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Coronavirus: Here's how you can help

Tuesday, March 24th 2020, 12:59 pm - It's human nature to want to help during a crisis.

Here are a few things you can do.

STAY HOME.

It may not be the most interesting or creative advice, but one of the most important things anyone can do to limit the spread of COVID-19, lessen the impact on the health care system, and buy medical researchers time to find a vaccine or treatment is stay home. If you have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms, you can (cautiously) head outside provided you practice physical distancing, which means keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people at all times.

Another thing you can do?

Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

You can help by avoiding the following:

  • Large crowds
  • Parties
  • Playdates
  • Non-essential travel
  • Shopping centres
  • Movie theatres
  • Church services
  • Celebrations
  • Public eateries
  • Gyms

VIDEO: LEARN MORE ABOUT FLATTENING THE CURVE

Go HERE for our complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • If you want to donate funds but aren't sure where to send them, websites like Charity Navigator give organizations a star rating based on their accountability and transparency.
  • The Canadian Red Cross is providing support to repatriated Canadians who are in quarantine.
  • Canadian blood services is running low on some of its reserves. Consider donating blood.
  • Support UNIECF in its efforts to deliver medical supplies to front-line health care workers.
  • The Breakfast Club of Canada is accepting donations to help provide meals to kids in need.
  • If you are a business owner who can provide supplies and resources to help the fight against COVID-19, the Government of Canada has put out an open call for help.

MORE COVID-19 COVERAGE


BUSINESSES AND ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau placed an open call to academic institutions to donate or make equipment.

"To every university, college, polytechnic, and CEGEP in the country: We need your expertise and your resources," Trudeau said in a Twitter statement.

"If you have masks and ventilators we can use, or if you think you can help with things like 3D printing of medical supplies, let us know: http://buyandsell.gc.ca."

OTHER WAYS TO HELP

  • Check in on your friends and family. Call, text, or set up a video conference. We are living in uncertain, unprecedented times. It's important to support one another in any way we can.
  • Start an online community group on a popular social media platform like Facebook. Use it to ask questions, trade items, or plan fun activities for families to safely enjoy -- like "chalk on the walk" theme days:
  • Some hospitals have posted patterns and instructions on how to make face masks and are accepting face mask donations. If you are interested in making and donating face masks, contact your local hospital first to ensure that: a) the hospital needs handmade face masks and b) The pattern you are using is safe to use and approved by the hospital or medical facility.
  • If you would like to volunteer, consider registering with a website like Spark Ontario, which will alert you when an opportunity becomes available. Volunteer Canada also has resources for people interested in helping out.
  • The Government of Ontario has put out an open call, asking citizens to help and donate any way they can.

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TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

In trying times, it's important to look after your health and well-being. Here are some anxiety-reducing tips, courtesy of the Centre for Addiction ad Mental Health:

  • Accept that some fear and anxiety is normal, especially during unprecedented, uncertain times like this.
  • Seek information on COVID-19 from credible sources only, like the Government of Canada's website.
  • Assess your personal risk, again using a credible source like Health Canada.
  • Take a break when you feel anxious and do something you enjoy, like reading a book or sitting outside for a bit.
  • Don't focus on "what ifs."
  • Practice relaxation and meditation.
  • Seek support and be kind to yourself.
  • Remember that we are all in this together.
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