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Coronavirus: Your 5-step guide to passing the time in quarantine

Social distancing is vital to preventing the spread of coronavirus amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also, as people across Ireland and the world are finding out, a quick way to run out of things to do. Here, we’ve collected som…




Social distancing is vital to preventing the spread of coronavirus amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also, as people across Ireland and the world are finding out, a quick way to run out of things to do. Here, we’ve collected some of the best health advice, lists of activities and entertainment guides published across irishtimes.com. These tips can keep you going for a while and help you stay informed.

1. Protect yourself

Personal hygiene is vital to stemming the spread of coronavirus. As we’ve been told repeatedly: regular and proper handwashing and safe sneezing practices (into your elbow) are vital to contain the spread and protect the most vulnerable in our communities. But as Waterford-born virologist Ultan Power points out, though we may be observant of maintaining our distance from people in public, we can often let our guard down in our own homes.

It is important to wash your hands immediately when you come into your home and keep contact with others to a minimum – that includes avoiding hugging and kissing. Frequently-touched objects and surfaces should be disinfected regularly – that means keeping countertops, door knobs, keyboards, baths, toilets, sinks and other shared spaces clean. And don’t forget your phone.

2. Managing stress

Covid-19 has likely flooded your timeline and most news media you consume for a while now. That is probably going to remain the case for some time to come. During this period, it’s vital to manage the stress the crisis could potentially cause. While a certain amount of anxiety is a normal response to a threat, there are steps that can be taken to make sure it’s under check: Prof Ciarán O’Boyle details eight such steps here, including: staying informed, but not consuming too much information; connecting with loved ones, and maintaining a sense of hope.

3. Deep clean your house

What better excuse? The HSE has tips on its website about best practices for cleaning (a search for “clean” will throw up plenty of information). As mentioned above, keeping well-used surfaces disinfected is paramount. The HSE website points out that many products available in supermarkets can kill coronavirus on surfaces – it recommends first cleaning the surface as usual, then using the disinfectant product. If you need more direction, Sandra O’Connell has these 11 tips for deep-cleaning your house. Sandra covers everything from the kit you’ll need, to how often you should be washing the floors (daily, ideally).

4. Home improvement

Staying in might also provide you with the perfect time to take control of your home. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out these DIY tips from Laura de Barra’s new book, Gaff Goddess.

5. Stay active

It’s likely that your normal exercise routine has been scuppered – but it’s still important to stay active. Gyms are closing across the country and most organised sports are coming to a halt, but fresh air is still recommended, as long as you aren’t congregating with lots of other people. Your options may be limited, but there’s plenty you can do: a round of golf, for instance, is currently considered low-risk. If you’re a swimmer and your pool is shut, you can still give open-sea swimming a try (it’s cold at the moment, but a quick dip won’t hurt). Click here for more suggestions from Irish Times sports journalist Ruaidhrí Croke.

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