As you are all aware, we are in the midst of a global health crisis with COVID-19 being declared a pandemic. Everyday, new information is being released making it difficult to keep track of all the latest developments globally. Since we are learning more each day about COVID-19, here are the best sites to refer for current news on COVID-19 health updates and stats:
To recap, The Public Health of Canada (PHAC) says there are four main COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for:
- Difficulty breathing
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) which declared the outbreak a pandemic on March 11, symptoms can also include:
- Aches and pains
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Sore throat
The U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the following “emergency” symptoms of a possible COVID-19 infection:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Blush lips or face
According to the PCHAH there are 3 main ways the virus can be transmitted to date:
- Close personal contact - Ex: shaking hands
- Respiratory droplets spread through coughing and sneezing
- Touching surfaces where the virus is sitting and then touching the face prior to watching hands
Keep in mind that symptoms can occur anytime within 14 days of a person’s exposure to the virus. New data is showing that some people who contract the virus may not display any symptoms (asymptomatic) and may be passing it on to others without even knowing it. This is why social isolation is so important at this point in time.
What Do You Do?
Travellers who return to Canada are advised to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor their health for signs of COVID mentioned above. If you are a recent traveller and you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate yourself as soon as possible and call your provincial health care authority.
Here is a full list of public health authorities to call:
- British Columbia: 811
- Alberta: 811
- Saskatchewan: 811
- Manitoba: 1-888-315-9257
- Ontario: 1-866-797-0000
- Quebec: 1-877-644-4545
- New Brunswick: 811
- Nova Scotia: 811
- Prince Edward Island: 811
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 811 or 1-888-709-2929
- Nunavut: 867-975-5772
- Northwest Territories: 911
- Yukon: 811
2. Diagnosis of COVID19
Self-isolation is required for anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If you were instructed to self-isolate please avoid the following:
- No public transit, taxis or rideshares
- Stay in a separate room away from other people at home
- Keep windows open to maximize air flow
- Keep about a 2m distance from others and wear a mask
- Sleep alone
- Continue to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Even if you are not sick, public health officials are advising “social distancing” which includes avoiding large gatherings, staying 2m away from everyone else and working from home when possible. Businesses and large organizations across Canada have announced closures to limit social distancing.
People who are healthy should practice the following:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Cough and/or sneeze into your sleeves
- Regularly clean surfaces that come into contact with hands - plastics, steel, paper, glass, wood and ceramic (ex. Doorknobs and smart phones)
*If you think that you have been exposed to the COVID-19 and/or you have symptoms of please call the public health authority in your province and they can advise you on the next steps.
Tips To Stay Healthy During This Time
Eat a diet that consists of healthy fats, grains, high quality protein and lots of fruits and veggies! Limit sugar, alcohol and processed foods. Poor food choices that hinder good nutrition can deplete the immune system because it is not receiving the energy that it needs to function optimally.
Get outside and exercise
Manage Stress - Stress has been proven to have a huge negative impact on the immune system. Stress raises cortisol which is immune suppressing.
Optimize Sleep - Good sleep is so important for a healthy immune system. 8 hours of sleep is generally recommended for proper rest. Create a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at similar times every night and waking up at similar times every morning so that you are sure to attain at least 7-8 hours of restful sleep a night.
Use a Humidifier or Air Purifier - Viruses can’t survive with higher air humidity. Using a humidifier in your homes can decrease the transmission of viruses
Tips For Self-Isolation
Loss of usual routines, reduced social outings and a feeling of confinement can lead to boredom and frustration. Not to mention the financial impact this is having on us as a nation. Although we are socially isolated from one another, we see the world coming together in times of crisis which is so empowering. During this outbreak, take care of not only your physical health but also your mental health.
We need to work together to help curb the spread of COVID-19 to ensure that we have the medical capacity and resources for those who really need it.
- Stay calm and remind yourself that this illness is temporary and life will return to normal soon
- Read reliable information sources when it comes to COVID-19. Really try to understand the actual risk to yourself and to those around you. Accurate information about this virus can help make you feel less stressed and more in control
- Keep Up With Your Routines - Keep the same bedtime and the same awake time. Get dressed in clothes you would normally work in.
- Limit exposure to the news - Set limits to how many times you allow yourself to catch up on COVID-19 news
- Get creative with activities - Order new board games, books or puzzles that keep your mind active
Stay physically active
- Take a walk outside once a day to get some exercise and fresh air
- Find friend groups to create step challenges to make sure you are still hitting your daily step goal
- At home work-outs - If you have a goodlife membership you can log into their account to access many at home workouts!
- Free yoga classes online. Access the link here
- Find ways to connect socially - Plan whatsapp, facetime or skype calls daily. A sense of connection and a feeling of community is essential for hope and positivity
- Daily breathing exercises - Calm.com is offering free breathing and meditation exercises. Click the link to access:
- Check up on family members as often as you can
Stay positive everyone, this too shall pass.
** Disclaimer: The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.