Are you taking any precautions agains... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Are you taking any precautions against this novel coronavirus?

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day

I have multiple heart conditions so have always been careful to avoid catching illness that someone else would shrug off but would knock me for six (as in six hospitalised weeks, for example and yes it has happened to me in the past). I have always been careful about exposure to illness especially during autumn and winter. I was in a 'hot zone' during SARS and my precautionary measures saw me through that - but in 2009 I came down with Swine Flu (caught from a staffer at work) and honestly thought I might die that time, it was so bad. Didn't help when my cardiologist came into my isolation room wearing a full bio-haz suit and later admitted he wasn't sure I was going to make it through the flu that time.

I take several precautions on a routine basis so this latest potential pandemic isn't seeing me panic or employ more stringent precautions beyond making sure the store cupboard and freezer are full. I feel for the millions under lock-down in China. I don't see that happening here but as more new cases are being diagnosed across the world and the mutation rate is at a point where the virus is now human2human with increasing mortalities, I do wonder what other hearties are doing to avoid contracting this new virus.

Please avoid politics if replying on this discussion - this is about health and how we manage our daily routines in the face of a potential pandemic.

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134 Replies
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I had this conversation in work yesterday and a number of people laughed at me!! So I resorted to humour and said I was going to wrap husband up in cotton wool and put him in a drawer until it's all over! But whilst the risk is low, for those with compromised immune systems it is worrying. That must have been such a relief when those being tested in Scotland were found to be virus free.

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Lezzers

It certainly was a relief to those of us living in Scotland, I can say! I went for my morning walk today and there were a few others out and about - we stopped to chat (at arms length and careful to cough into elbows, btw) and the negative tests were first thing in conversation.

For a Saturday morning, though, the town centre was surprisingly quiet and one of the shopkeepers had 2 huge motion-sensitive hand disinfectant dispensers at the till and entry/exit door. She told me her son has a lung condition and she can't take chances bringing something home from the shop. I think people here at least are being careful no matter what their physical condition(s). The supermarket car park was nearly empty and usually on a Saturday morning there are few spaces to be found.

Im in the US, retired so Im not in big crowds much. In general I find myself avoiding exposure to what I consider germy places like crowded movie theaters, gyms and community changing rooms/ showers, pools, planes etc. I have wondered if Im becoming a germaphobe. It’s not that I wont go swimming, etc... just more aware

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Hoski

When a chronic health condition is present I don't think we can ever be considered 'germaphobes' and anyone ill-mannered enough to suggest we are is someone I have NO trouble politely informing I have a pre-existing condition requiring me to be more careful than 'the walking healthy'.

I was working in the USA when I caught Swine Flu (MetroAtl) - one of my staffers ignored my memo advising the team to please stay home if unwell. He came into a meeting complaining of fever, proceeded to cough and sneeze all over the papers he was sharing out...four of the six others in the meeting came down with the flu, two of us so badly we were hospitalised. Honestly? I retired a few months later. Catching that flu wasn't the only reason I took early retirement but it was close to the top of the list.

Hoski
Hoski
in reply to Sunnie2day

Wow! Being a retired nurse of 44yr, I find it amazing I rarely got sick. Counting my blessings.

A well built up immune system probably the answer

I think it’s important to be vigilant but not to let it overtake us. I’m just recovering from ‘ordinary’ flu that gave me a chest infection pleurisy and a flare of costochondritis. So I really don’t want anything else! As you say Lezzers it is worrying for those of us at risk. I think it’s a case of being meticulous with hand washing keeping fit and eating healthy and hoping for the best. Take care everyone. Zena x

Lezzers
Lezzers
in reply to Zena166

Glad to hear you're recovering, my mum used to get pleurisy a lot, horrible condition. Hope your hand is also continuing to recover x

Zena166
Zena166
in reply to Lezzers

Hand will take a year to get back to full function apparently!! The physio suggested some light dusting to help movement! I was aghast! I told her I had never done dusting in my life. I don’t intend starting now!🤣so that May slow down recovery rate!! Yes the flu has really hit me hard (pain and exhaustion hideous) but managed a short walk outside today so just got to build on it. Hope you and your hubby are doing ok. Take care Zx

Lezzers
Lezzers
in reply to Zena166

dusting!! If you pay someone to dust for you, does pointing out where the dust is count as light movement??

Kevins been summoned to the Dr's on Monday. He'd had a cardiologist appt the Friday before Christmas which threw up a few issues. Logic tells me the Dr now has the hospital letter & probably just wants to chat but......my brains gone into overdrive!

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star

As Zena has said...lot and lots of hand washing required .

Zena I am glad to here you are feeling better!

Zena166
Zena166
in reply to Milkfairy

Thanks. It’s been a long haul Still not back to full fitness but getting there. ! Z

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Zena166

Considering what you are recovering from it's great to hear you're on the road to complete recovery. I've had pleurisy, it's horrid and you had more on top of it, wow!

Thanks for asking this question

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Hoski

I've wanted to ask something along these lines for some time now but with the news of a novel coronavirus rearing its head I decided to give it go now. I'm really wanting to know what precautions others are taking, if any - are people staying in, are they spraying trolley grips and door handles with disinfectant, are they filling the fuel tanks and store cupboards and freezers, are they topping up medicine chests...even if we don't get a lot of replies it will still hopefully get people thinking about the topic and that's always helpful.

Re your nursing (thank-you for your years of service:) ), do you think your ability to avoid catching anything had anything to do with 'mum-immunity'? I was always scrupulously careful around my two children and don't think I ever caught anything (oh yes well there was the time my daughter brought home head lice...) - but the moment they were both grown and flown I seemed to lose that mum-immunity and had to be more careful than ever to avoid catching whatever was floating around.

