Tufail Hussain

Written by

March 16, 2020


With the Coronavirus pandemic being classified as a ‘global pandemic’ by the World Health Organization (WHO), and an increase in confirmed cases across the UK, it’s understandable that many of us feel anxious and lost as to what to do.

In times of crisis and uncertainty, we must remember to look after ourselves and each other. As brothers and sisters in humanity, Allah (SWT) obliges us to protect and care for ourselves and one another.

coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus Pandemic: Don’t just think about yourself

It’s more important than ever to think not just of ourselves. Let’s remember our elders and those most vulnerable among us both in the UK and around the world.

We urge everyone to choose mercy, wisdom and generosity, instead of fear, suspicion, and panic. Help us build a more grounded response within our communities.

Here’s four ways how you can look after yourselves and others during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

1. Prevent the spread

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Full advice on the coronavirus can be found on the NHS website. In terms of everyday contact, it’s important to protect yourself and others – especially those who are elderly, carers of the elderly or those with underlying health conditions – from contracting the virus.

Here’s some must-know advice.

 

● Practice correct hand hygiene:

When out and about use hand gel and/or wipes. You could also wear disposable gloves or normal gloves.

In terms of washing, as soap and hot water is more effective, be sure to wash your hands once you arrive at your destination/home.

 

● Ensure cough etiquette:

If you need to need to cough, use a tissue and dispose of it immediately.

If you don’t have a tissue to hand (always keep a packet in your bag!), use your elbow (do use a cleansing wipe later!).

 

● Avoid touching your face:

When you’re outside the house, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.

 

● Maintain social distance:

Put distance between yourself and other people if coronavirus is spreading in your community – the recommendation is to stay six feet away.

Don’t shake hands, hug or kiss on the cheek. Show affection in other ways by an “elbow handshake”, a tap of the feet or by placing your hand on your heart.

 

● Self-isolate if necessary:

If you are at risk – over 60 years old, have an underlying health condition or are otherwise vulnerable – self-isolate at home. Ensure you have enough food and toiletries at home for two weeks and keep connected online/via telephone with loved ones.

If you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home and seek NHS advice. Stay at home for two weeks if you have flu-like symptoms (a cough, difficulty breathing and/or a fever) or if you’ve come into contact with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus.

 

Check on others around you. With social media and telephones to hand, send a text, make a video call or tweet to see how your friends, family and colleagues are getting on!

 

2. Look after your community

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In times such as these, it’s incredibly important that we remember those around us who need extra support. This is where showing community spirit is crucial:

 

● Don’t add to the panic:

Reassure and remind those around you (online and offline!) where to focus your energy. Don’t share unverified information which can cause panic and increase people’s anxiety.

Sometimes it’s best to ignore social media posts on the subject, unless you know the post is written by a reliable source.

 

● Check in on those who are vulnerable:

Ensure that elderly relatives and parents with young babies have the support they need.  Check on your neighbours too by calling to see if they need any assistance.

Many elderly people can’t go to the shops and for young families, getting supplies for baby milk, nappies and wipes is proving tricky.

Communicate and check on people to see they’ve got the things they need. Offer a friendly word in a period that can be very isolating and worrying.

Why not set up a WhatsApp group to help so they can reach out for help or supplies in case they need anything?

 

● Support healthcare professionals:

For those working on the front lines trying to manage the outbreak, it’s a stressful, tiring period.

Check in on the nurses and doctors in your lives. Call them to see how they’re doing and if they need a hand with shopping or supplies.

 

3. Don’t stockpile!

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With people panicking across the UK due to the Coronavirus pandemic, supplies are low of certain items in shops. PLEASE DON’T panic buy.

We all need to eat and many vulnerable people can’t get to the shops as easily. For families with young babies too, they need certain items such as nappies and baby milk.

We must share and look out for each other. Plan ahead, but do not stockpile. Only buy what you need. The UK Government and the leading supermarkets have said there will be enough for everyone.

Alternatively, shop at local stores: that way you are helping people in your community and avoiding the queues in the supermarkets!

Ensure that the people around you (neighbours, loved ones) have what they need by offering to go to the shops for them or order online for the items you, or they, need (note: for online shopping, there are long waiting times!)

 

4.  Help humankind

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In times such as these, those who are already most vulnerable are at greater risk.

With physical, emotional and financial insecurity, people living in refugee camps, suffering from ill-health and in conflict zones, are critically in need of our support.

The vast disparity of wealth and privilege in our own communities and around the world is in stark contrast to communities who cannot self-isolate, buy medicines, fill their cupboards or work from home.

We are deeply concerned for our brothers and sisters in places such as Syria and Yemen. An outbreak of this disease for those in the midst of conflict and poverty will be devastating.

  • Send your support to strengthen our emergency response in these areas and help supply hospitals that are already experiencing severe shortages of life-saving medicines and equipment
  • Reflect on how our positive – and negative – actions can impact humanity at large and ensure that what you do has a positive impact on others

Let this test be a reminder that nations, companions, and even Prophets before us have gone through unease and fears – we are not alone. In times like these, it’s our sense of community that will help us through. Let’s remember the words of Prophet Muhammad (SAW):

Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.

So let’s come together in wisdom, mercy towards each other, and in hope in our Creator.

 

Please join us in sharing and reciting the following du’a:

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May Allah (SWT) bless and protect us all.

 

As part of our continued commitment to supporting vulnerable communities here in the UK, we’re working to ensure that the most vulnerable amongst us are kept safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please don’t forget those in need. In times of hardship, we should all support each other.

Donate today and help save lives.

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