COVID 19: Keep Calm | Carry on (#4)

Published Categorised as COVID-19, Irish Caminos, President's Pen

This is the 4th update in our Covid 19 announcements to XirCammini Members.

Our underlying advice remains, “Keep calm | act sensibly | exercise discipline | carry on.”

Introduction: Thank You

We will start Alert #4 by reiterating our thanks to the healthcare fraternity and those around them engaged in halting and healing. We also reiterate our note of caution:

Thanks: We want to thank all the healthcare professionals, paramedics, disciplined forces, volunteers and all those engaged in the effort to halt and or heal. Thank you.

Caution: A word of caution to everyone else out there in touch with the healthcare profession. Please be supportive of the efforts and instructions in place. These are there to protect us. Please cooperate fully with the medical fraternity. They are our ultimate line of defense.

Overseas Trekking

General Instructions & Announcements

We will continue to monitor local, regional and international news and advisories in order to update our members as necessary.

There is a general increase in cases mainly in continental Europe prompting more measures from respective governments.

Latest from Santiago de Compostela

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the Pilgrim’s office have announced today that they will remain closed until further notice. This coincides almost with the Spanish government’s decision to declare a state of alert today coming into effect on Saturday.

XirCammini has secured the refund of all payments made by its members to the various accommodation providers for the Camino Norte. This was due to take place next week and we will distribute these to the members shortly.  

Latest from Malta

Meanwhile in Malta, the government announced today that any incoming passengers (including tourists) from any country need to observe the 14-day quarantine on penalty of € 1,000 per breach.

Any returning trekkers are strongly urged to abide by the quarantine directives.

Schools closed for a week. Similarly, churches closed and catechism classes suspended; the church arranging for televised and streamed liturgical services. Hospitals and old people’s homes also have restrictions or in some cases a ban on visiting times. This is the latest from the Times of Malta on the government announcements:

Gatherings of groups of people, while not prohibited, are actively discouraged. Many of the local trekking groups have cancelled their hikes until further notice.

Local Trekking: Universal Peace Walk 1543AD

After having consulted the persons who were planning to participate in the event and weighed this against on-going directives and developments, XirCammini announces with regret that it will be postponing the Universal Peace Walk 1543AD event of 15th March 2020.

The Committee has taken the decision with great responsibility as a precautionary measure since the current Covid situation remains fluid and is constantly developing.

While – until possible to do so – we encourage exercise in sunlight and fresh air solo or in small groups we also advocate that interaction with others continues to follow the simple safety principles advocated by ECDC, WHO and the Government of Malta. XirCammini represented these principles in all of it Covid advisories (1 -4) contained herein.

XirCammini will refund in full the contribution collected for transport and the Credencial. We ask those who paid and wish to collect the refund to provide us with IBAN details so that we can transfer the € 5 or € 10 contribution back to them.

Practical Prevention Advice

We will end today’s advisory with some practical self-risk assessment / prevention.

The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) may not show signs of infection for a number of days. By the time they fever or cough manifest themselves Fibrosis may already have taken effect in the lungs.

A simple self-test each morning:

Take a deep breath and hold it for more than 10 seconds.

If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness and so on this an indication that there is no Fibrosis in the lungs; i.e. no infection in the lungs. Slef-check every morning.

The following is a synthesis of a piece from the Stanford hospital board:

Preventative measures:
  1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
  2. This new virus is not heat-resistant. Therefore temperatures of 26/27 degrees will kill it. Sunlight and heat limit the growth or longevity of coronavirus.
  3. A coronavirus induced sneeze can be airborne for about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
  4. Viruses dropping on
    1.  a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours. Therefore it is very important to regularly wipe metal surfaces with  anti-bacteria wipes and wash hands with anti-bacterial soap.
    1. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
  5. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Do not to drink liquids with ice. Keep your mouth and throat moist with sips at 15-minute intervals if possible. Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs.
  6.  Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minute.
  7. A lot can happen in 5 minutes. Avoid rubbing your eyes, unwittingly picking nose etc.
  8. Gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
Recognising the Symptoms of Coronavirus:
  1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days.
  2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
  3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
  4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you are drowning. It is imperative you then seek immediate attention.

Conclusion: A Reminder on Trekking Etiquette

  1. Do not join the trek if you are sick, running a temperature, have a cough, or experiencing trouble to breathe;
  2. Do not join the trek if you have recently returned from Italy, Spain, France, Germany or Switzerland. You should be in quarantine;
  3. Avoid any form of physical contact with others (i.e. shaking hands, hugging, kissing etc.) and try to maintain the 1 metre physical distance;
  4. Avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Carry and use alcohol-based hand sanitisers, tissues, and other hygiene products constantly on a trek;
  5. Use soap and water if hands are visibly dirty;
  6. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

In the face of all this it is worth reminding ourselves that we are not circumstances and we can choose not to be defined or constrained by circumstances.

Life is a journey | keep walking | keep smiling | keep (yourself and others) safe. Take care.