Many people in town with no computers or smart phones have questions on the COVID-19 virus and what to do. This information is from the Public Health of Canada website, which is where we should get our information.
First note, this is a virus not a bacterium so antibiotics will not kill it. There is no vaccine for this virus.
What is it? It is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs. How is it spread? The virus is most commonly spread from an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze; close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands and touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands. The measles virus only lives for two hours, but COVID-19 stays alive at room temperature for nine days.
Human to human infection is the main way it is spread, more people, closer contact, more are infected.
What should you do? Plan. Think ahead on how to stay healthy and uninfected especially with respiratory infections. How? Stay home if you are sick. If someone is sick tell them to stay home until they no longer have symptoms. No hugs, no handshakes, no kissing or hugging, instead wave or give an elbow bump.
Practice frequent hand hygiene, especially prior to and leaving anywhere. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. When coughing or sneezing, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. (I sneeze into my top!) Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards. Try not to touch your lips, nose, or face especially when out.
Wipe down the places that everyone touches in your home or business, like doorknobs, tap handles, light switches, toilets, toys, commuters, TV remotes, phones etc. Think about it and disinfect it. When you do, let the Lysol, diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) or whatever you use dry on the surface, do not dry it off.
Should we be stocking up on items? Stocking up, yes, but avoid panic buying. If you have to be in self isolation in your home, do you have everything you need to last a couple of weeks? When countries cannot longer import their goods to Canada some our shelves could become sparse, so you might want to stock up with non-perishable food items. Do not waste money on non-essentials like chips and treats, you need to keep yourself and family healthy so they are at less risk of contracting the virus and fighting it.
Good options are easy-to-prepare foods like: dried pasta and sauce, prepared canned soups, canned vegetables and beans.
Respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 spread quickly in crowded spaces. Avoiding crowds can reduce the spread of infection. Fortunately for this situation Tillsonburg doesn’t have a massive public transportation system to spread the virus. But consider that if you are going to the big city.
Large gatherings are being cancelled or postponed. Schools are closed, and many businesses are either limiting public access or offering work-from-home options.
This is not easy but mass gatherings can increase the spread of infectious diseases and cause additional strain on the health care system when held during outbreaks. Remember infections can also be transmitted during transit to and from an event, and in participants’ home communities upon return.
All event planners need to consider the COVID-19 outbreak in their event planning. They should consult with all relevant agencies, including public health authorities.
If the pandemic explodes in Canada, as it has elsewhere, this will not be easy. The markets are already responding. You need to also. This is like a war, time to hunker down, plan, take evasive actions. Use your common sense; don’t take risks and help family, friends and neighbours around you prepare so they understand why and what they need to do.
If we are diligent we may be able to avoid it coming to town.