/ Coronavirus volunteering?

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Neil Williams 14 Mar 2020

So one thing that's occurred to me is that I'm (relatively) low-risk (mild asthma and a bit overweight but otherwise in good health).  I also live alone and don't visit elderly people very often, e.g. my parents live 200 miles away, so most likely I'll not be visiting them until things have calmed down, so it's not overly likely I'm going to give it to anyone vulnerable if I get it anyway.

So I've started thinking - where might volunteers like me who don't mind the risk of catching it (and will self isolate if they do, and work from home anyway) be able to do something useful in society?

Food bank deliveries being needed is one that springs to mind as a possibility?  Might the NHS ask for volunteers for non-skilled stuff such as trolley pushing if they run short of staff?  I'd do that in my evenings if it would help.

Post edited at 16:54
Blue Straggler 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Thank you, I’ve been pondering this one myself but in a less focused manner 

Deleted bagger 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I've contacted local health provides to let them know I'm available. As a retired nurse I'm sure is plenty of lower level clinical work I could do which would release specialist staff to concentrate on more complex cases.

A week or so ago there was talk in the media about retired medical and nurses being recalled to the NHS. As yet I can find no information about it. Frustrating as there are thousands of us would consider it. My local MP reckons something will be announced soon. Frustrating as the Nursing & Midwifery Council and former employees have all our contract details.

arch 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Deleted bagger:

Thank you, and you Neil.

Jenny C 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

TBH if it gets really bad I am thinking that the self employed and those who work for companies that are on enforced shutdowns will be desperatly needed to provide cover for businesses that are short staffed due to staff absence (eg supermarkets).

jon 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

That's very generous of you. Good on you!

Bob Kemp 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

This list of Covid-19 mutual aid groups might be useful - just came up in my Twitter feed  

https://twitter.com/cmmonknowledge/status/1238757561186336768

Badgers 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

On a slightly different note a call went out yesterday afternoon from Public Health England for people with relevant lab experience (PCR, nucleic acid isolation, serology and the like) to help with diagnostics. Seemed to suggest secondments from current employers. I'm sure as things get busier there will be calls across the country for support from all sectors.

Hospitals are OK (relatively speaking) at the moment. Problems will be if/when case numbers accelerate and staff are off sick (as well as the well publicised predicted lack of ICU beds). 

As Bob Kemp says, lots of local Covid support groups popping up on social media. Probably loads of local things to help with - the sort of things that will go unsung but will make a big difference. 

Phil Lyon 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Badgers:

Great spirit folks, society will need people willing to muck in.

Just thinking, as  good as Twitter link groups etc. are, one thing that could make a massive difference to some is the simple step of checking our own neighbours needs.

marsbar 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I've seen a suggestion that you put notes through doors offering to get food for people who can't leave the house.

MG 14 Mar 2020
In reply to marsbar:

We already have agreed with all our neighbours to do this as needed. Seems sensible. 

mick taylor 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Just checked your profile:  there is a Community Action Milton Keynes.  Drop them a line.  I used to work for the equivalent in Wigan.  I’m a trustee at a community centre, just doing risk assessment stuff, and getting ready to become  pot wash/cleaner/toast maker/befriender if required.

Oh, and good on you.

elsewhere 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Local Facebook groups likely to have the most varied and comprehensive membership for offering and seeking assistance.

Chris H 14 Mar 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Agreed. Facebook local groups are probably the best way to coordinate local community action. 

Neil Williams 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Cheers all, replying to myself as I don't want to single one post out!  Some good ideas there and good to hear others thinking the same.

lithos 17 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

background:  I'm retired but healthy, at the moment i happen to be in London as I bailed on my Spain trip on Sat just in time.  I'm staying with my elderly parents (91,92) and mum is frail and has resp. issues already.

I was thinking of going home to York to catch it and recover so I could return to help them (and Volunteer locally) as I'm terrified of bringing it into the house. But that depends on not being a courier after recovery ?

So I guess what I am asking re the OP is are 'we' recruiting people who have recovered - if they are immune, and how can we test for that if tests are limited to Hospitals

stp 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I think it's great you're thinking of this but don't underestimate the risks.

