A brief summary overview of COVID- 19
*Last up dated March 31 2020
Amid the Pandemic of COVID-19, measures to ensure health and safety are being proposed with recommendations from International, National, Provincial and Regional levels of government, which have already appeared in the media in a myriad of sources. But, just in case you're a bit overwhelmed, here is a brief summary of some important points.
If you have experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms within the last 14 days including:
fever (which could potentially mean pneumonia)
cough (typically a dry cough)
respiratory illness, or
Lack of taste or smell (Recently added)*
it would be beneficial to get tested for the virus, in which case your doctor can inform you of the process to get tested. Otherwise, it is recommended that you self-isolate and maintain a greater physical social distance from others, whenever possible, especially in public.
Symptoms tend to appear 2 - 14 days after exposure.
To conduct a Self-Assessment, go to https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment
HOW COVID-19 CAN SPREAD by contact with people and surfaces:
1. It is believed that the virus can live approximately 5 -10 minutes on hands.
2. It is believed that if someone sneezes who has COVID-19, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours
On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. Normal laundry detergent will kill it.
3. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze with the inner part of your sleeve.
Additional Prevention measures include:
1. Carry a hand-sanitizer that contains 60 percent alcohol or more, with you at all times.
2. Wash hands thoroughly as often as possible, for at least 20 seconds. (Consider singing the
Happy Birthday song- to you TWICE---it's about 20 seconds)
3. Do not share snacks or food that others have touched.
4. Sanitze your physical environment, regularly.
5. Do not attend an office, if you are sick and avoid public places as much as possible.
6. If you have been out of the country and may have been exposed to people unknowingly who have travelled to areas where one has tested positive, consider self-isolation and or contact your doctor to inquire about how to get tested for the virus.
7. Maintain Physical Distance from others. Stay 4 to 6 feet away from others in you are in
8. Avoid using reusable grocery bags as the virus can live on surfaces and you risk bringing
into your home.*
9. If you can, leave non perishable foods in garage or shed for 3 -4 days. If you bring food into home, be sure to sanitize the outside of ALL packages. *
10. Wearing a mask has been identified as being best for those who have symptoms, but also may protect others if one is symptomatic.*
Here are some handy resources that I have updated since this blog post went live: Hope it helps.
Resource List for Information:
The major web sites that are Tracking COVID-19 live in real time are predominantly aggregated.
Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University--tracking Global cases
Curtis, a recent graduated from BCIT developed a program to track Canadian COVID Cases
Researchers from the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital and Northeastern University-- tracking Global cases
Center for Diseases Prevention
* COVID 19 Updates, Canada https://www.covid-19canada.com/
Organizations that you can contact at Federal, Provincial and Regional and Local levels
The Public Health Agency of Canada, which has established a new toll-free phone line at 1-833-784-4397.https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health.html
Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or Toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007 and speak with a registered nurse. Let them know that you have used this self-assessment tool. https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-medical-advice-telehealth-ontario?_ga=1.82142430.912117515.1445957549
Niagara Region Public Health Department: https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/faq.aspx. Niagara Region - 1815 Sir Isaac Brock Way, Thorold, ON, L2V 4T7 - Phone: 905-980-6000, Toll-free: 1-800-263-7215. Talk to a nurse Monday to Friday from 9:15 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.905-688-8248 ext. 7019 Toll-free: 1-888-505-6074. Fort Erie Public Health branch of Niagara is the Sexual Health branch: 905-688-3817, 1-800-263-5757
Niagara Assessment Center for COVID-19 in Niagara Falls:Community who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact Public Health by calling 905-688-8248 ext. 7019 or toll free at 1-888-505-6074. Residents must be referred by Public Health. Walk-in not accepted.
Town of Fort Erie:
Town of Fort Erie: https://www.forterie.ca/pages/Covid19News
Local Grocery Stores:
Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Advice for Business. http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/
At the global level, the World Health Organization (WHO) provides up-to-date details on the pandemic. https://www.who.int/
According to the WHO,
" The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention."
So, especially for those most at risk and most vulnerable, it is recommended that you reduce your risk by avoid public places. Children, the elderly and people who already are ill or have a compromised immune system are considered to be most vulnerable.
Suggested self-health prevention:
Social Distancing: 6 feet away from others. https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/social-distancing.aspx
Self-isolation: 14 days
Self-monitoring for symptoms
Protect yourself in public. IE. Gloves
Sanitize your hands and surfaces
Clean surfaces with disinfectant:
Some proposed suggestions include:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
60 % alcohol or more based disinfectant
or Just old Fashion Dish soap for hands and surfaces.
Since hand sanitizing can be drying on the skin, consider using essential oils or non irritating hand-creams.
Getting through the days...
No doubt fears of the unknown can give rise to anxiety at this time, that's why self-care is most important in order to stay calm. A little distraction though to help you stay in the present and get through the day may help to alleviate any over burdened focuses on COVID-19. Below are some tips to get started.
1. Start a new project in the home that is encouraging and one that will reap an accomplishment.
2. Start a craft project (scrap book, painting, adult coloring books, photo album, memory book, bead jewelry, bird house, sewing etc). Order products from on-line sources, if possible.
3. Listen to some nature sounds and soothing music.
4. Bring out the board games.
5. Consider under-taking a 1000 piece puzzle.
6. Sort through your closets and start purging those items or clothes that you no longer need.
7. Start journalling.
8. Learn something new such as, a new skill or a new language from an on-line resource.
9. Read a worthwhile book. Consider a new best seller book or some older classics that you always thought you wanted to read, but never got around to.
10. Access your local library on-line for audible books or streaming movies, which is free.
11. Organize your cupboards the way you always wanted to or thought you ought to.
12. Review your financials and work-out a budget.
13. Learn about gardening and start some plants from the seeds of the fruits and vegetables you currently buy and have at home. Consider constructing a mini green house.
14. Write down a To Do list of the things you want to accomplish and start striving towards achieving them.
15. Consider reconnecting with people with whom you lost touch. Write letters or send home-made cards to people you care about.
16. Nurture your spirituality.
17. Exercise daily.
18. List your strengths and nurture them.
19. Bake some muffins
20. Limit the amount of time you spend in reading or listening to the pandemic situation so that you feel less overwhelmed. Be selective and mindful of the resources.
Above all, be gentle with yourself and others. Practice health and safety at this time and stay informed. Learn to be your authentic self during this difficult time. Be kind and considerate to others and most especially those who remain dedicated on the the front line of business and services who continue to provide us with the goods and services needed. Say thank you.
Now may be the time to reflect on what matters most in your life and be grateful for the simple things, whenever possible.