How to keep your vulnerable loved ones safe this winter during the COVID-19 pandemic

How to keep your vulnerable loved ones safe this winter during the covid-19 pandemic

While 2020 got off to a relatively normal start, the coronavirus outbreak soon spread across the world, and to date, it has infected more than 74 million people globally.

With winter now upon us, it’s more important than ever to take care of your health and to protect your vulnerable loved ones, especially if you plan to visit them over the Christmas holidays.

Whether you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, or you are concerned about passing the virus on to your vulnerable loved ones, here are some ways you can stay healthy and safe this winter.

Wear a face covering

If your loved ones are particularly vulnerable, then it may be best to avoid meeting them for now, until the virus is no longer as prevalent. Of course, that’s not always possible and if they need you to run errands for them or require your company, then make sure you wear a face covering when around others. Face coverings are designed to protect you and others and reduce the spread of the coronavirus and if your loved one is very susceptible to the disease then it’s a safer option to wear a mask when visiting them, whether indoors or out. If you find your face covering uncomfortable, it’s advised to pick another material and make sure that it snugly fits your face. Many people are making the mistake of not wearing their face covering over their nose, which is why you need to purchase one that fits perfectly.

Wash your hands

When out and about, there are lots of frequently touched surfaces that you may put your hands on. Door handles in particular harbour tons of germs and bacteria that make it the perfect breeding ground for the coronavirus. Therefore, getting into the routine of washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is key for reducing the risk of transmission. If you’re not able to access a public restroom, make sure you carry a travel size bottle of hand sanitiser with you at all times. Before seeing your vulnerable loved ones make sure you clean your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Whether you’re on public transport, going into a store, or in a crowded area, you must maintain social distancing and adhere to the guidelines set out by the government, especially before meeting your vulnerable loved one. While it can be hard to do so in public spaces, as long as you’re wearing a face covering and aren’t stacked up against one another, the risk of you getting the coronavirus and passing it on to your elderly or vulnerable relative is reduced. All essential businesses like convenience stores will have social distancing guidelines in place, alongside sneeze guards that are designed to protect both customers and staff from contracting COVID-19. When meeting your friend or family member who is high-risk, make sure you maintain a distance. For extremely high-risk people it may be recommended that you self-isolate for a number of days before visiting them. Again, try not to visit those who are at risk unless essential.

Avoid touching your face

In a normal day, you will be surprised at how many times you touch your face without even realising it. Whether it’s scratching your nose or rubbing your eye, your risk of catching a respiratory infection is maximised. One of the best ways to avoid touching your face is by keeping your hands sanitised or using a scented hand soap that will remind you to stop doing so.

Your vulnerable loved one’s health and wellbeing should be your number one concern this winter. As temperatures start to fall, it’s said that the coronavirus spread may increase over the colder months, which is why you must take note of the above and put the tips into action to help the vulnerable safe and healthy.