Hoski
Hoski
in reply to Sunnie2day

I think my immune system built up good immunity over the years. My husband is healthy but always gets a bad cold etc with winter viruses. I almost never catch things from him. Maybe it is genes. My mother lived a healthy life until her death at 97. My dad died of cancer at age 71... hope I got more of my moms genes, lol.

pjcag
pjcag
in reply to Sunnie2day

I have to avoid as best I can due to immune problems which effect my lungs..I avoid crowds as someone said...even have groceries delivered. Don't eat out much during flu season. Never touch a door handle..I use a tissue ...I carry Clorox wipes in purse and wipe my own table down...put silverware on a napkin never the table...I'm sure that all sounds crazy but (knock on wood) I haven't had the flu in years..in fact, a table next to ours in a restaurant saw me wipe the table down and asked for a wipe lol

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to pjcag

Not crazy, not over the top. If anyone gives me a sidewise glance when I take similar precautions I don't let it bother me, and I have had people ask for a wipe as well. Over here our wipes are Dettol Wipes and I have packets in my bag, the car boot, the glove box, and on the kitchen and bathroom worktops.

What's the saying? Oh yes - An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

This is not political but this latest outbreak of the Coronavirus is only just the beginning of a wave of unknown illness which will be sweeping the World.

I worked in China and the Markets are Dirty, Filthy, Stinking places.

There is No Control, No Animal Welfare so once a virus is present it has every opportunity to mutate. There are 1000s of Chinese students at British Universities. Daily flights from all over China land in most European Cities it's something we are going to have to learn to live with.

In 1918 Spanish Flu swept through Europe killing Thousands could you imagine if we had the connectivity then, that we have now.

I think it is a prudent option to understand what you will do to protect yourself should this escalate. I emphasise Should this Escalate no need to panic yet !!!

Regards

Yasyass
Yasyass
in reply to Prada47

If everyone country practiced cleanliness there may be less diseases in the world instead of creating weapons for destructition things should be done to protect the world no one can find cures for flu and other diseases but will funds to destroy the earth

It's certainly a concern, and while the numbers are rising exponentially in China, I think we need to hope that the spread will be better contained than SARS was, which also originated in China(Hong Kong actually), China has reacted more quickly this time, and has told the rest of the world about it and it seems taking what we in the west would regard as pretty draconian measures with quarantine and whole cities being locked down. It must be frightening for the people in these cities, especially in Wuhan.

This is the first incident of this nature that has occurred since I had my heart attack, so I am paying quite a lot more attention to it than I might have done in the past.

I have noticed that since I've retired I've hardy caught a cold, and if I do, it only lasts a day or two. While working guaranteed to get 2 or 3 stinkers each year without fail, so probably the best precaution is to try to limit being in any large gatherings

Aswell as having had heart surgery I also had my spleen removed a few years ago, so I have to be extra vigilant. Luckily I work in an office with a small number of colleagues, who are aware of my health issues. My main precautionary steps are frequent hand washing and antibacterial gel. I regularly wipe down my keyboard and phone at work, but I don’t have any problem with other people using my desk because I have an ergonomic keyboard and a rollerball instead of a mouse and none of my colleagues can use them 😜.

I am watching the news about this virus and keeping my fingers crossed.

Wendy

Well, I won't be going to China for the foreseeable future.

Then again, my (traditional black) passport expired about 20 years ago so I probably wouldn't have been anyway :D

I honestly think this is a media blowing it up, like they do everything. Yes, from the headlines it can look scary, but it isn’t moving fast enough or killing enough to be worried yet. Only 1 case of person to person transmission outside China and no escalation of cases elsewhere. I’m more concerned about how well the media manipulate us and scare people to just sell newspapers

:) You should have a cuppa with my husband who is saying pretty much the same thing.

But on the off chance this is more serious, are you taking any precautions?

Also, within China, isn't is something like 41 deaths from over 1000 confirmed cases so far?

That's nasty (and undoubtedly a concern for the vulnerable) but it's not exactly bubonic plague mortality rates!

It Escalates as the Hospitals become full and more people become infected. Rural China is not like Shanghai all new buildings etc It's compounds with little or no facilities. With out sounding Paranoid this is serious. Especially as to the next Virus from China is probably not to far away !!

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Prada47

I have to say reading China is rapi-building a 1K bed hospital is a bit disturbing, as is the lock-down on 56 million people. On one hand it's good to see they're taking it seriously.

But on the other hand, the lock-down, the announcement 'it is accelerating', the call for public donations of medical supplies (that one really shocks me, actually), the censoring of social media with bloggers being 'questioned' for 'spreading rumours'...it's not looking great, really.

Agreed it's potentially serious but my point was that - at least to date - the death rate among those contracting it is actually fairly low at under 5%. And that includes early cases which are unlikely to have been identified / received appropriate treatment quickly.

Compare that to the estimated mortality of the Spanish flu pandemic (20%), bubonic plague today (between 10 and 70% depending on access to treatment), ebola (up to 90% even with treatment), and pneumonic plague at 100% (ie: always fatal)

Honestly not trying to ratchet up the panic level here but Spanish Influenza started with the same 'low' infection-mortality rate. As it mutated it infected more people human2human and the mortality rate climbed. And climbed, and climbed.

This 'novel coronavirus' could go the same way - hopefully it won't as China is locking down population centre after population centre in an effort to let this thing 'burn out' (what stopped several outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg in the past), but the possibility unfortunately exists.

And it really doesn't help this outbreak has actually been going since early December 2019 - it took China over a month to take steps to stop this thing and that gave it time to go global - which it has, and to mutate, which according to their doctors, it is now doing.

Prada47
Prada47
in reply to Sillyfroggy

Sorry Silly been there seen it first hand.

Believe me they wouldn't dare stop the Chinese New Year Celebrations without one hell of a good reason. The New Year Celebrations play a major role in the GDP of China it's revolves around Travel !!!

This is Serious and we all better hope they have Control.

