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Staying safe and well this Easter weekend

Medical Director Bupa Global and UK Insurance
09 April 2020

Easter’s coming up and normally, many of us would be off to visit relatives for the weekend. But unfortunately, we’re not living in normal times at the moment. It’s been predicted that coronavirus infections may peak over the Easter weekend. For everyone’s safety, we need to stay at home and find other ways to make sure we all have a happy Easter.

“This too shall pass” as the ancient Persian saying goes. But it’ll pass an awful lot more quickly if we all do the right thing. Here we look at how to enjoy yourselves and make Easter special despite the lockdown.


Staying home is working

Sadly, the toll of confirmed cases and deaths from coronavirus continues to mount in the UK. But there are early signs that the lockdown is beginning to work. It’s vitally important that we all follow the guidelines, to:

  • protect ourselves
  • protect the most vulnerable
  • to try and slow the spread so that we can ease the burden on the NHS

Although it’s still rising, the number of people in hospital with coronavirus has been growing more slowly. If we can delay the infection, it allows the NHS to get more facilities and supplies in place and try to prevent our intensive care resources from being overwhelmed.

Researchers have worked out that on average we are only having contact with a quarter as many people as we were before the lockdown. They say this should have a major impact on the number of cases in the coming weeks. It’ll be a while before our efforts show up in the figures because understandably there is a delay between infection, symptoms starting, people needing admission to hospital and reporting of cases and outcomes.

So don’t be despondent. You’re all doing the right thing. Encourage any friends and family who are fed up that it’s well worth us all continuing to pull together and make these sacrifices for a while longer.

Celebrate Easter virtually

For many of us, there’s been a sudden leap in our ability to use technology - needs must, as they say. So arrange a family party on Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime. Some of these apps can support group calls for up to 50 people – enough for the largest of family gatherings. We have a blog with ideas on how to stay in touch with friends and family during these challenging times.

You can do more than just chat on a video call though. How about virtual Easter Sunday lunch together? Pick a time and you can all sit down with your meal and chat while you eat together, much like you would if you could get together in person. You could even synchronise your menus as long as you plan early enough to accommodate everyone’s weekly shop.

Easter treats

As long as it’s part of your weekly shop for supplies, putting a chocolate egg (or three…) in your trolley doesn’t mean you’re risking anyone else’s health. The supermarkets say there are plenty of Easter eggs so there’s no need to panic buy. Just remember to brush your teeth and children’s teeth afterwards, and you might want to consider some low-sugar Easter treats too.

It’s bound to be disappointing for doting grandparents if they can’t give their grandkids their Easter chocolate ration. So surprise the kids – buy online and have their eggs delivered. If you usually host the annual Easter egg hunt, you can do that virtually too. Hide the eggs around your house or garden as usual. Then call up the kids on a video chat app and get them to look for the eggs by telling you where to point your mobile phone. You can promise to save the ones they find for the next time you see them. Or have the egg hunt at the kids’ house with the grandparents watching online.

If you live near each other, it might be tempting to have an egg hunt in your local park, while maintaining the required distance between households. We wouldn’t recommend that though. You’d need to be very vigilant about hand hygiene if more than one household was taking part and it’s likely to be impossible to stop smaller children from mingling when they shouldn’t. If you’re one household, there’s nothing to stop you having your egg hunt at home as normal.

You can also entertain the kids with some old-fashioned egg decorating. Have a family competition with the oldest family member as the virtual judge! You can dye eggs while hard boiling them or you can blow out the contents and decorate the shell for a longer lasting ornament. There’s a lot of information online.

If you’re feeling lonely

Special days and holidays can make us feel lonely. If you’re feeling isolated and don’t have close family or friends to call over Easter, there are organisations that can help:

  • Ring Age UK for a chat on 0800 169 65 65 or The Silver Line helpline for older people 0800 4708090
  • The Samaritans can support you if you’re struggling. Contact them by phone or email, and see their website for lots of helpful resources
  • Relate can help with relationship worries
  • Citizen’s Advice has information on organisations that can offer help and support for domestic abuse
Dr Luke James
Medical Director Bupa Global and UK Insurance

    • Pulse. GPs will be asked to open over Easter to help with coronavirus 'peak'. www.pulsetoday.co.uk, article published 27 March 2020
    • Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England. Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK. www.gov.uk, accessed 8 April 2020
    • Coronavirus: When will we know if the UK lockdown is working? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52133054, published 6 April 2020
    • Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Disease(CMMID). Impact of physical distance measures on transmission in the UK. cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/, accessed 8 April 2020

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