Is COVID-19 Worse in Winter?
How you can help protect our ummah this season from winter illness
From around December to March in the UK, you might start to see more people around you start to sniffle and sneeze and hear quite a few people barking with a cough – that’s because it’s flu season! The colder, wet weather makes catching the flu or common cold a much more common occurrence and makes spreading it even easier.
Colds and flu are caused by viruses that are easily spread to other people; these kinds of winter illnesses can be passed along quickly due to the fact that people spend more time indoors around each other, breathing, coughing and sneezing in close proximity to one another. Viruses, like the flu, are also known to live longer in cold, dry weather. So the cold drop in temperature outside and low humidity within our households just might make the perfect environment for winter illness.
So, based off of what we know of the common cold and the flu, it’s sensible to assume that these conditions for a virus to survive and spread more quickly could be the same for the coronavirus. We also know that COVID-19 has an easier time spreading when there isn’t a lot of movement in airflow, so shutting windows to keep out the cold during the winter months potentially could be keeping the virus alive for longer if it’s present.
This winter, and all throughout this pandemic, we need to make sure we’re all doing our best to keep ourselves safe and healthy – as well as doing our part to help those who can’t help themselves! This year, we’re not just dealing with flu season, we’re dealing with a pandemic. So, as COVID-19 mingles with the common cold and seasonal flu - viruses that have many symptoms in common – we need to take the time to think about winter illness prevention and how we could be helping ourselves and those around us this season.
COVID-19 Winter Illness Prevention
So far, we have seen a confirmed increase in COVID-19 transmissions throughout the UK. The new variant of COVID-19 is spreading fast across the nation, and the rising infection rate demands action. Each and every one of us needs to be alert and adhere to government guidance surrounding the coronavirus.
Even if you don’t feel ill this winter, you still need to be aware of those around you for their health and your own. Around 86% of COVID-19 people in the UK who have tested positive for coronavirus have had no symptoms but even without symptoms, the virus is still highly infectious.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, and implement smart winter illness prevention we should all wash our hands regularly, cover our mouths when we sneeze or cough, immediately throw away any used tissues and try to keep from touching our eyes, nose or mouth until after we’re positive our hands are clean. We should all be staying home where possible, but if you do leave the house be sure to wear your mask when around people who do not live in your household and try to keep your distance from others, at least 2 meters where possible. Another important winter illness prevention tip to reduce your risk of catching COVID-19 is to remember to open windows in your home to promote proper air circulation.
This new variant of the coronavirus has already caused a spike in confirmed UK cases, bringing us to over 2.89 million cases to date. With this new COVID-19 variant showing to be more transmissible than the original, we may very well begin to see an even bigger surge in cases for those not equipped to face it, such as the homeless.
Penny Appeal’s UK Winter Emergency is looking out for our neighbours in need here at home to help the vulnerable make it through the winter months in safety and comfort. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by following government guidelines, but you can also reach out to help the less fortunate by donating a winter survival kit for £50, which includes hygiene essentials and warm winter supplies.
Being Homeless in Winter during a Pandemic
Being homeless in winter is difficult enough, but add a global pandemic into the mix and it’s a recipe for disaster. The homeless are incredibly vulnerable; living on the streets or couch surfing in the midst of COVID-19 is dangerous but they have no other options.
Without support from the government, many shelters simply don’t have the recourses to house all the people that need support this winter and some even risk overcrowding, which in unsafe with COVID-19 still circulating. Homeless people are faced with potentially catching this deadly virus staying in overcrowded shelters or risk freezing on the streets.
Penny Appeal are working throughout the country to support those in need by distributing hot meals, food packs and winter survival kits to the vulnerable. Our winter survival kits include a foil blanket, scarf, warm gloves, socks, hat, thermal top, thermal bottoms, sanitary items, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, wipes, deodorant, razor, hand sanitizer and face masks.
All of our distributions are covid-secure and we make the safety of our staff, volunteers and the people we help our highest priority. With this season holding the potential for the new strain of COVID-19 to spread at dangerous rates, being homeless in winter this year is more of a risk than ever before.
If you’d like to help protect our ummah from COVID-19 and the bitter cold, please make a donation to our Winter Emergency appeal today. You could make a big difference right here at home, please help us make a positive impact this season.
FRIDAY 15 JAN 2021