In my opinion The Media is playing this pretty Low Key

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Prada47

Agreed. It's slipped 'below the fold' on every media site I've been scouring the past few hours - but what is getting out there isn't terribly reassuring. I've just seen Australia has gone from 1 diagnosed case to four, France now has two, another death in China but there is concern the true number of mortalities is being kept from the public in and out of China.

Not to whip up panic/hysteria, but I do think we should be taking this seriously. Especially those of us who are older (I'm 63) and have those 'pre-existing conditions'.

No. It isn’t even in the UK yet. We have no hand wipes/gel that kill viruses anyway. I would imagine, IF it did become a public danger, there would be public health measures put into place. I’m probably too Zen after my heart attack, but a) the media talk crap b) I can’t control it if it turns out to be an actual problem, rather than DM ‘Killer (well, 41, mostly old) virus (which is only severe in 25% of cases) heading for UK (er, viruses don’t target countries, because...well, they’re viruses).

I’m more concerned about our dwindling access to hassle free imported meds post Brexit, and our horrifically underfunded NHS in the face of even a small increase of seasonal flu or Norovirus.

Thank-you for replying. I'm wondering what public health measures Britain might put in place if this does go very serious. I believe in the USA (from memory working there during the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic) the public is told to avoid venues like shopping malls and theatres, cinemas, etc, to use disinfectants, and to 'shelter-in-place'.

Here in Britain so far the only real measures announced beyond the entry point screenings is the advisement to GP surgeries - lock a patient presenting with symptoms in the exam room and close the surgery then communicate with the patient via telephone to assess condition. If determined to be at risk the GP is advised to tell the patient to leave the surgery through the back door and make their way to hospital; if so unwell as to be unable to make their own way to hospital the GP is advised to send the patient to hospital via ambulance - with the ambulance crew warned in advance the transport is for a suspected virus patient.

Btw, isopropyl alcohol 90% has a good virus kill rate, the key is spraying it on/over then letting it dry. It can be bought online at the two most well-known sites (A, and the one that starts with e) or any computer shop.

Nathan53
Nathan53
in reply to Sunnie2day

The difficulty with Corona Virus is that no one seems to know exactly how it is spread - I guess more information will soon emerge but until then I am assuming it is spread in a similar way to cold and flu eg. by hand to mouth and respiratory transmission.

As others have said you have to get on with life especially as this maybe a long term situation. That said I think it is possible to take some precautions. At the risk of sounding OCD if I know I am going into busy public places or using crowded transport, when I am not in the limo, I have hand gel with me, although soap and water is better at least it is a back up. Use frequently and avoid touching surfaces unless you have too. Use a contactless card when paying for things to avoid touching key pads. Wear gloves it's a barrier. There is some evidence to support use of Listerine 6 in 1 before and after going out. I usually have a sterimar nasal spray at home which I use when returning home after shopping. It's a natural product and flushes basal passage. I am convinced viruses are spread more now by people's lack of consideration for others. While getting changed at gym couple of days back young guy comes in started chatting to a friend about his recent holiday in Thailand - he had a great time but came back with cold and fever so wasn't going to do much at gym. Really wanted to confront him say "so why the hell are you here" but he was bigger than me lol.

Just a few ideas with little scientific back up.

Keep healthy but don't worry too much stress is bad sleep tight bugs don't bite

I'm in the US. We have two confirmed cases here, 40? 50? 60? people under observation, and some news sources are saying that the immediate health risk to the American population is currently low. Who are they fooling? The infected guy who flew into Seattle did not have an outwardly active infection when he flew into the US. A few days after arriving home in Washington state, he developed symptoms. Supposedly 16 people that were exposed to him are being monitored. What about all of the people that were on his flight from China or that were exposed to him at the airport? I do not think we are being warned about the seriousness of this situation nearly enough! The general public are not being told to avoid any public places, like malls or theaters, or to shelter in place. It is business as usual here, and I find that rather frightening. This virus spread like wild fire in China. This is not just a Chinese problem. This is the start of a global disaster in the making. This virus will spread with the same wild fire like velocity on every other continent that has allowed travel from China that unknowingly contained an infected person. It is also possible that the virus could spread by transporting an infected item by plane or mail from China, that later infects another victim when it reaches it's destination.

People who have known immunocompromized conditions should already be practicing their own preventative self care anyway. They are staying home or using preventatives if they go out in public. What the general public is being told is to put emphasis on washing hands with hot water and soap, do not touch your eyes, face or mouth with your hands while out in public, and avoiding contact with people who are infected. Some stores in very populated metropolitan areas are selling out of face masks, as are some stores in less populated areas who did not have many in stock.

I take lots of precautions every year during illness season to prevent illness. Due to immune system problems, I am very careful touching anything in public with a bare hand. I wear washable driving gloves about 6 months out of the year. I have light weight gloves for warmer months if it's not too hot out. I never touch any part of a shopping cart or freezer section handle with bare hands. I will not touch door handles, someone else's pen, credit card payment machines at the checkout stand with bare hands, either. I always use a glove, my sleeve, part of my jacket, a paper towel, or my elbow or arm to open a door. I wash my hands with hot water and soap at every opportunity, and I use hand sanitizer frequently. I disinfect all surfaces at work every day. I have more than one type medical face mask that I use at work, depending on the environment. In certain situations where there are obviously sick people coughing and sneezing, like at a hospital or medical facility, I will wear a mask. All of this is pretty standard routine for me in the cold and flu season. I've been doing this for so long, it's an automatic instinct. It's definitely not worth taking the risk of getting sick.

Thank-you for the US update on what the public is being advised just now, and a rundown of your routine precautions. I do much of the same. I don't think we can be too careful when we have 'chronic health conditions'.

You're welcome! We can never be to safe and must try to avoid being sorry. ;-) What are the public precautions where you are located?

