Covid-19 and family visits - protecting those at risk

Woman greeting baby through a window

Now that we’ve made the long-awaited move down to alert level 2 of the lockdown, most of the country’s operations have started up again.

This means that people are returning to work, consumers will once again return to shopping malls, and schools will reopen to salvage what is left of the academic year.

This is great news but unfortunately, the risk of infection increases two-fold – unless you take the proper steps to protect yourself and those around you.

This means doing everything you can to stay healthy, staying up to date with the latest Covid-19 news and following the lockdown regulations put in place to protect all of us.

While Covid-19 has evolved to a point where everyone - regardless of their age - is at risk, some people are more vulnerable than others.

These people are more likely to become severely ill from the virus, potentially requiring hospitalization,  intensive care, or being placed on a ventilator to help them breathe. In more severe cases, an infection can lead to death.

Also belonging to this group are people over the age of 60+.

This is because the immune system’s ability to ward off disease and infection declines with age, making it more difficult to fight infection. Also, older adults often have underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of more serious COVID-19 symptoms.

What you can do to stay safe

You more than likely already know about the basic steps you can take to prevent infection but if you need to recap on that, you can refresh your memory here.

While people with comorbidities who are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, must still follow those measures, here are some extra guidelines to keep in mind.

  • Maintain good overall health by following a healthy diet, staying active at home and getting enough rest.
  • Manage chronic medical conditions by taking your medicine as prescribed and phoning your doctor if you have any symptoms of the virus.
  • Reach out for help with groceries, medicine or anything else you need help with from family, friends, and the dedicated organisations that offer help during this difficult time.
  • Avoid activities where taking the necessary protective measures may become difficult and social distancing can’t be maintained. For example, close-contact sports such as rugby, mixed martial arts (MMA), and hockey (to name a few) should be avoided for the time being.













Read also: Who is considered a high-risk patient?

Keep in mind that, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19.

  • Now that we can visit each other again, the risk of spreading the virus to a vulnerable friend or relative becomes a real possibility. That’s why, if you or another visitor has symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, it’s best to cancel or delay the visit to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • When friends and family come to visit, make sure that it’s outdoors when possible. If this is not possible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (open windows or doors) and large enough to make social distancing possible.
  • Avoid close contact with your visitors. Instead of shaking hands or hugging, wave and verbally greet them.
  • Create a list of everyone you visited or who have visited you including when the visit took place. This will help with contact tracing if someone becomes sick.
  • Everyone should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds at the beginning and end of the visit and whenever you think your hands may have become contaminated.

The Bottom Line - stay safe, be responsible and protect yourself and your community

Finally, keep in mind that your underlying medical condition is still a reason to seek medical care. Emergency departments have contingency infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care for your existing condition.

For the world to manage the COVID-19 crisis effectively, everyone needs to take responsibility for their own health as well as the health of those around them – we are in this together.



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