THE POWER OF OBSERVATION
Article written for Learn Now by Joyce Roberts BSc (Hons.) NVQ Level 5 Health and Social Care:
THE POWER OF OBSERVATION
“Observation is the action or process of closely observing or monitoring something or someone … something seen, heard or noticed”.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, there has never been a better time to consider if we use our senses appropriately. Scientific evidence has proved how hard it is to suppress a highly infectious virus despite hand washing, wearing masks and social distancing. These measures slow down the spread of transmission but they don’t seem to stop it.
I hope to highlight the importance of using our senses to enable clear communication, clear planning for the future lockdown and preventative measures to reduce the risks of viral transmission.
During the spring lockdown our cities were ghost towns and the economy suffered – the R number reduced from 3 to 0.6 in a week. It is clear to see that you have to stop infected people meeting others who are susceptible to the virus. Young people may have no or few symptoms but are still high-ly infectious and mixing with vulnerable groups will put them into the high risk category. Travel restrictions in all areas must be considered to reduce and contain the virus.
We must listen to the young people and their concerns. Many felt they could have continued with their studies online rather than travel many miles to a University and end up in isolation with people they don’t know. Is this the University experience they craved for?
Many are happy to return to school and get into a routine and see friends – child development childcare being important. Parents are happy to send their children back to school with all the safety measures in place to prevent transmission of the virus.
We must listen to the right people who have experience and valuable knowledge in their field. Scientific evidence and those in the medical profession understand infection control procedures and policies and policy reforms must reflect this. We all must be responsible for our health and wellbeing – reduce obesity, exercise, cleanliness, hand washing, clean surfaces, social distancing and face covering and create an environment for our families to live and appreciate the natural world.
It is inevitable during our normal daily activities we touch many surfaces. This virus is able to survive on many types of surfaces for a long time. Therefore we must be aware that this is a way of transmitting the disease. Hand washing and regular surface cleaning will reduce this risk. It is worth considering the value of therapeutic touch – to hold someone’s hand, to comfort when anxious is known to reduce anxiety, reduce blood pressure and boost the sense of wellbeing. Although this is restricted during the pandemic, it does highlight the importance of getting to grips with this virus as soon as possible.
Our environment is precious, we must recognise that disposal of waste and offensive odours are a source of viral transmission. Businesses have to be accountable to reduce pollution – sewerage has been known to leak into our waterways, which can lead to poor health. Farm land can be affect-ed resulting in food, plants, animals, and fish being contaminated. We must clean up our act to preserve our planet –otherwise our quality and taste of our food will be affected and pollution in the air will risk our wellbeing.
Poverty, deprivation, homelessness result from a poor economy, so it is important to get the balance right to reduce further suffering and spread of the virus. So how can we get this balance?
David Attenborough pointed out that one important thing we can do to protect our planet is:
“NOT TO WASTE ANYTHING”
We all take for granted water, food, gas, electric but we must remember to avoid waste and consider those who are struggling during this pandemic. Consider the following:
AVOID FOOD WASTE
USE WATER WISELY – LIMIT RUNNING WATER – SHOWER RATHER THAN BATH
DISPOSAL OF RUBBISH
REDUCE LEAKS – WATER,SEWERAGE,
CLEAN ENVIRONMENT – HOMES, GARDENS, ROADS,PARKS,SHOPS,BUSINESSES
IMPLEMENT INFECTION CONTROL MEASURES IN ALL AREAS
ENCOURAGE HANDWASHING AT HOME, WORK, EATING OUT
WEAR FACE COVERINGS APPROPRIATLY
To live in a healthy environment, we all have a role to play. To observe what is going on around us will help reduce transmission of the virus. Ensure our homes are clean and tidy, reduce waste and value our natural world for future generations. Ensure businesses provide a safe environment for workers to return back to work and avoid crowds when necessary or wear face coverings.
There is conflicting advice and guidelines at the moment which will cause any measures being difficult to implement. Technology has played a valu-able role during the pandemic by improving communication, reducing loneliness and improving education but we all have valuable senses as human beings – now is the time to ensure that we all use these – observe what is going on around us, record and listen to relevant people, interpret and reflect our views and ideas and plan our way forward in a safe way to protect ourselves, friends and families. If we all pull together things will get bet-ter and we can enjoy a better life.
HANDS / FACE /SPACE measures will help reduce the transmission of Coronavirus but we all must follow the same clear, concise, consistent guidelines from the Government. The United Kingdom – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are faced with the same virus and concerns – we must unite to beat this virus and improve the economy to ensure quality of life. Lockdown for all of the United Kingdom would ensure a circuit break-er – this would be an advantage for hospitals to catch up with the recent admissions, prepare services prior to Christmas and it will be reassuring that we are all following the same guidelines. Regular fortnightly reviews will be more manageable rather than lockdown for some dragging on for months.
This pandemic is not only a national problem but it is worldwide. We all must follow sensible guidelines and look after our natural world. It is promis-ing to hear, according to Alexa Phillips (news reporter), a government led scheme is currently detecting fragments of genetic material from the virus which pass out of human waste – more than 90 waste water treatment sites are now being tested across the U.K. This data will be shared with the Test and Trace system and will influence the decision to lockdown those who have a high incidence of the virus. At least 70% of the Welsh popula-tion is currently being monitored by the testing samples from 24 waste water treatment sites, hence the decision to be on lockdown across the re-gion. Expansion of this project in England, Scotland and Ireland are ongoing.
Human resources are limited as the world population increases -according to QI Elves – The United States uses more electricity for air conditioning than the whole of Africa uses for everything. For businesses to survive and allow the economy to grow it is essential to consider our natural re-sources and work with nature, not against it. This is the only way to create a better world for future generations.