Much the same as what you Americans are being advised and we're being told the threat to us is 'low' (but that's up from the original 'very low' we were told during last week). The biggest piece of advice so far is to wash hands and not touch eyes, nose, or mouths until hands are washed.

I think people here are for the most part taking it in their stride but also taking precautions like avoiding crowds, and of course, keeping hands clean.

In response to your comment "What about all of the people that were on his flight from China or that were exposed to him at the airport?" I would also add that airliners often have very fast turn around times, often only twenty minutes, particularly with the low cost airlines. This means they are not "cleaned" and only the litter is removed, leaving any seat, seat belt, tray table and overhead locker laden with germs. Assuming the virus can lay active for more than half an hour, that puts the next load of passengers at risk. Multiply that by all the daily flights in the world and it becomes frightening!

Prada47
Prada47
in reply to Sillyfroggy

I really have not read anything as poor as this for sometime

Of course viruses don't target countries But when someone travels from one country to another with a virus Guess what Happens. I agree about the Media I only listen to news bulletins that come from within China then you can see and judge what's going on. I worked in Guanxi Provence and I have visited lots of Cities in China Nanning/ Beijing, being just two. Every Train/Bus in China is Full a Virus that is Human2 Human spreads at an alarming rate.

Regards

Sillyfroggy
Sillyfroggy
in reply to Prada47

Hi Prada47,

I was referring to DM headline when I said ‘targeting’

Prada47
Prada47
in reply to Sillyfroggy

Sorry I agree the DM is beyond, still it leaves the Royals alone for a couple of days !!

Regards

I think the NHS would go into meltdown, if the Corona Virus strikes the UK. Let's face reality, how many have flown out and returned from Wuhan and its surrounding cities since December, when the virus aledgedly started? Bearing in mind, that no measures were put in place until now.

Big cities and crowded places are a time bomb waiting to happen.

Some of you may have noticed that I tend to get up early. Today was especially early as we are taking the grandchildren out for the day. Anyway when I got up there were talking about the virus on the radio. Apparently it only spreads from person when the affected person is showing symptoms (coughing, sneezing, sweating with a fever). I would tend to avoid people like that anyway! We do need a change in culture where people are not criticised for staying home when unwell. A few months ago I had a very heavy cold and stayed home for a few days. When I went back in my manager called me a "wuss". He would just claim he is "working from home" but then he doesn't have to do a timesheet!

There is still too much undiscovered with this virus. I don't believe they know for sure that it only spreads from an affected person who is showing symptoms to others. An effected person who is coughing and sneezing is shedding the virus onto various surfaces. I don't think it's been determined yet exactly how long the virus can live on various surfaces. A sick person could be coughing, sneezing and shedding that virus onto surfaces, leave the room and a person who enters that room could contact the virus by touching contaminated surfaces in a yet to be determined amount of time.

Like with other viruses, it is possible that there could also be "silent" carriers of the virus who are unknowingly virus shedders.

I find many managers utterly irresponsible - they have only one thing on the mind - company profits. Well, when everyone gets ill, you can wave goodbye to your profits. Shame on them!

It’s actually the opposite, Heythrop - the incubation period is 1-14 days and a person is infectious prior to showing symptoms. The next week will be interesting.

This thing is moving so fast - when Heythrop posted in this morning we were being told the virus was only communicable when symptoms were present but by noon or just after the news hit carriers are infectious during the incubation period.

Who knows what the next update will bring. I'm reading now the advice is we will be seeing confirmed cases here in the UK by the end of the week - you're spot-on, this will be an interesting week.

Hi Heythrop

You are not alone in getting up early !!

Problem with this virus spreading is if someone has it, then coughs into their hands, then opens a door Bingo good chance of the next person through the door has the Virus.

Enjoy the day with your grandchildren.

Regards

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Prada47

And that is why I carry a spray bottle filled with 90% isopropyl alcohol - I spray the door handle (or trolley grip, or hand rail, or...) then spray my hand as soon as I've finished using whatever item I've just sprayed.

Too, if I know I'm just popping into a shop for a few small things (loaf of bread, jug of milk) I bring a trug in with me (I garden:) A trug is a low-sided basket that holds a fair bit but doesn't conceal what I'm carrying) - no need to use one of the shop hand baskets and so avoids potential contamination source. I usually take a trolley and rest the trug in the upper spot where the toddler is placed as I can lean on the trolley if angina hits - but I spray the trug once out of the shop, and if I'm feeling well I don't take the trolley, again, to avoid a contamination source.

Speaking of trolleys, during the Swine Flu pandemic (2009) I was working in the USA - I remember supermarkets had a dedicated staffer at the trolley corral spraying every trolley with disinfectant as the trolley was returned by the shopper. After the number of flu cases dropped off, most of the supermarkets went to fixing a free wipes dispenser at the doors so shoppers could clean the trolley and hand basket grips.

I imagine too, that you use self scan instead of a staffed till? The person at a till is at high risk of infection, handling all those products and facing infected customers - if he/she isn't already infected themselves!

I would clean as many of the products as possible too, you never know who's handled it before you.

My husband loathes self-scan but self-scan is my preferred check-out! I'm about to go seriously 21st century and use those scanner devices that mean I can bypass any till altogether.

And yes, (scroll down for a more full answer - I replied to you in another spot here) I do disinfect everything. I use cloth bags I put through the boil wash every time I unpack a shop as well even though I've disinfect the shop as I load it into the boot.

I fill my trolley, go through the till loading the shop back into the trolley. At the boot I disinfect each item as I load it into the bags.

Agggghhhhh! The grocery check out people scare me! I wonder how many people has become ill from the way that they contaminate food? Twice in recent months I’ve had them touch my vegetable with their bare, grimy hands! I bagged the veggies into a bag without touching them. Then at check out they reached into the bag and took out a veggie to scan in. I about threw up on the spot and then said they contaminated the vegetable and that I would not buy it. Self-scan is much lore appetizing ever since those experiences.

