Health First, Community! How We Are Helping Out During The Tough Period of COVID-19
We hope this blog post meets you safe. As a community, we are deeply concerned by the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis because a community is made up of its members and is primarily effective because of its members. We want to make sure you are safe before anything else—health first.
Although there haven't been any reported cases in Rivers State as of the time we are writing this article, we want to make sure that our members and the general public take the needed precautions forming the necessary health hygiene habits needed.
First off, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this virus in one way or another. We hope you find the faith and strength to push through and push during this tough moment.
It is no news anymore that the COVID-19 virus is impacting the world tremendously. Governments worldwide (including ours here in Nigeria) are taking severe and unprecedented measures to contain the outbreak and limit its impacts on individuals and societies.
We are very concerned about this and are regularly updating our students our Practical Machine Learning course participants on the steps to take the necessary precautions even though there haven't been any reported cases yet in our city.
Sustaining good health is undoubtedly the most paramount activity as we all try to make our world a better and more sustainable place. We have gathered some sources here for you to gain daily information from.
There are 5 things you should know;
Please Do These;
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub (Learn how to do that here).
Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze. Learn why you should do this here.
Avoid close contact or in current terms social distancing (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell (at this period, if they have a cough, cold, or have trouble breathing). Learn why and how you should do this here.
Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell.
Please Don't Do These;
Touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Panic. (Being cautious is one thing and is okay. Panicking and making others uncomfortable through such acts is another.)
How we are taking actions as a community.
We are taking adequate action by making sure we spread the right information. Using media like the one you are currently viewing, and other mediums such as Twitter and our community channels.
We have been consistently (almost daily) updating participants of our Practical Machine Learning course on the necessary precautions to take irrespective of their location (there hasn't been any case reported yet in Port Harcourt and Rivers State according to NCDC).
As of today (20/03/2020), we got in touch with LocTech IT Training Institute, the facility sponsors for our Practical Machine Learning course so that we can provide gel soaps for handwashing for participants as they come into the building for learning.
We haven't closed down our classes yet because there haven't been any serious reports from the state's health centre and from NCDC on the state.
But we will monitor the situation closely, and if in any way at all, there be any reports from the state and federal health authorities, we are perfectly positioned to move our classes completely online with the following technologies; Zoom Video conferencing and Google Hangouts to stream sessions of the guest facilitators of our Practical Machine Learning course, Moodle learning management system to host our learning contents, Slack for course communication, YouTube to host recorded sessions, and blog posts to share highlights of classes to the general community.
This Saturday (21/03/2020), our students will be working on visualising an open dataset on the coronavirus pandemic that will help them effectively communicate insights from the data to the community and the general public.
Other Things You Should Know.
Chloroquine hasn't been approved by NAFDAC or NCDC as a treatment for COVID-19 neither has it been approved by the FDA. So update yourself consistently and if in such position, avoid an overdose of the drug because it has only been shown to decrease the virus (therefore only showing the potential to be used for treatment), not serve as a cure or make you feel better.
You can also check out WHO's advice on how to use a mask here.
Coronavirus tips on google search.
You an also learn how to make cheap and re-usable masks here by following this easy and extensive walkthrough from Happy DIY Home here. This walkthrough only requires you to have a piece of cloth, needle and then thread.
We have created a hashtag alongside other notable hashtags (#FlattenTheCurve) to help raise more awareness. Please stay safe and be safe. We love you and hope to see you on the other side of this. #HealthFirst.
Numbers You Can Contact
Remember, Do The Five.
Check These Other References Out
- From WHO.
- From NCDC.
- "Coronavirus in brief" by a nonprofit that develops technologies to solve the pandemic crisis.
- 5 Steps to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus (Short 1 minute video).
We are open to questions and feedback. Once again. See you on the other side of this.