Cocooning is a special measure to protect those of us most at risk of getting severe symptoms if we get infected with Covid-19. It is a personal protection technique. It involves staying inside your home and minimising contact with others. When you are cocooning ask carers, neighbours, family members or the local county council to make sure your needs are met. Many local businesses like supermarkets and pharmacies offer free delivery services and prioritise older people and those in more vulnerable categories.
Who needs to Cocoon?
If you are over 70 years old, have cancer, are solid organ transplant recipient, have severe respiratory problems including Cystic Fibrosis, Asthma, COPD, have rare diseases, are on immunosuppression medication, are pregnant.
If you don’t know if you should cocoon, please contact your doctor. Essential workers with an underlying illness can contact Occupational Health for advice. This will be true for all workers as our economy opens back up in the coming weeks and months.
How do I cocoon?
- If you have a garden get some fresh air
- Stay at home. From May 5th, advice is you can go outside for exercise and fresh air, as with others in society, provided you keep within 5km of your home and keep 2-metre distance from others.
- Stay in contact with people over the phone or video calls
- Try to move around in your house.
- Ask others to get your shopping and medication (sanitise everything that arrives in your home from likes of supermarkets)
- Use your phone to call your Doctor if necessary. Do not leave.
- Ask those who are delivering your food and medicine to drop them at your door. Avoid face to face contact.
If you have symptoms of Coronavirus ring your doctor. Carers can enter your house if they do not have any symptoms. Carers must wash their hands when they enter and must keep 2 metres in distance, when possible and where appropriate PPE if social distancing not possible.
Being at home can become boring but keeping active in your home and in your garden/balcony can help you.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Check Government and HSE advice as advice on cocooning will be updated depending on infection risk level and as we learn more about Covid-19. While there may not seem like there is light at the end of the tunnel currently, the aim is to get an effective treatment and/or vaccine and in the meantime get other workable protection measures as we learn more about the condition to allow all of us resume somewhat of a normal life in a safe manner. As with all previous crisis’s in history, things will get better.
ALONE are a support line to help people who are having problems and concerns about Covid-19 – 0818 222024 (Monday to Friday – 8 to 8)
Keep up to date on Covid-19 updates at www.hse.ie
Written by Siobhan Clarke (Pharmacy Technician) and Eamonn Brady (Pharmacist). Whelehans Pharmacies, 38 Pearse St and Clonmore, Mullingar. Tel 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). www.whelehans.ie