On the very rare occasion I use a manned till I watch for the one routinely disinfecting the belt and her/his hands between customers. There's one at our local who does it and her queue is always the longest. Worth the wait, she's clean and efficient and manages a lovely 'Cheerio' as well!

I just wrote wrote something very similar and then scrolled down and saw your reply.

:-)

Like yourself, I have taken some precautions. That said, I don't have a lot of space, as I live in a bedsit and, therefore, don't have a freezer. Instead of frozen food, I have a stock of tinned food (fruit, veg, pasta, desserts and cartons of long life milk). I keep a stock of bottled water. I actually didn't buy all of it because of the current situation, but incase there was a food shortage in the shops, which, some time ago, there was a small danger of that happening.

I take vitamins daily - B complex, C, D3, E, K2 and the following; Zinc Picolinate, Omega 3, Slow release iron, Magnesium , Ginko Biloba, Tumeric.

I do things to minimise viruses and bacterial collection in the sinuses, nasal cavities and throat, such as gargle with aspirin (salicylic acid kills some viruses) using Sterimar to keep the sinuses clear, daily evacuation of any congestion.

I eat daily, raw ginger and raw garlic and drink / eat extra virgin olive oil, cyder vinager.

Having worked in a supermarket (I'm currently off work due to a longterm injury) I know only too well how germ ridden they are! In my store (super store) the shelves were rarely cleaned, the ceiling areas were not fit for a rat to inhabit, few washed their hands after visiting the bathroom and then proceeded to put products on the shelves, along with frequent rodent problems and worst of all, sewage pipes ran in the ceiling area and on numerous occasions leaked onto shelves. You might, quite rightly, think I was working in a third world store, somewhere in Africa. Sadly, you'd be wrong, I was working for one of the top four supermarket chains. With hygiene like that, it makes you wonder how the UK survives such outbreaks of deadly viruses - I guess some of it must be luck!

Survival might also be happening owing to a shopper's habits:) I routinely Dettol wipe down every single package as I'm loading it into the boot. After living in the USA for decades whilst working I picked up the habit of decanting cardboard boxed items into clean reusable containers as soon as I got the shop home - something I've continued since retiring home to the UK. In the US I did it as I lived in a roach zone (Deep South, man alive were those little blighters persistent and they LOVE to hitch a ride home in cardboard packing!), here I just do it as it's a habit plus it saves room in my downsizer kitchen store cupboard. Probably best not to let me get started on the tins and what vile contaminates can lurk on those!

I can understand fears for your health when you have an illness. I only joined this forum because of high cholesterol. I don’t have any diagnosed heart problems but living in a part of Glasgow where the Chinese student population has risen tenfold it was actually quite scary yesterday to see them all with their surgical masks on going about their business, in and out the shops of the West End, even though the people isolated here all have tested negative.

I think our Government have been swift at testing for high temperatures on disembarking from flights from China but precautions like hand washing and using anti-bac spray and wipes are essential when touching surfaces outside the home.

I find it difficult to become over worried about this latest outbreak in China. People get ill every day and there are literally hundreds of patients in hospital with infections the hospital cannot cure, so for me the least I have to do with hospitals the better. I keep as healthy as I can and eat and exercise well and have no corrosive habits. In fact, I do everything I have been advised to do - I am diabetic and have triple heart bypass. My diet means that I now no longer take insulin or any other medication for this disease and since May 2018 my heart is as good as it will get - with a long MOT.

I get a flu jab yearly and have not had a bad cold for years. If we let ourselves become paranoid about health, we would never leave the house, never go on holiday or go touring in the UK or further afield. It has amused me seeing thousands of people wearing paper masks in China and our medical staff inform us they have no constructive use what so ever - all that profit for someone just to make people feel better protected.

So whatever will be will be, if I travel abroad I will get the required immunisation and pills and go and enjoy the visit - will I worry - well no and I will not be going to China - no point in taking unnecessary risks. I was somewhat amused to hear someone suggest more hand washing - well theirs not much point in that considering the virus is airborne! I did have a thought when visiting London recently and caught myself using hand rails down into the underground - when I got home - I washed my hands - well.

I would not let myself be over concerned and take things a day at a time and only go and see a doctor or pharmacist if I felt I was beginning something unusual or different. I would, however be making sure my immune system was as good as it could get with a correct diet and exercise.

Hi tickin

The concern is not going to China to get the Virus, it's the Virus coming here from China which is the problem . Currently the virus has a low (less than 3 % death rate ) but that could change if it mutates !!

I would not be surprised if that death rate is higher for people with a chronic illness, like Heart Failure, anyone who has had a bypass tends to be fixed and not classed as Chronic.

I must admit I am not over concerned for myself but should it develop I would have a concern for my Grandchildren.

Wearing a mask is just symbolic that you recognise something is wrong and you are aware of it.

Airborne means if someone coughs on a door handle the Virus is transmitted to said door handle, how long it lives is the great unknown currently !!

I believe current Medical advice is Wash your hands and be careful not to touch around your Mouth and Eyes prior to Washing your Hands.

Normal Precautions for Flu Season.

Regards

Lezzers
Lezzers
in reply to Prada47

If masks are of no use, why are they used in operating theaters, etc?

Dolphin14
Dolphin14
in reply to Lezzers

masks are of use. That's an inaccurate statement.

There are different masks required for certain things, for instant TB requires a certain mask fitted for each clinician caring for a patient.

We've all probably seen the full body gear that was required for the Ebola virus.

Yes, I don't think anyone here that has had a procedure would want their caregiver cutting their chest open without a mask. Keep in mind a lot of medical staff is not given the Ok to stay home when they are sick.

Excellent point!

