Inspector Neil Taylor of West Yorkshire Police talks about the vital importance of social distancing and also staying safe online during the coronavirus outbreak.
The importance of social distancing
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has introduced these measures.
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
- Closing certain businesses and venues.
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.
Young people are not immune to Covid-19. Even if you do not have symptoms of the virus, you could still be a carrier of the disease. You can then pass this on to everyone that you come into contact with.
You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
You must not meet or gather in groups with your friends. Police now have the power to issue fines to those who do not adhere to the rules set out by the government.
Staying safe online
Most people, particularly young people, will now be spending more time online. It’s very important to understand how to stay safe online. Here are some things you can do:
Think before you post
Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it.
Don’t share personal details
Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues in a photo to find out a lot about you.
Watch out for phishing and scams
Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password. Someone might also try to trick you by saying they can make you famous or that they’re from a talent agency. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. If you’re asked to log into a website, go to the app or site directly instead.
Think about who you’re talking to
There are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share personal information with them like your address, full name, or where you go to school.
Keep your device secure
Make sure that you’re keeping your information and device secure.
Never give out your password
You should never give out your password or log-in information. Make sure you pick strong, easy to remember passwords.
Cover your webcam
Some viruses will let someone access your webcam without you knowing, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it.