When it became known in early January that some people were ill in China from a new virus that emerged in the Wuhan animal market, no one imagined that two months later the disease would reach more than 100 countries worldwide and be declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Thus, and in line with the latest recommendations of the international body to “adopt drastic measures and attack the proliferation of the virus as a whole”, “social distancing” is presented as a practice to reduce close contact between people and stop the spread of the virus.
The paradox of this moment is that while social distancing is required to contain the spread of the coronavirus, social isolation can also contribute to long-term ill health. So it is important that we do not allow such measures to also have an effect on our physical and emotional well-being.
Concerns about one’s or others’ health status and the labor consequences, uncertainty and loneliness are just some of the consequences that the outbreak brought in people’s lives. Although everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, an infectious epidemic like coronovirus can generate common features in terms of mental and physical health. For that, the British Medical Journal consulted experts on how to manage daily pressures.RELATED
Children can learn by playing
Until each government decides, the children of the initial, primary and secondary levels around the world will not attend public and private educational establishments, in order to delay as much as possible the active circulation of COVID-19 in the population, which, according to experts, will happen sooner or later anyway. What is sought is that it be progressive and avoid the collapse of the health system.
“All children thrive on routine, it is the same every day at school. Therefore, sharing a daily schedule with our children as parents and avoiding sudden changes or surprises is key. Short bursts of more formal learning, such as spelling or writing, followed by planned playtime will help children get through the day. Consistent behavior expectations, limits, and rules also help provide a structure just as they would at school, “said consulted by BMJ Adam Dobson, director of the founding stage of the early years at Thames View Infants School, in the London Borough of Barking,.
For Dobson, it is essential to remember that the unique atmosphere of the school cannot be recreated at home. Young children, especially those in the early years, spend a significant amount of time at school learning through play rather than working independently.
“At home,” he said, “activities such as playing, cooking or gardening cover different aspects of learning, but also provide valuable practical experiences and inspiration for other learning. Most importantly, as teachers, we provide the language children need to share and express their ideas in their own drawings or scriptures. ”
Most schools will have provided some form of home learning. Younger children may not be able to write extensively or complete endless worksheets yet. However, there are plenty of free content available online. Schools are also using platforms like Twitter to share these links, and making their own videos to guide children and parents through activities.
“One final thought would be to have fun and make the most of your time together. Teaching young children requires patience, and the important thing is to foster a love of learning and a positive attitude towards it. In school, the most productive children cannot wait to show adults what they have done, it will also be the same at home, ”the expert concluded.
Jon Bailey, a freelance underwater vehicle operations engineer at the National Center for Oceanography, said: “As a former submarine weapons officer in the Royal Navy, I spent several weeks in a row in a steel tube underwater, thousands of miles from home. . These are my tips to keep a good mood during the confinement “.
“The routine,” he continued, “gives direction and keeps time flowing. Establishing schedules for work, hobbies and meals is key. Do not put them in pajamas, or at least change them during the day. Doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day decompresses the routine and can help lift your spirits. “
In his ocean experience, Bailey had little contact with the real world and it was his shipmates who helped him through the days. “Keeping in touch with coworkers, even if there is no job to discuss, always helps. If many people cohabit in a house, all should have their private space or time, “he said.
“Let’s fight to keep perspective. It is a difficult situation but, like all, it will end. Let’s not obsess over the news. Let’s focus on the little things and make plans for the future, “he concluded.
Scarlett McNally, a consulting orthopedic surgeon and deputy director of a perioperative care center, says: “For those who are isolated at home or who work from home, now is the time to get in shape. Exercise helps mental and physical health, sleep, and immunity. It’s particularly important for those in vulnerable and high-risk groups, so encouraging older parents, for example, as well as doing it yourself, can make a big difference. “
For McNally, the exercise guide tells us that adults of all ages should do a minimum of 150 minutes a week, with one hour a day for children. However, any amount of exercise makes a difference in mental and physical health.
“The results are fast. The human psyche – the specialist continued – has to overcome inertia. Planning an exercise schedule that includes mini goals and verbalizing intentions is a good place to start. Also, involve the whole family and try to start with 20 minutes a day of aerobic exercise. “
The report from the Royal Academy of Medical Schools, Exercise: The Miracle Cure, lists the powerful effects on the prevention and treatment of multiple common conditions. “Exercise is for now and for the future, for us, our colleagues, families and patients,” he concluded.
Paul Warrior, a personal trainer, says that fitness and health are synonyms. Exercise is known to improve our fitness by developing metabolic pathways, supporting the mechanics of movement, and creating robust joints and vulnerable areas.
“Exercise is also a useful tool to improve our psychological well-being. It provides routine, a sense of accomplishment, releases stress and shifts our focus to our physical and mental state, “he explained.
According to the specialist, using a 12-minute exercise window, we can expose the body to a stimulus dose through the metabolic pathways. Dividing the 12 minutes into short, high-intensity intervals can test the body’s anaerobic systems.
“Alternatively, we can improve our aerobic, cardiovascular and cardiac performance with longer and less intense intervals during the 12 minutes,” he said. He added: “The sessions can use simple movements such as push-ups, sit-ups, jumps, lunges and crawling. The priority it’s always about moving in ways that support our daily functional needs. We suggest training a minimum of three to four times a week. “