Lezzers
Lezzers
in reply to Dolphin14

Thank you. If you're told to cover your mouth when you cough to stop the spread of germs, surely even a paper mask is of some use even if it is limited?

Dolphin14
Dolphin14
in reply to Lezzers

Absolutely. Paper masks are all we are given in the hospital when we care for flu patients.

Hand washing is huge in the battle. You meet someone on the store, shake hands how do you know they haven't just coughed in their hand.

As you can imagine with my husbands immunocompromised state I'm a little freaked out. He knows what he needs to do. But that doesn't mean the people he runs into are doing what they are supposed to do.

Oh you've reminded me! During the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic a memo came down from HR advising us to forgo handshakes and go with elbow bumps, lol! I was working in the USA at the time and handshaking wasn't a thing anyway unless it was being introduced to a new client and I can't imagine how offering an elbow instead of a hand would have gone over.

Here in Scotland a handshake is a HUGE thing on greeting someone first time of the day so I'll be watching that with interest - not offering a handshake is a sure way to be marked as ill-mannered, ranks right up there with not wiping feet at the door.

That said, yesterday and today on my morning walk no-one was shaking hands, no-one. We kept our distance and any coughing or sneezing was done into an elbow crook with an apology added on.

Yes, it's really interesting isn't it.

I work in a Dr office where the secretary insists on hugging a lot of patients. The other day she tried to hug me. I said seriously it's flu season my husband is a transplant patient. I said don't come near me till the Spring. I told her it was not appropriate to be hugging people all day and compromising everyone. Hahaha as you can imagine that didn't go over well.

Blimey! Hopefully she's thought about what her expression of warmth and compassion by hugging is actually doing and will stop now. She likely won't thank-you for the heads up but hopefully she'll take the advice to heart at least.

Does the practice manager know she's acting as a Typhoid Mary super-spreader with those hugs? Honestly don't know how a person working in a medical office doesn't get hugging is not on, just thinking about it is making my skin crawl.

It's been allowed to go on. I find it very unprofessional.

I'm the only one that has said something to her.

It's a very caring gesture. But not medically acceptable in my eyes.

Skin crawling is a great way to put it. That about sums up how I feel watching it go on all day.

Deano_H
Deano_H
in reply to Dolphin14

There’s a lady in our office who sneezes and doesn’t cover her mouth, she’s aptly called sneeza Louisa 🤧

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Deano_H

Yikes!

Dolphin14
Dolphin14
in reply to Deano_H

Lmao

There are different grades of face masks. The type that have only ear loops and do not form a tight seal around your nose and mouth only offer limited protection. The best masks are N95 or P100 masks. They keep out 95% or 100% of tiny air born particulates. These types of masks also have two straps that go around the back of your head. If fitted properly, they form a tight seal that does not let in air around the edges. You are breathing through the mask material itself, and not my air going in and out of the mask around the edges.

You can buy these at medical supply shops. Amazon even carries some. You’ll have to search on N95 or P100. Read the fine print to make sure it’s not a scam or fake listing. Paint and hardware stores also carry similar types of masks.

Thank you for your explanation, very much appreciated.

SIMPLES - They stop germs getting out - not it

Simples??? Hmmmm

That was supposed to be humour, something some folk have long forgotten about

Dolphin is in the USA - I knew what you meant (Papa Aleksandr!).

Sorry, I'm not familiar with the use of your word as comical.

I apologize for misinterpreting.

I have a very stressful life. So I certainly do appreciate humor .

We did talk about high grade masks

It's was a great thread, great exchange.

Goes south with one word.

I think Ticking is referring to an advert character we have here in Britain - a meerkat family with the patriarchal figure having the catch phrase 'Simples!'.

ETA:

Ahhh ok. It's like a whole different language.

Sorry, but my simple mind says if a face mask stops germs getting out then it must stop germs getting in. If that's not the case I'm always open to people telling me why I'm wrong, in a constructive manner!

I apologise for your problem with dealing with what the experts said about the face masks that were being used on the streets of China. There is a huge difference between paper face masks and the N95 style British Standard face masks used in operating theaters and high risk areas. A further step up is the equipment used in isolation wards and then even higher and completely different for smoke and fume protection and up and up we go. Paper masks of the type seen in multiple scenes of the news in China are useless. purely because they do not form a seal around the nose and mouth.

If you just took one minute to consider how dirty our environment is, not air quality but surfaces - all surfaces - you just would not go out or touch anything ever again.

However, it is that very environment that has actually taught our bodies to fight off the most common germs - our immune system. Which was, in fact the origins of my very first post about not being worried about the news for we are far stronger than we think, especially if we do our best to remain healthy and act responsibly.

Are you trying to goad me with your suggestions?

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to ticking-ticker

I note you deleted your original comment.

Sunnie2day asked you earlier if you were having a bad day and I would like to ask the same question.

This forum is I hope an oasis of calm in the eye of the storm we all have to endure due to our own individual heart conditions.

Beat me to it, thank-you.

If you can keep your head when all about you are loosing theirs and blaming it on you.

I really enjoy Kipling, don't you think? Almost as much as I enjoy the classic play McBeth which I believe could be a favourite with some of the group.

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to ticking-ticker

Oh that is far too obtuse for me to understand.

' Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’

Macbeth

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Prada47

I read yesterday (three different newsfeeds) there are masks, and then there are masks. The standard paper masks available in many chemists and DIY centres (for decorating, cleaning mouldy surfaces) are considered too thin to be of much protection as breathing causes the paper to become drenched with condensation making a perfect 'warm moist' transmission route. The advice if using those, is for the user to bin the wet one and replace with a clean dry one.

The best masks apparently are the N95s - here in the UK I've seen them next to the paint in the B&Q. Bit pricey compared to the 'cheap' paper ones but worth the money in my opinion.

Best of all, according to the pieces I read yesterday, are 'surgical' grade masks - those don't collect respiratory condensation and provide an excellent barrier to transmitted (coughs, sneezes) germ-laden airbornes.

