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Iceni Magazine | June 6, 2020

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Brits are still confused about the advice and guidance around coronavirus

Brits are still confused about the advice and guidance around coronavirus

Millions of Brits are still confused about the advice and guidance around coronavirus.

A poll of 2,000 adults found as the nation is forced to adapt to a new way of living, 46 per cent admitted to feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information and advice they have been hearing.

And a further 29 per cent have struggled to keep up to date with the ever-changing situation.

The UK is about to go into its sixth week of lockdown, but three in 10 still aren’t fully confident about the guidance and recommendations around it.

Most concerning, 30 percent are confused about what they should and shouldn’t take to relieve any symptoms associated with COVID-19, and two in five have experienced ‘contradictory’ advice.

Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer of RB Health, makers of Nurofen and Lemsip, which commissioned the research, said: “Given the unprecedented nature of the current situation we are most certainly seeing an ‘infodemic’ in parallel with the pandemic.

“At best this means there is confusion around what advice to listen to and at worst it means people acting on the wrong advice; changing medication when there’s no need or even avoiding self-care.

“Normally emerging science is filtered, peer reviewed and less reactive, but unfortunately due to the sheer volume of information and the desire to get news out quickly there has been a lot of contradictory advice emerging.”

The study also found 30 per cent are confused about whether they can take Ibuprofen for potential symptoms of the virus such as a fever or a headache.

An eighth even admitted they have avoided treating everyday pain during the pandemic, which resulted in it getting worse.

This includes 23 per cent ignoring a sore throat, a third with headaches and 23 per cent brushing aside a fever.

For advice, 45 per cent have looked at the NHS website, with 12 per cent checking for updates daily and 18 per cent doing so at least a few times a week.

Only a tenth have spoken to their doctor for information – with more have turned to social media (12 per cent) and search engines (16 per cent) for an answer.

A further quarter have opted for official government websites and 36 per cent watch TV news channels for advice.

Worryingly, one in six believe ‘most things’ they read on social media about coronavirus.

But 41 per cent feel no one really knows what is right and wrong yet because it’s too early to tell.

Of those polled, 30 per cent were parents and three in 10 of them admitted they are overwhelmed by guidance surrounding the best treatment if their child was to exhibit Covid-19 symptoms.

And a fifth of mums and dads said there is too much contradicting information around treating children.

It also emerged 44 per cent feel worried about the current pandemic while a third are nervous and 46 per cent feel anxious.

During this time, two fifths are taking more care of their health and self-care in general, with 36 per cent taking vitamins, 64 per cent getting fresh air and 55 per cent doing more exercise.

More than a quarter of those surveyed, via OnePoll, are even looking after their skin and 40 per cent are getting more sleep.

Bruce added: “I would encourage people to think carefully about the credibility of information and to always question the source.

“People should check the validity of information, particularly in regard to health, before acting on it or amplifying it through social media and other channels.

“We can all play our part in filtering out the noise and bad advice.

“We would always recommend people speak to a healthcare professional if they have specific questions.

“Everyone deserves to feel confident about self-care, and those of us in positions of scientific and medical influence need to help people with this.”


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