What’s the latest?
The World Health Organization has officially declared the Coronavirus (known as COVID-19) as a pandemic and has provided each Country with a protocol it should follow to help control the spread of the disease.
As a Canadian am I at risk of getting the Coronavirus?
Even as of March 13/20 the Public Health Agency of Canada, is stating that the likelihood of an Outbreak in Canada is low, however, Canadians still need to be vigilant in ensuring we are combating the spread of this disease.
What is the difference between Coronavirus and Covid-19?
COVID-19 is a type of Coronavirus, if we were talking dogs, Covid-19 would be the breed of the dog, SARS and MERs are both types of Coronaviruses.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms for the Novel Coronavirus have included:
- cough; and
- difficulty breathing.
Why is COVID-19 such a big deal?
COVID-19 is such a big deal because it is so dangerous to seniors because not all countries are doing the proper testing, the stats are not exactly accurate, but they range for 10% – 22% of those that are older than 70 are losing their battle with the disease.
In part with the devastating effects it has on the elderly and how contagious it is, the overall mortality rate for COVID-19 is currently around 3.73%*. That means 4 out of every hundred people lose their battle with the disease, now before you let your mind slip and think that’s not that bad compare that to the common flu (seasonal influenza).
The common flu (seasonal influenza) has a death rate of 0.096%, and of all those cases individuals that passed away had or developed another health condition that complicated the flu.
The difference is massive and they are not even close to being on the same scale. Just for the sake of comparison, the difference is like having a woman sitting on your lap or a full-grown elephant on your lap, go ahead try to compare the two, there is just nothing the same about them.
*As of March 13/20 @ 1:00 pm
If I am worried about the COVID-19 what should I do?
If you’re worried about COVID-19, the best thing you can do is focus your attention on small daily habits that keep you strong. Actions like eating healthy, daily exercise, and sleeping well. These things will reduce stress and anxiety and allow your body the best possible conditions to fight any potential virus coming at it.
While there is no actual vaccine to protect yourself from COVID-19, your best bet to keep you and your family safe is healthy habits.
What can I do to keep myself safe from COVID-19?
- Stay Home
As mentioned the chances of a Canadian contracting the COVID-19 in Canada are still rated low, but if you are worried about or just want to do your part in combating this threat, then just stay home, enjoy some family time and maybe even binge a new tv show.
If you can work from home, even better! There are lots of virtual meeting services that can make this easy and simple, and in some cases more productive. Can you imagine how much you can get done without someone stepping into your office and asking you a question? You might actually enjoy it too much!
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
I know this sounds obvious, but it is important! Covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing is one of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of almost any cough, cold or flu, including COVID-19.
Take it to the next level, clean the area that potentially has become contaminated with your sneeze. If you hit your keyboard, desk, table, or a door handle, just wipe them down. It is a quick and easy step.
- Clean your hands often
This is perhaps the most important yet neglected act. Wash your hands thoroughly, pay attention to the crevices and nail beds. Use soap and lather for at least 30 seconds. Sing a song to help remind you how long it should take.
Think about how many times you touch something, a door handle, someone’s pen, a railing to help balance yourself. Our hands are a major part of our five senses and it is in our nature to touch things in order to explore the world around us.
- Avoid sharing personal items
Look, we live in a safe environment, but sharing things like drinking glasses, utensils, towels and pencils or pens is not a good idea for someone worried about COVID-19. These items can hold trace amounts of COVID-19 and can carry it, even paper money has been identified as a carrier. Interac, get ready as we use our debit cards instead of cash for the next little while.
- Clean all “high-touch” areas every day
This isn’t like the gym, where you have to walk around wiping down everything that you have touched right after touching it, but the CDC does recommend that these items get cleaned well every day.
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
- Washcloths thoroughly
CDC does recommend that you wash your clothes thoroughly, and to use the warmest temperature available while washing based on your clothing label.
- Don’t shake hands
We don’t need to get carried away, but shaking hands is a risk of transmitting, avoid it, this includes hugging too. COVID-19 is highly contagious, if they are not your partner, spouse or child, avoid contact, do you really need to give that co-worker a hug anyway?
As a homeowner what can I do to keep my home COVID-19 free?
- Limit guests
The biggest thing to think about right now is that it is hard to know who has come into contact with COVID-19, do they have a co-worker that just came back from vacation, did they bump into someone at the local store, or grab a handle of a door that was sneezed on? The best thing to do is to limit guests, bounce a party or a get together out a few weeks, change the date of your kid’s play date, or bump that diner with the boss out until things settle down.
- Grab some essentials
Stocking up on important things like food and cleaning supplies is a good idea, but don’t go crazy, you don’t need a 3 year supply of toilet paper, or a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer.
- In fact over buying is the one thing you don’t want to do.
- COVID-19 is not going to shut down the economy, paper towels are still going to be made, and hand sanitizer will be available, but now that the shelves are empty there will be people that won’t have hand sanitizer until the next shipment comes in, and that’s a real risk, not a made-up, panicked supply issue.
Be respectful, buy only what you need to limit shopping trips, don’t race out and empty store shelves to protect yourself, because if your neighbour doesn’t have hand sanitizer and you have a 3 year supply, guess whos stopping by to ask for some. The guy that has driven around to 5 different stores, bumped into how many high-risk individuals who are also on the prowl for key items.
Respect is your best protection!
- Don’t invite your parents over! Seriously, it is not worth it.
Currently, 21.9% of those 80 years or older in China have died after contracting COVID-19, that’s one in five! If you have elderly parents, keep them safe, let them stay home and play cards or show them how to use a streaming channel, the risk for them is way higher then it is for anyone under the age of 50.
All data leads to the fact that COVID-19 puts our parents and grandparents at serious risk, let’s keep them safe, and skip our next few visits.
COVID-19 has seemingly changed the world overnight.
The truth is, no one can control what happens next. And that gives many of us a feeling of uncertainty that causes stress and anxiety.
But by focusing your attention on small daily actions, you can move forward even in the face of uncertainty. And in turn, that reduces stress and anxiety allows us to move on, and move forward in this new reality where COVID-19 exists.
We need to remember our battle against SARS, we got through it, there will be a new normal whether or not things will be permanently changed or not, well only time will tell.
To get the most up to date information on COVID-19 in your area please visit the following sites:
Canada Wide: Public Health Agency of Canada’s website (PHAC) for the most up-to-date information on cases.
Newfoundland and Labrador: https://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/coronavirus/
Northwest Territories: https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/coronavirus-disease-covid-19
Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
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