Written by Clare Caro
In March 2020, all Nature Play group sessions went on hold to help stop the spread of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to keep our communities safe. Now we are getting ready to resume sessions, with a few small changes to keep families safe. To gain a good understanding of what the changes are, we took a look a closer look at what Covid-19 is all about and what we can do to keep safe and healthy.
Nature Play needs to be a safe place for everyone
100% Outdoor Benefits
Nature Play already ticks many boxes for making a safe environment when it comes to circulating infectious diseases. Nature Play sessions are held in well-ventilated outdoor environments, which prove to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus dramatically. As well, time spent outdoors in sunlight hours offers natural Vitamin D intake, strengthens immune function, decreases respiratory illnesses and the risk of infection from pathogens, including the COVID-19 virus.
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is the disease caused by the virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (the virus and the disease it causes have two different names, just as HIV is a virus and AIDS is the disease). As the name suggests, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 is passed on through the respiratory system (nose and mouth) and caught through the respiratory system.
What are the symptoms if you have Covid-19?
Symptoms vary from person to person; some people can carry the virus with no symptoms at all, while others show one or more symptoms. The 3 main symptoms are 1/ a high temperature 2/ a new, continuous cough and 3/ a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Other symptoms include; sore throat, headaches, difficulty in breathing and diarrhoea.
Covid-19 is predominantly transmitted during person-to-person contact with an infected person. Infected airborne particles are expelled into the air, and caught by 1/ breathing in a viral load 2/ hand contact with contaminated objects, transferred when touching mouth, nose, or eyes.
Transmission is found to be higher in crowded gatherings, indoor environments with low ventilation and around activities that increase the production of respiratory droplets.
Transmission can be kept low when we take precautions, such as only meeting in small groups, in well-ventilated environments and only go out if we are well. To be safe, we can keep at a distance where our airborne particles won’t land on another person or their property, no sharing of food, drink or objects we use, clean our hands frequently (soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 70% ethanol), along with growing strong and healthy immune systems.
While Covid-19 can be caught by anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, etc., there is, however, one group most at risk of finding Covid-19 fatal. The most at-risk group are those with a compromised immune system, this includes those with already underlying health issues.
The immune system plays a significant role in our survival in the environment we live in and begins to develop when we enter the world at birth. Within this significant role, the immune system will; identifying threats to the body such as pathogens, toxins or allergens; respond to invading threats to return the body to a healthy state, and it also builds a ‘memory’ for future protection.
There are lots of things we can do to build, strengthen and maintain a healthy immune system, for example -
3 Ways to boost and strengthen your immune system –
3 things to avoid that weaken the immune system -
 ‘COVID-19 rapid evidence summary: vitamin D for COVID-19’
Evidence summary [ES28] / 29 June 2020
'Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it'
 ‘Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms’
 ‘Symptoms of Coronavirus’
May 13, 2020
 ‘Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions’ Scientific Brief / 9 July 2020
 ‘Transmission of COVID-19’
 Leclerc QJ, Fuller NM, Knight LE, Funk S, Knight GM, Group CC-W. What settings have been linked to SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters? Wellcome Open Res. 2020;5(83):83.
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David D. Chaplin, M.D., Ph.D.
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J. Rodrigo Mora, Makoto Iwata, and Ulrich H. von Andrian
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Torsten Olszak, Dingding An, Sebastian Zeissig, Miguel Pinilla Vera, Julia Richter, Andre Franke, Jonathan N. Glickman, Reiner Siebert, Rebecca M. Baron, Dennis L. Kasper, and Richard S. Blumberg
 ‘Fight or flight’
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Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Gregory E. Miller