As I write this, the World Health Organization has officially declared COVID-19 (aka the Novel Coronavirus) a global pandemic. If you have been paying attention to the news today, then you also know that the Prime Minister held a press conference this morning addressing the current crisis and what will be done to mitigate the widespread impact.
Now, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on television, but I’d like to pass on some information on the (I almost hesitate to use the word) crisis. While our public health agencies, here in Canada, tell us that the immediate risk remains low, it is wise, at times like these, for communities to prepare for all scenarios. Luckily, in this day and age, we are fortunate to have many electronic tools that we can use to share information, and keep in touch with one another.
Above all, and I can’t overstate this enough, stress levels will most definitely rise, so please remember to be kind to one another, to be patient, and to keep the conversation civil. I know we always try to do this, but when people are stressed, sometimes, we don’t act rationally. Yes, I speak for myself here as well. People are increasingly on edge and that’s understandable, but we can make things better if we choose to. Talk to one another, share information, and check in on your more vulnerable neighbours, friends, or family members, if you can.
It’s vital that we avoid false or misleading information, conspiracy theories, fake cures and prevention methods, bogus products, and other nonsense related to the Coronavirus. To that end, here are some important resources. Keep in mind that I’m writing as a Canadian, living in Ontario, hence the links I offer.
Public Health Agency of Canada
Public Health Ontario
World Health Organization
Stay healthy. Stay safe. And in the words of “Bill and Ted”, “Be excellent to each other!”