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Covid should lead to change of attitudes with people ‘staying home to get better’ when they have a cold – Wales’ CMO

03 Jan 2022 2 minutes Read
Dr Frank Atherton

The Covid pandemic should lead to a change of attitudes with people staying home to get better when they have a viral infection like a cold, Wales’ Chief Medical Officer has said.

Speaking to Times Radio, Sir Frank Atherton said it would make society “safer” if “anybody who has a cold, or symptoms of a cold, runny nose or cough, sneezing” isolated from society “for a few days” in future.

“Is it really appropriate for you to go on a train or a plane or a bus?” he said. “Stay home, get better.”

He added: “Looking beyond the current wave, even, we need to think about how we behave as a society when we have any of these infections.

“Whether it’s flu or the common cold, or coronavirus, we probably need to move to a position where anybody who has a viral infection of that nature self-isolates, whether they’re an adult or a child, for a few days, just to stop it transmitting. I think we would be safer as a society, and probably more economically protected as a society if we all adopted that kind of measure.”

He said that after the pandemic, governments should look at what they could do to stop the spread of viruses in the community.

“It’s easier for some of us, who can work at home, to do that. And we need to think about the remuneration arrangements for people who have to self-isolate,” he said.

“So I think beyond the pandemic, there is a huge piece of work to do in public health terms and in government terms about how we can prevent these viruses from circulating in the future.”

He also said that the Welsh Government had been more cautious in its approach to Covid than that of England but that the Welsh public had welcomed that.

“Throughout the pandemic, I would say, a feature of Welsh life has been that we’ve been more cautious,” Frank Atherton said.

“We have had tighter restrictions than some of the other nations at particular moments during the pandemic. By and large, whenever we’ve asked the Welsh public what their view of that is, they’ve welcomed the fact that we are more cautious than some of the other nations.”


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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 months ago

It makes sense to isolate, flu kills thousands every year and as a society we seem to ignore that. Busineses will need financial help in some cases but in the long run, as the article states, it will benefit them and society.

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

30,000 deaths from tobacco in the UK.
Is that worth a ban ?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 months ago
Reply to  Brian Coman

Yes

Jack
Jack
6 months ago

What he’s basically saying is we shouldn’t be going into work if we’re feeling ill. Which is a good idea & probably what we should have been doing before.

But the use of words is poor. “Self-isolate” implies you lock yourself away & don’t contact anyone at all. That’s a bit OTT.

John Brooks
John Brooks
6 months ago

Yes we should stay off work when ill However most employers have punitive ‘managing attendance’ policies. Stay off with a cold and you’ll soon be sacked.
.

j humphrys
j humphrys
6 months ago
Reply to  John Brooks

Who replaces you with such a problem filling vacancies, plus you don’t spread the cold.
We should also adopt the Japanese way of wearing masks, very sensible.

defaid
defaid
6 months ago
Reply to  John Brooks

My first thought, too.

I know any number of people who’d love to take time off for a cold but can’t because employers punish staff who keep their diseases to themselves. I can imagine the phone call:

“Hi. I’m not coming in to work today. I’ve got a cold.”

“Send us the results of your test.”

“What test?”

“Then you’ll have to take it unpaid.”

“I can’t afford that on what you pay me. I’ll be there to share in five minutes.”

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago

It is a no-brainer for managers to want those with communicable diseases to stay home and get better. Sadly this is Britain where brainless managers are the norm.

I used to send people home who were too ill or fatigued to work safely. Losing one or two to sickness is infinitely better than having all of them causing grief.

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