Interdependence not isolation
Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

With the measures brought in on Thursday night for containing COVID-19 pushing us all into isolation what better time than to actually foster interdependence. Because, let’s face it the thought of at least 5 weeks with minimal social interaction is frankly quite scary…. My head has been buzzing all day with how we can foster social interdependence and reading Jo Everatt’s (Antenatal & Baby) Facebook post brought it into focus.  So, thank you Jo. 

Here are a few ideas on how we might minimise panic, promote interdependence and beat the isolation!

Firstly, it’s important to understand that with COVID – 19 the associated disease presents with mild, flu-like symptoms for the vast majority who contract it and it seems to be particularly mild for children. That said, taking some time to prepare now for the weeks ahead will help to prevent panic, promote good mental and physical health, and ensure limited government and community resources can go to those who are most vulnerable. 

So, why not consider:

  • When cooking meals, make some extra portions and freeze them
  • Check you have a working thermometer
  • Make an agreement with someone to help each other dropping off groceries in the event that one of you becomes ill.  If that’s not an option, familiarize yourself with grocery or meal delivery services.  As a last resort purchase some extra supplies, being mindful of others’ needs particularly with regards to essential items like infant formula
  • Check with your local pharmacy to see if you can pre-authorize someone outside your household to pick up prescriptions on your behalf and if so, make those arrangements
  • Develop a family plan for various scenarios, including planning care for any dependants and/or pets if you become unwell.  Minimize your reliance on people who are vulnerable (ie. grandparents) and make sure everyone included in the plan is aware and in agreement​
  • We are blessed in and around Brussels with miles of forest and parkland and as far as I can see there is no reason not to get out for a walk, cycle or run in the fresh air every day even with friends as long as you adhere to good hygiene practices.  Restaurants’ and bars closed – take a picnic and a flask.  The weather forecast, at least for next week, is quite good!​
  • Check in with vulnerable or elderly neighbours and offer to shop for them or drop off a meal.  The last place they need to be is a busy supermarket
  • Check in with your friends via facetime or What’s app – use these platforms creatively to share activities you used to meet face to face or in a group for
  • Set realistic goals and don’t sweat the small stuff! Being at home with young children is tough so if household standards slip a bit bah so what…..this too will pass and life will return to normal

Lastly, watch out for each other and be aware of how you and those around you are coping with their stress, particularly those who are especially at risk and do what you can to practice good self-care and help others.

Up to date information on COVID -19 can be found at:​​

Written by Kate Ellwood, First Aid Instructor and Assessor – 13 March 2020

LifeFirst provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. LifeFirst is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

For the moment, all Life First first aid classes are cancelled, but they’ll be back up and running again once things are back to normal in a few weeks. Read more about the classes on the Life First website – baby and children first aid classes for parents, grandparents, babysitters and carers in Brussels and Leuven.