I am in my 80’s and have heart problems. My wife has Alzheimer’s disease and lives at home. We have been told to sit down and not go out, but there are caregivers who come to help every day. Will they still be able to visit, and what do we do if they can’t?
Let me reassure you first. Even in high-risk groups, such as those over the age of 80 and people with heart disease, the majority who contract coronavirus will not have a serious illness.
Information from Chinese cases showed that more than 80 percent of patients, even the elderly with heart disease, would not have a serious illness.
A reader asks dr. Ellie Cannon or his wife’s caregiver still allowed to call home during coronavirus outbreak or should he resolve this situation on his own
We have been told to distance ourselves socially to protect ourselves.
This means reducing as much close contact as possible, often defined as within two meters of another person for more than 15 minutes.
You are not isolated – that is for people or their household who have symptoms. So you could go for a walk and get some fresh air – you would do well.
And since caregivers are essential for you and your wife, this type of contact should not be avoided. They will definitely be able to visit you.
More by Dr. Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday …
They will apply even stricter hand hygiene than usual, and they will take care not to come when they are sick. If they are unable to visit due to isolation, the healthcare facility or the local team will send a backup. Don’t be afraid to ask them to wash their hands when they enter.
I’m in my late forties taking blood pressure medications. I don’t know who exactly is at high risk. Do I have to isolate myself?
We are all meant to practice social distance. This means that you have as little physical contact as possible with other people. Isolation means no contact and is for people with Covid-19 symptoms or in the household of someone with symptoms.
Like everyone, you should keep your contact with others to a minimum. But it is more important to you, because we know that people with high blood pressure are considered more vulnerable.
So you have to be stricter. Every time you don’t come in contact with other people or go to confined spaces where many people go, you reduce your risk.
Stay at home as much as possible. Working at home, for example, eliminates commuting – and the risk of sitting in the office all day with others who can transmit the virus.
They may be sick with low-level symptoms and don’t know they are spreading the infection, or just have the virus on their hands after commuting.
There has been some debate about high blood pressure medication and Covid-19.
The European Society of Cardiology has issued a statement stating that all patients with high blood pressure should continue their usual medication because there is no evidence that it is harmful during the infection.
For more information on who exactly is classified in risk groups for Covid-19, visit nhs.uk or Public Health England at gov.uk.
Family life must continue
Dr.’s son Ellie Cannon, Jude, pictured on his 13th birthday, blew out the candles on his cake by driving his card toward the flame
As we are on our way to total lockdown, you might think that anniversaries, parties and other celebrations will be canceled in the near future.
But my son Jude’s 13th birthday last week was proof that you CAN still have a good old party. It was a much needed reminder that we are still the same family, with the same traditions, and that made us feel normal again – at least for a short while.
And I would urge you all to do the same.
Intimate celebrations, with just your household, can be just what you need in times of crisis to remind you what’s important. All it takes is planning a bit ahead – buying gifts, balloons and wrapping paper online and having a friend deliver a cake.
And instead of blowing out candles, Judas left them out with a card – to reduce the chance of the virus spreading!
No need to store your pills
While it may seem like a bit of a joke, stockpiling isn’t a joke, especially when it comes to medications.
Last week, I was shocked to see patients ordering extra pills because they panicked because they ran out.
Not only is this unnecessary – because we have a strategic delivery method to ensure we don’t run out – but when people buy too much, less is available for the most vulnerable. If we all order normally, there will be no problems for anyone.
Medication is not a problem – ordering too much can have more serious consequences.
Do not use valuable supermarket delivery slots if you are fit and healthy
Do you do your shopping online? Well, if you are young, fit and healthy, I beg you not to go to the supermarket and release the delivery machines for those who can’t get out.
Online delivery services are completely flooded with orders, with reports from some waiting up to a month for an available delivery time. This will be disastrous for the thousands who isolate themselves and depend on these essential food and medicine services.
But if anyone who could go to the stores to get their inventory would do that, there would be a lot more delivery slots available to people who really need them. If you’re healthy, there’s no reason you can’t go shopping – as long as you stay a reasonable distance from others and wash your hands when you get home.
If you’ve ever felt like visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York City or even the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, now is the time to do this – from the comfort of your living room.
Do you have a question for Dr. Ellie?
Send an email to [email protected] or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.
Dr. Ellie can only answer in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or give personal answers. Always consult your own doctor if you have health problems.
One of the most beautiful initiatives to save us from quarantine boredom surprisingly comes from Google.
The technology giant has partnered with 1,200 museums and landmarks around the world to bring you virtual tours of world-famous exhibitions.
It means you can enjoy a glass of wine while exploring masterpieces such as the Eiffel Tower.
Enjoy it while it lasts – it’s free!
You can find the full list at artsandculture.google.com.