Coronavirus: How to Stay Calm and Keep Your Distance

As the coronavirus continues to spread from country to country at an alarming rate, leaders around the world are taking every precaution necessary including urging people to bunker down and stay at home. While practicing social distancing is our best chance of decreasing the transmission of COVID-19, we know it isn't an easy lifestyle change for many, especially when it offers more time to scroll through the barrage of corona-virus headlines that have taken over social media. But we're here to offer some light at the end of this very long tunnel, with four tips to help you remain calm.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing doesn't mean you can't leave your home. You can still go outside for a walk or to the grocery store to stock up on essentials. What social distancing means is: 

  • avoiding crowds and maintaining a distance of 3 - 6 feet from those around you
  • talking to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home 
  • avoiding visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, and hospices unless it is absolutely essential
  • avoiding non-essential outings like eating at restaurants or going to the cinema 
  • limiting or canceling group gatherings and/or meetings
  • avoiding public transportation if possible

What else can you do to avoid contact with Covid-19?

Firstly, do not panic. Most people who contract coronavirus experience mild symptoms and recover fully, but it can be more severe for others especially those with underlying medical conditions. It's important to do all you can to avoid contact with Covid-19 and to protect others who are at higher risk of becoming infected. The World Health Organization recommends:

  • Regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer between washing or when you are out in public.
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible. While it is still unclear how long Covid-19 can survive outside the human body, studies conducted on other coronaviruses like Sars and Mers found they can survive on metal, glass, and plastic for up to nine days. Once you touch a contaminated surface, you can then easily transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth; and from there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Practice good hygiene. Like the flu, Covid-19 is spread through tiny droplets released from the nose or mouth of an infected person. Fact: a single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets. So, it's of the utmost importance that you cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue when coughing and/or sneezing. Dispose of any used tissues immediately. Wipe down surfaces and high-contact touchpoints regularly. 

Feeling stressed-out about Covid-19?

We understand. It's a nerve-wracking and uncertain time. But, there are ways to cope and push through. 

  • Be kind and empathetic. Channel your anxiety by helping others. Check-in on your friends and your neighbours, especially those who may be more susceptible to Covid-19. If you have extra food or resources, consider sharing them with those that do not.
  • Put your phone down. While staying informed on the latest facts is crucial, it can also be overwhelming. Schedule time into your day to completely disconnect watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
  • If you are self-isolating or keeping your distance, it's still important to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat nutritious and healthy meals, exercise or spend time outside, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and stay in touch with the people you care about - whether it's through text, call, or virtual hangouts.
  • Get creative. Read a book, paint a picture, write a letter...now is a perfect time to explore a new hobby or re-discover an old one.

Learn more about taking care of your emotional health and helping children cope with stress.

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