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Making sense of life during the COVID-19 outbreak

By: Sara McHaffie

At Amina MWRC we are aware that many of you may be experiencing concern and upheaval due to the announcement of a pandemic caused by a coronavirus which causes a disease called COVID-19.

In Scotland, schools are closing for the foreseeable future.

Many workplaces are either closing or shifting to remote working.

People are concerned about things that are usually pleasant like socialising, going to a place of worship, shopping, visiting a place of interest like a castle or museum.

Some of this concern is based on the emerging information about COVID-19 but sadly some is not evidence-based. Please exercise good judgement in what you decide to share with others.

Take this quiz to find out what you know and what you’ve misunderstood based on social media posts currently circulating. FullFact also have a page to correct misinformation here.

The BBC is updating evidence-based news here but don’t forget to look after yourself when you are finding out about the situation. Try to limit the amount you interact with news sources if it’s getting to you.

Just as we encourage you not to share poor quality information, please also learn about how not to share this virus.

We don’t know who is carrying it until they’ve already infected others, so everyone needs to practice good hygiene.

This is a good video about becoming a ‘super preventer’. https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ This is the best source of up-to-date information from the Scottish government. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19 This is the up-to-date NHS advice.

It’s crucial to remember that the advice exists to keep everyone safe.

During this time, however much of a sacrifice it will be, we must avoid being physically close to people we don’t live with. We shouldn’t have friends or family to visit and we shouldn’t visit friends or family either.

In the coming months, this will inevitably affect plans for the Easter holidays, for Ramadhan and possibly for Eid. We might be disappointed to miss out on iftars shared with lots of family and friends, but this is also an opportunity to get creative, try and plan video chats during these special times, and ensure everyone you know feels included in a digital way while they can’t participate physically at social gatherings.

One idea might be to share a recipe with your friends via messaging and all try it at the same time, in your own homes.

‘Social distancing’ sounds like something that might make us feel lonely, but it’s only really physical distancing. We can still talk via phone and video chat. We can still text our friends to check on them.

Charities like Amina MWRC are working as hard as we can to get services up and running in this new situation.

Organisations like the NHS, Police Scotland and your local council are also trying their best to support people in difficult circumstances.

The more we stick to guidelines and advice to keep safe, the easier it will be for everyone.

We all have a responsibility to promote peace, act with kindness and minimise the harm we cause to others and in this situation that is more important than ever.

Remember our helpline is open if you need a listening ear.