Yes, def different grades of masks. I think people are just doing the best they can with what they have and can afford.

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to Dolphin14

Hi Dolphin14

You may find these articles interesting.

bbc.co.uk/news/health-51205344

journals.sagepub.com/doi/fu...

I shall keep washing my hands.

My fear is being sneezed upon. In this situation a mask might help prevent a splash of infected goop hitting my nose, mouth and eyes.

Hugs and close body contact would scare me too in the flu season etc, so I completely get your comment about inappropriate hugs!

Or is that just my British reserve:)

Great links, thank-you! I'm still happy I am a serial hand-washer and have a good supply of the paper masks and a few N95s. Just in case. Better safe than sorry when it's something like this.

Dolphin14
Dolphin14
in reply to Milkfairy

Excellent articles that bring up a lot of great points. Thank you for posting.

Perhaps I have a little British reserve also lol:) Mayb tomorrow I will go in the office with full surgical garb on and see if anyone notices.

Have a good day

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to Dolphin14

😷

Dolphin14
Dolphin14
in reply to Milkfairy

👍

With the greatest respects - I think you are missing the point, which is more about keeping fit and as well as one can, rather than worry about what might happen.

Your interpretation of the meaning of airborne is naive and farcical but since you are able to attract three likes for the comment I guess the pack is about to pounce on me again so will just pass on this futile discussion since you will not see sense in a balanced discussion, backed up by doctors and hygienists whenever discussing this epidemic.

Please try and forget your narrow minded dislike and see the bigger picture for what it is - general advice on healthcare backed up with some common sense and to believe in the advice from the NHS and that unnecessary worrying in not necessary - not yet anyway!

Tick, are you having an especially bad day? I hope it gets better for you - taking a break always helps me. If the weather is nice where I am I like to kick the stubborn tree stump in our side garden. Bit on the hostile side but oh so good for venting:)

Is that really necessary ? There’s absolutely no need to be so rude and so personal.

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Deano_H

I think this sums it up rather nicely:

Hello Ticking

In response to Sunnie2day I have pulled this post

regards

I'm mostly housebound so my biggest worry is my husband bring it home but if I do go out I wear gloves. The biggest method of transmission of any such virus is on door handles, supermarket trolleys and toilet handles. I also avoid crowded places and get well away from anyone who is coughing and sneezing. AT home if husband is ill, I wipe all door handles and such with anti bac spray. I only do this if flu is rampant or someone at home is ill.

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Qualipop

Are the gloves reusable or disposable? I keep disposables in handbag and glove box but am starting to feel binning a pair after use is not especially 'eco-friendly' and am thinking about switching to Marigolds.

Qualipop
Qualipop
in reply to Sunnie2day

JUst ordinary gloves that then go in the wash

I worry for my husband who also has multiple heart problems ,I try to isolate a little during flu months by avoiding crowded places regular use of anti bacterial gel and washing of hands ,wear gloves when out especially in public places .....tell everyone who has a cold flu or temperature to warn us & stay away .I wipe all door handel 's banister ,light switches in the house daily with dettol or bleach ....not much else you can do that than pray

We were in the middle of the wildfires in California in 2017 and respirator masks were impossible to find. They filter the breathing air extremely well-absolutely better than the standard medical masks you get at the drug store.

Since then I stock a box. Carry 2 in my purse, take a box with me when we travel.

I don’t know why physicians don’t require everyone to wear one in their waiting rooms. Most folks are seeing the doctor for an illness or an on-going medical issue that puts them at risk. Even more so for hospitals.

You can but these masks at Amazon. At least stock up on some kind of medical mask - because if the current situation gets worse they won’t be able to keep medical masks on the shelves.

Hand washing is a must and I carry a small bottle of Purcell in my purse (those credit card keypads are a Petri dish gone mad). If we travel I also take a can of Lysol and spray everything down that we touch. Housekeeping in Hotels is in-and-out.

Life and perspective changes when we realize our immune systems are compromised. Second Chances change everything.

Are you talking about the N95 masks?

Yes. The ones with the ventilator feature are the ones the firefighters use. There are also ones that have a silicone seal around the edges that prevent air from getting into the mask. They don't even know if masks help but I've stock up just in case.

There have been a number of cases here in the States and they are all Chinese coming in on flights and now on yachts trying to get out of China.

Sounds bad, but I hope President Trump issues an executive order banning Chinese from coming in until this situation is under control.

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to not2worry

Do you mean flights from China carrying people who maybe infected?

not2worry
not2worry
in reply to Milkfairy

Any folks whose original transportation started in China. Evidently the CDC here in the States has concluded that a fever isn't an indicator of the virus. The spread of the virus starts at least a week before a fever occurs and more serious complications start from that point forward.

Airplanes and public transportion are an incubators for something like this virus.

I'm not convinced the Chinese really have a handle of this other than those that can are trying to get out. It's really the Chinese who should ban travel in and outside their Country until this thing get's identified and under control

Here in the States you can no longer find medical masks, even available on line from sites like Amazon. The CDC has identified 4 or 5 cases, mostly on the West Coast which is the closest port of entry for those coming from Asia.

I spoke with our Pharmacist today and he said they get a notification from the CDC every morning identifying areas of concern. The only area right now that seems not to have any issues is the Southeast USA. Luckily, we are in Florida.

My daughter and her family (husband, son, two girls) are in Southern California - my sil is going quietly mad with worry as two of the French cases are from the area his family live. My son and his family (wife and two sons) are in SE AL so a bit calmer but watching this closely.

Yes, it's worrisome and it's like the Chicken Little Story. So much said over the years about the swine and avian flu that developed into nothing. But this seems like a totally different kind of disease.

Then of course here in the US they have so many homeless in LA and SF they have had strains of the plague pop up due to the rats intermingling in the street tents.

