings to show for the past year than I do!

Never shielded. Never cleaned shopping etc. I’m a covid infection control cleaner. Other than wearing ppe at work and a mask as required when shopping, I’ve done nothing other than what I would normally do. I have not socialised or formed a bubble with anyone.

GFloss in reply to Clanged

Thank you so much for replying, it's good to hear the balance of what everyone's doing and how we've all found our own ways through!

Much the same as you.... still cleaning, sanitising and quarantining things like mad. I don’t have to shield but I am virtually hibernating. I cannot afford to get this thing

GFloss in reply to Lampeter1995

Yes, I feel the same - I don't need to shield but fear how my body would respond based on other infections and the thought of long covid interfering with other life responsibilities right now is a major concern.

Gosh, my online art teacher asked me yesterday if I would come back to socially distanced classes when she starts up again - I was noncommittal but inside I was screaming ‘Noooooooooo’

Oh dear, let's hope you can delay that one for a little longer!

Definitely- absolutely no way will I go back until a) it’s allowed and b) I feel completely comfortable, I’m not sure I want to be in a group - even if the hall is huge..

I'm still sticking to the rules really I haven't met with anyone other than my mother and even then the distance applied I've had a new baby in lockdown so I'm not risking anything I will still do everything online all my shopping etc not leaving house unless needed

GFloss in reply to Afrohair

Congratulations on your new baby! 💜 I don't blame you at all for wanting to be on the extra safe you can tell, I'd be the same! Hope you're still getting lots of support from home. As ever, thank goodness for the internet.

We’re still wiping everything and looks as though it will be for a long time as where we live vaccine is running low and 65+ year olds have even been told to go as far as Brighton😕 and other long distances . So carry on wiping instead of carry on camping in Norfolk for now

GFloss in reply to Dizzart

What a shame that the supplies seem so different throughout the country! At least we all know we're not alone in our wiping routines!

I’ve got a couple of other serious underlying conditions so what with them and the asthma (average 2 x oral steroids pa) I do take sensible precautions- a quarantine area for parcels (or I open them & wash hands), and have all our shopping delivered, put dry goods into quarantine area and wash fridge stuff. I’ve been out to chemist, doctor & dentist several times and wear the two masks (1 N95 plus fabric mask) that’s being recommended currently, which makes me feel much safer (i have a good pre Covid stock of N95 masks as I’m an artist so need protection from various materials). I live rurally so can walk freely & keep a distance. When not in lockdown, I socialised quite a lot with different friends but always outside and distanced. Husband also worked with students throughout first lockdown (though currently online only) so that is the primary main route of possible infection, I guess (apart from dentist peering down my throat 🙁😊). I don’t consider myself neurotic, but did keep up with the science so I knew early on about the airborne aspect so thought the Eat Out policy was ill-advised to say the least. I consider myself very lucky to have the possibility of shielding this way, and am really really grateful to all the delivery and frontline people out there.

It's all so interesting, thank you. You're totally right, we're so very lucky to be able to keep doing what we're doing and I really hope all the essential workers will continue to be appreciated long after this is all over. I'd wondered how the two masks at once feel and whether it's that much more claustrophobic?

The masks feel fine - maybe because I’m used to the N95 one anyway. Couldn’t do it all day probably nor do exercise in them or anything. Having the two on is not any different to one really, IMO

That's good to know, thank you! I'm sure you're right and you build up a tolerance to these things the more you use them (and know you can relax while using them).

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