I read that 20% of cases are serious in nature, so if you catch it that's a 1 in 5 chance you could be hospitalized.

Also I read it takes about 6 weeks to recover.

There's also another group consisting of young and healthy adults who just die within a short space of contracting the disease. So far there is no understanding of why this happens to these people.

1
stp 19 Mar 2020
In reply to lithos:

> and how can we test for that if tests are limited to Hospitals

Well that's the big question. Government policy makes no sense to me.

Stichtplate 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

A local Facebook group has been set up in our village. They've had a load of leaflets printed to shove through letterboxes and make sure everyone knows that there's help out there if people need it. I knew nowt about this until Mrs Sticht announced after tea that she needs to pick up the leaflets tomorrow as  she is looking after our street. She's a good egg is Mrs Sticht.

Mr Lopez 19 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

> I think it's great you're thinking of this but don't underestimate the risks.

> I read that 20% of cases are serious in nature, so if you catch it that's a 1 in 5 chance you could be hospitalized.

> Also I read it takes about 6 weeks to recover.

> There's also another group consisting of young and healthy adults who just die within a short space of contracting the disease. So far there is no understanding of why this happens to these people.


Where did you get that from? It goes against all figures doing the rounds.

For example, both in Italy and China 99% of reported fatalities had pre-existing medical conditions, and the other 1% were of advanced age. I could not find a single example of someone not elderly and without pre-existing conditions who died because of Covid.

Post edited at 21:08
marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to lithos:

I reccomend you and your parents stay put and get someone to deliver groceries etc.  

freeflyer 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Mr Lopez:

There's information on this subject here:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

In summary, the older you are, the higher the risk of complications (and death).

Over 70 or anyone with immune system compromise should self-isolate, over 50 reduce risk as much as possible, under 40 and younger, somewhat less risk. Cardiovascular fitness doesn't seem to be much of a factor, counter-intuitively.

stp 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Mr Lopez:

I saw it in an interview yesterday with a WHO doctor as far as I recall. Not sure which one but if I come across it again I'll let you know. Was mainstream, maybe the Canadian WHO guy possibly, possibly on Canadian TV (everything I watched was on Youtube).

EDIT: Think it's this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lViaVZ_s8MY

at about 8 mins though the whole interview is interesting.

Post edited at 22:21
Neil Williams 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

I've joined a local FB group.  But (as per the other thread) I think I might have it, so doing anything has been paused while I see if it actually develops into anything or not.

If I do, once I've recovered I'll re-investigate.

Stichtplate 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I've joined a local FB group.  But (as per the other thread) I think I might have it, so doing anything has been paused while I see if it actually develops into anything or not.

> If I do, once I've recovered I'll re-investigate.

I obviously don’t know your particular situation but asthma does put you in an at risk group. I think that’s a plenty good enough reason to help if you can but make sure you keep yourself healthy and safe.

marsbar 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I've messaged our local coordinator.  

Neil Williams 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I obviously don’t know your particular situation but asthma does put you in an at risk group. I think that’s a plenty good enough reason to help if you can but make sure you keep yourself healthy and safe.

Well, I have a feeling I may be about to find out.

My asthma is very, very mild - I probably wouldn't even know I had it if I didn't run, as that's just about the only thing that sets it off (well, that and clouds of chalk in climbing walls).  I don't even really have attacks, just a bit of shortness of breath on occasion.

Post edited at 22:57
Mr Lopez 20 Mar 2020
In reply to freeflyer:

Yeah thanks. Those are the figures i'm referring to. It's the claim that young healthy people were randomly dying that didn't fit with it

Mr Lopez 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Interesting that, cheers. Guess as the cases develop they'll be able to work out the whys. Could be undiagnosed pre-existing conditions, which we could all unknowingly have.

Neil Williams 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> Interesting that, cheers. Guess as the cases develop they'll be able to work out the whys. Could be undiagnosed pre-existing conditions, which we could all unknowingly have.

Not entirely unusual - sometimes these things become visible when e.g. someone apparently healthy just drops dead at a Parkrun.

d_b 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I was volunteering but as of today I have been forced to upgrade from social distancing to quarantine.

On the plus side I'm only 45 and I have a pile of unread books to get through.


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