We lived in Sonoma County which is Northern California. It's a gorgeous State but things are slowly getting beyond anyone's control.

Let's hope for the best and they get this under control.

Great discussion post

I think some people naturally hate/love hugging. Both ways can appear off putting to someone in the opposite camp.

Hopefully she will have taken on board the reason behind not hugging but she might also have been upset by rejection or that she could have been seen to being thoughtless when actually she wanted to express a kind emotion.

I understand the desire not to get ill, but I can see that for some people there is no-one else giving them a hug. And at times a hug can mean a lot.

Perhaps a word with the practice manager explaining that whilst you appreciate the sentiment, your fears about infection are all too real and that risking good health for a hug from a well being secretary is not helpful.

Dolphin14
Dolphin14
in reply to Speakeazi

Agree

Anyone remember the young ones where they taped a bin bag over Neil when he was sneezing?

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to HappyJo

Oh my, I'd forgot all about that one. My husband, on the other hand, is reading over my shoulder and laughing his socks off. (While I'm quietly contemplating would a bin liner work to prevent transmission and OMWord - not clean the lav??!! )

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to Sunnie2day

Will the Young Ones get lost in translation?

Not sure. In my opinion it's Beavis and Butthead 'humour' so universal to a certain (male, mostly) segment of the population. Not exactly my cuppa but here's where I admit I own the box set of Men Behaving Badly so I have no real room to talk;)

Lezzers
Lezzers
in reply to Sunnie2day

I'm with you, I never really watched the young ones too much gratuitous violence for my liking. But loved Men Behaving Badly, probably because they always got their comeuppance 😂

Oh dear - several UK newsfeeds have been reporting UK medics and facilities are now on 'high alert' with the main advisement concerning handling of bodies - they are being told to zip the victim into a body bag before removing haz-mat kit to avoid accidental exposure to post-mortem exhalations from moving the victim's body.

Seriously that does not sound encouraging.

The mortalities have climbed as well to 56 at last report with more Chinese cities on lock-down they are now openly calling a quarantine; another confirmed case in the USA (3 now)+one in Canada (Toronto) and several other countries reporting confirmed cases as well. So far here in Britain there have been dozens tested with all coming back negative.

Mortalities so far are currently all in China and mainly older patients with pre-existing conditions. Like us and ours so this topic is definitely germane. Please, no-one derail this discussion - if you're unable to be respectful please refrain from posting at all.

Let's stay focussed here and on topic - what is everyone doing to minimise exposure should this arrive to the UK?

Prada47
Prada47
in reply to Sunnie2day

Hi Sunnie

I have pulled an earlier post in an attempt to keep this on track. This is serious but not yet a crisis and I hope it doesn't become one !!

regards

Sunnie2day
Sunnie2day
in reply to Prada47

Thank-you, Prada, and I join you in hoping this doesn't go 'full-blown'.

I must admit to being slightly puzzled at the degree of the Chinese response, and this latest about it being contagious prior to being symptomatic I guess will unfold in the coming week. I work for the police so will be interesting to see if anything is floating around for us...

I hope you don’t think I was rude, Sunnie2day?

Nope, not rude at all, and thank-you for making a good point about the coming week likely being interesting.

It wasn't you I was aiming at, btw - we had a wee spat developing with someone having a bad day earlier. Hopefully he'll be feeling better by now.

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star

The Journal of American Medical Association ( JAMA) published this article a few days ago.

It says this

' So far, it appears that the fatality rate of 2019-nCoV is lower than that of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV; however, the ultimate scope and effects of the outbreak remain to be seen.'

jamanetwork.com/journals/ja...

I am keeping a watchful eye on this story.

First line of defence is to wash your hands well and frequently!

Try not to touch your face with your hands as the main route in for the virus is through your eyes, nose and mouth.

Did anyone see the 1970's tv series "The Survivors" this situation reminds me of that program?

Unfortunately as with most virus' there is an incubation period. Traveling on planes where air is recirculated and only a few loos is a great way for them to move from country to country and it was a while before China informed the rest of the world. Having had the 'flu' while 'older' - I am very aware of 'contact' with the world outside my home. Any keyboard type thingy is crawling with virus'. From taking money out to using your card for a transaction in a shop. Also, family can be thoughtless - " But I need to go to work and ….. is too ill to go to school, so etc". It makes we wonder how many grandchildren have inadvertently killed their grandparents ; )).

Well I was wrong footed as the news changed as I motored up the A1 (it is transferrable in the incubation period). Saddened to see another thread spin off into irrelevance!

'Morning, Heythrop:) I've just tuned in so haven't had a chance to catch up on the discussion but I hope you're mistaken it's been rendered irrelevance. I read across several UK and other countries newsfeed there are now five confirmed cases in the USA, the death toll in China has risen overnight to 80+, and Chinese authorities are now seriously concerned the true infection number may well be at or above 100K cases.

So far my feeling is the precautions we with 'pre-existing conditions' take on a routine basis already are the precautions the general public is now being advised to follow so we're likely to be standing the same chances as everyone else as regards contracting the virus should we be exposed to it.

But. But as you noted above, the news on this thing seems to be changing (for the worse) every hour or so. I hope this discussion keeps going as we need a place to share tips on avoiding the virus, and I think also a place to discuss concerns. I know I'm not in a panic mode and I feel everyone commenting here is at the same panic-less stage. But I know I'm finding the discussion helpful whilst also comforting in a strange way.

My mother lived through the Spanish Flu epidemic as a child. She thought it was great "We had a party every week. We used to pinch some fairy cakes and sit under the table ". Lived to be 102.

Helen_BHF
Helen_BHFAdministrator

Hi guys, we'll be turning off comments on this post to stop things escalating as we've had a few flags of abuse, plus it's getting a bit off topic. Thanks all.

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.

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