We’ve been really touched by all the messages of support we have received over the last few days from our community and guidance from the experts. In this blog we are sharing their advice on how to stay safe in the cocoon.
Clarity for Watch & Wait patients
Following the publication last Friday of the HSE guidelines for the medically vulnerable, we had a number of inquiries from people in Watch & Wait or Active Surveillance asking “but does that mean I have to cocoon?”. A reminder the HSE have advised that….
“people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment”.
Several CLL and other blood cancer experts have confirmed to CLL Ireland that Watch & Wait or Active Surveillance patients should cocoon as this is the most appropriate action the immunocompromised should take. We are also advising that should you have any questions about your particular circumstances, tests or treatments you should contact your Cancer Nurse Specialist or Haematologist for advise. [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ row_boxshadow=” row_boxshadow_color=” row_boxshadow_width=’10’ link=” linktarget=” link_hover=” padding=’0px’ highlight=” highlight_size=” border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ column_boxshadow=” column_boxshadow_color=” column_boxshadow_width=’10’ background=’bg_color’ background_color=” background_gradient_color1=” background_gradient_color2=” background_gradient_direction=’vertical’ src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=” av_uid=’av-4lkpkv’] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” av_uid=’av-k8bpjwj6′ admin_preview_bg=”]
Wiping down packaging
Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that the virus can remain contagious on different surfaces – and for days in some cases. So precaution is advised. New guidance produced jointly by Environmental Health Association of Ireland (EHAI), Irish Global Health Network (IGHN) and the UK Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) suggests:
- Designate a cleared, disinfected area to sort out your shopping.
- Prior to stocking your fridges and cupboards, wipe shelving with sanitiser and a paper towel, then discard.
- Wipe the outside of all canned/hard surface pack goods (tetra packs) with a paper towel/warm soapy water, sanitise (following the manufacturer’s guidance).
- Alternatively leave non-perishable foods in a safe place for 72 hours.
- Remove outer food packaging and discard, being careful to limit handling of the inner packaging of items such as yoghurts.
- Wipe down fridge and cupboard handles with sanitiser, a paper towel and discard.
- Wash your hands again after you have unpacked and put your shopping bags away.
The life span of the virus on a surface depends on lots of factors, including the surrounding temperature, humidity, and type of surface. While its important to be aware of these guidelines, Irish experts also suggest that we can take a practical approach to implement these:
“If you worry that an outside wrapper might be contaminated, simply open it up, throw away the wrapper as normal and wash your hands after — nice and simple. If there were any bugs on the wrapper, they’re now in the bin with the wrapper and you cleaned any that might have been passed onto your hands by washing them. Remember the contents of fruits like oranges and bananas are already wrapped and come clean from nature. Cooking, boiling and baking will kill Coronavirus on any foods.
Read the full article ‘Corona virus- The facts to stack the odds in YOUR favour‘ by Robert O’Connor who is Head of Research, Irish Cancer Society.
Dealing with deliveries…
Many of you have shared your experiences from within your cocoon which we can all relate to. With many of us getting deliveries on the doorsteps one of our community shared his experience of social distancing while sorting out a delivery intended for a neighbour.
“A couple of days ago, I was doing a bit in the garden when a delivery man walked in. The delivery wasn’t for us, but he couldn’t find the address. He read out the address, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying… I told him to put the parcel down and go back a few meters… I went to the parcel, looked at the address, but still didn’t recognise it. I looked up on eircode, found it, it was quite close by. I then put my phone down on a seat, stepped back and invited him to look at the map. He left knowing where to go…”
Others described how friends and family members are helping by dropping off groceries – leaving them in the porch, inside the wall of a garden and even in the boots of cars! We do enjoy hearing from you, so do share your stories from your cocoon – especially those where our community can learn from your experiences!