What can I do about COVID-19?

My name is Gordon Doig and I am an epidemiologist who has worked in critical care for more than 20 years. I live in Sydney, NSW, Australia. Like you, I have tried to keep up to date on the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) that started in Wuhan, China. Because I don't see a lot of truly useful information coming from the mainstream media, I have been going directly to credible sources like the World Health Organisation. The purpose of this page is to describe in plain language what the WHO recommends and to provide links to WHO content so you can understand exactly what they are saying.

Interactive graphs: World HotSpots, US HotSpots and World Map

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Social and Physical Distancing

Based on current evidence, the WHO believes periods of tight restrictions with low-level spread of COVID-19 will be followed by recurring epidemic waves (large or small) when restrictions are relaxed. Because of the high risk of recurring epidemic waves, if your government lifts stay at home orders and reopens businesses, it is important to maintain basic social and physical distancing.

Basic social distancing should still be used by everyone now. Basic social distancing includes:

  • staying at least 1.5m from everyone around you, especially if they are coughing or sneezing

  • not shaking hands and,

  • not kissing or hugging on greeting.

Next level physical distancing is also easy to use and should still be used by everyone now. Physical distancing includes:

  • working from home,

  • use teleconferencing or video conferencing at work and with friends,

  • eatin your lunch at your desk, not in public areas,

  • do not share food,

  • stay away from crowds,

  • hold meetings outside if possible or open all windows,

  • move tables, chairs, desks and other equipment at least 1 m apart and,

  • do not go out in public or to work if you feel ill.

    Social and physical distancing may be especially protective for the elderly and high risk adults. People who are older than 60 years or who have health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, lung or heart disease or conditions that affect their immune system must keep protecting themselves.


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    Any questions or comments please contact Gordon.Doig@EvidenceBased.net
    Page last modified on Tuesday 25 March 2020.