Londoners tend to be pretty hardy individuals. The constant grind of the City and its noise will toughen up even the most innocent of people who go to live in the Big Smoke. Recently, Londoners found themselves at the epicentre of the UK’s Covid-19 breakouts when the virus spread throughout the world in early 2020. But it is possible, and important, for Londoners to know how to stay safe against the disease. Here, we look at ways to do so, like getting a coronavirus test in London, among many other tools to have in your Covid-protective armoury.
Get a test
Without a doubt, getting a Covid test done is one of the key things you can do for your own safety and others. Knowing that you are Covid negative or positive can help you amend your behaviour and what you do accordingly – so it is vital to try to get tested as soon as you can if you start displaying symptoms.
Private tests are now widely available, and they can be very helpful when travelling to see friends or family that are more vulnerable to the infection.
Plus, if you display any symptoms, tests are freely and widely available on the NHS. They can take a number of days to provide results, but they are such an important way of helping control the virus and keep fellow Londoners safe.
Wear a mask
Wearing a mask may well be annoying, but it is one of the ways that Londoners can help control the spread of the virus. Given that London is a highly-populated area, wearing a mask is even more important than in other more sparsely inhabited places.
Breathing in other people’s air is deemed to be one of the main ways this infection spreads and so wearing a mask is a tool that can help reduce that from occurring. When coupled with the rest of the items on this Covid-19 safety checklist, it can really make a difference to infection rates and that all-important R number.
Stay socially distanced
The term socially distanced did not exist at the beginning of 2020, yet it is now firmly within the English language. It too, like wearing a mask, can materially reduce the rate of infection and protect Londoners as a result.
Being more than 2 meters away from a person outside your household at all times diminishes the chances of breathing in enough Covid-19 particles that could cause an infection. Doing so is particularly important given the more transmissible variants that have come about in the later stages of 2020.
Those variants are more infectious as fewer Covid-19 particles are needed to infect a person. They are not necessarily more deadly, just more easily picked up which makes it so crucial to stand or sit as far away from other people as possible – even if they are not displaying symptoms.
Think about transport
Getting on a train, tube or bus used to be an everyday occurrence for many Londoners. Londoners, pre-2020, would not have thought twice about the incredibly cramped conditions that were commonplace during the morning and evening commute. However, it is a good idea now, during Covid-19 times to rethink modes of transport – if indeed leaving the house is essential at all.
Buses, trains and tubes are hotspots for infection for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are all contained spaces – made worse in the Winter when no windows are opened to let fresh air in. Secondly, there are so many high-frequency touchpoints where infection can spread.
Bearing these risks in mind, it can be incredibly beneficial to Londoners’ safety to minimise the use of public transport. Even better would be to stop using it at all. If possible, cars and bikes are the best way to get around during the pandemic.
Open a window
While it is great to open a window on public transport, it can be a good idea for Londoners to open the windows in offices and even their own homes. Doing so will hopefully help blow Covid-19 particles away and minimise the concentration of them in.
It will help break the chains of transmission that have pushed the R number up, particularly in the winter when much of the UK hibernates indoors with the windows shut owing to the cold and wet weather outside. This is also critical for anyone who is house-sharing, to ensure that germs are not being brought back into a home via people’s individual bubbles.
Wash your hands and clothes
Washing hands regularly was one of the first messages the Government rolled out when the Coronavirus hit the UK’s shores in the early months of 2020. It is still one of the key ways that Londoners can protect themselves against catching the disease.
Many other methods the Government tries to curb the virus infection rate is trying to minimise the chance of a person giving in to someone else. However, hand washing is how a person can stop themselves from being infected as it will stop the ingestion of the virus when eating or touching the face – as well as stopping spreading it around the home through touch.
Additionally, washing clothes regularly is another key way to stop the virus from coming into the home. Using an in-wash antibacterial or anti-viral solution can also be hugely beneficial when trying to kill off Covid-19 particles.
Protecting against Covid in London
One of the key reasons that London has been such a hotspot for the Coronavirus through many of the outbreaks is due to how dense the population is in such a small, contained space. It made it easy for the virus to spread in the early days of infection and, when restrictions were eased, it made it easy for it to spread again. Employing all the above tools and ideas can all add up to a highly effective way of staying safe against the disease until being vaccinated.