What you need to know
Lots of people are understandably worried about coronavirus including many of you who are working with us at the moment. We have also had a number of enquiries about whether or not get-togethers and coaching will continue at this time. We’re taking this seriously and we want to reassure you that we have thought carefully about our response.
Right now, we can say we are not aware of anyone in contact with Quiet Connections either having received a diagnosis, displaying symptoms or self-isolating because of coronavirus. However, while it might be tempting to believe that we are a relatively protected group of people due to the fact that most of us don’t work in large offices or with lots of people and, as a group, people who feel socially anxious tend to keep themselves to themselves more than most people; we do have to acknowledge that coronavirus is spread very easily from person to person -even without direct contact- and therefore we all have a responsibility to play a vital part in preventing the spread of infection as much as possible. So this is what you can expect from Quiet Connections, and, importantly, what we expect of you too.
What we are doing to protect you:
- At our Get-Togethers, we may remind you to wash your hands or use hand gels as per national advice in order to protect yourselves and each other, please take this with the compassion it is intended; given the nature of coronavirus, it’s better to act as if you could be carrying it in order to keep yourself and everyone around us protected
- Before you arrive at a group, we’re cleaning down surfaces to be 100% certain it’s done
- If officials recommend postponing group gatherings, then we will be following this guidance, and we may even make adjustments to plans based on our own assessments of risk, so please do keep a check on our Facebook events, or drop us a message to make sure that events are going ahead as expected (if you haven’t clicked ‘going’ on Facebook, we won’t know to contact you if there’s a change of plan).
- If we (any QC staff), or anyone we live or spend time with, develops symptoms, then we will start self-isolating as a precaution and we will likely need to cancel get-togethers, events and coaching sessions
- Our Get-Togethers will be continuing until we are advised to cancel gatherings, or we are notified that someone has symptoms and has to self-isolate, and if we do have to postpone groups, know that we’ll aim to be doing more online to keep you quietly connecting
- If you’re having coaching with us, your Coach may suggest changes to your usual meeting place and home visits will be unlikely. At any time, you or your Coach can request to have coaching sessions via video, phone call or messenger (depending on your preferences) – talk to your Coach if you’d feel more comfortable using an alternative to face-to-face meetings.
What you should be doing to protect yourself and others:
- If you experience any symptoms –commonly a cough or a fever (high temperature);
- You should avoid our Quiet Get-Togethers until two weeks has passed
- If you have a coaching session booked, you must contact your Coach to re-arrange the session (this can either be cancelled or moved to a video or phone call)
- When you are attending a get-together;
- Please continue to take every opportunity to wash your hands or use alcohol hand gel where provided; especially when you arrive, eat, cough or sneeze
- Feel free to bring your own hand gel and mugs to our groups if you prefer
- Follow official health advice and catch a cough or sneeze in a tissue and wash your hands (basically, we all need to avoid coughing or sneezing towards people or surfaces – this might mean you need to remember to put a pack of tissues in your pocket)
- Be aware of personal space, remembering that someone else may not be as comfortable requesting more space between you.
For those of you who aren’t sure, the virus is spread by taking in droplets that come from a person’s nose or mouth when they have coronavirus. This could be directly via breathing in a cough or sneeze (which can happen from less than 3 feet away), or from touching a surface which someone has coughed or sneezed on and then touching your nose or mouth (which we tend to do a lot without even noticing).
We have a limited number of people with confirmed coronavirus in Cornwall at this time, but we also have people who are self-isolating with symptoms who will not be tested and therefore won’t be included in the statistics released. Whilst most people who have coronavirus experience mild symptoms, and some may not even know they have it, coronavirus is a high risk to more vulnerable people in our society. For that reason, we need to take all the precautions we can to avoid contracting the virus and passing it on to others, whilst still actively living our lives and staying connected. So please join us in doing our very best to prevent the spread of infection and look after each other.
Finally, in order to avoid over- or even under-reacting, do be careful about where you get your news from and always look for credible sources, like the World Health Organisation’s ‘Advice for the Public’ here.
This is a time for lots of self-care, balanced breathing and self-compassion. It’s also an important time for staying connected with each other to reduce the sense of social isolation if regular gatherings do stop. So remember to send a message or call someone who you would normally see each week because they might need to hear a friendly voice too.