As COVID-19 cases start to dwindle in our province, businesses and services have started to open. However, we are urged to continue to be cautious to prevent a second wave of cases. Here are a few tips to stay safe and healthy as things start to normalize:
Stay calm but vigilant. Prioritize on sanitation, protecting the vulnerable (older adults and those with medical conditions/respiratory ailments in the family), having enough food, medicine, cleaning supplies and other provisions. Stay at home as much as possible and observe social distancing protocols when outside. Wear a mask when distancing is not possible. With your cooperation we will hopefully see the end of this pandemic soon. Hang in there!
Get accurate information
Don’t be fooled by fake news. Be suspicious of claims that are not backed by facts or studies. Always check the source and compare information from several reliable sources. For COVID news, go to:
- Province of Manitoba updates
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the Government of Canada
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Government of Canada Travel Health Notice
- World Health Organization (WHO)
Get only the latest news to limit anxiety. Media is flooded with COVID-19 information, many of which are unnecessary. You don’t need to read or react to every item you see.
Coronavirus Facts by English Online.
Follow government health advisories
You may be tired of hearing this, but the best way to stay healthy is to wash your hands properly and often. Don’t touch your face. Keep your immunity up by eating nutritious food, exercising and by drinking enough water. Let’s keep each other safe by doing our best to follow current State of Emergency and Public Health Orders and gudelines. It’s not only good for you but for others as well.
Follow your company’s COVID-19 policy or plan
While it’s still limited, offices have started to go back to working on-site. Know and practice your workplace COVID policy to protect yourself.
Know more about policies regarding sick pay and other supports. This is important in case you need to self-isolate or take care of someone who is sick. Be familiar with the provincial and federal provisions, benefits and supports (such as EI and CERB). This is always changing so stay updated with the news (Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan).
Be aware of scams
There are people who would take advantage of others for a quick buck even in these times. Stay vigilant. Don’t click links on texts or emails and never provide personal or bank information online or over the phone. Here are examples of COVID scams:
- Red Cross phishing scam – Texts or emails offering free masks and sanitizers from the Red Cross. It will ask you to click on a link to avail of the offer. It aims to collect your personal information.
- COVID test scam – A call or text saying that your COVID-19 test is ready. You’ll be asked to provide your bank account details to claim it.
- Sanitation crew scam – People going house to house saying that they were sent by the government to sanitize your home. They are actually thieves.
- Donation scam – An example of this is a call from fraudsters impersonating the City of Brandon employees asking for donations to help with the COVID-19 battle. The City of Brandon has released a statement that they are not soliciting or accepting donations.
- Canada Relief Fund text scam – A text saying “Alert: The emergency response benefit of Canada Relief Fund has sent you a deposit for $XX. See link. Data rates may apply”. It is a phishing link.
Learn about other COVID-19 fraud on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre site. If you encounter one, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. You can also post in on social media to warn others about it.
Social distancing does not mean social isolation. You may have to stop going out with friends for a while but you don’t need to become a hermit. You can still go out to walk, jog or bike. Call, Skype or FaceTime your relatives and friends to chat and check up on each other. Some people are holding group karaokes on Zoom. Want to watch a movie with friends? Get Netflix Party (free to download and use) or other apps that will let you watch movies together but remotely.
Check up on neighbours and friends
COVID-19 high risk groups include older adults, people with serious health conditions, and immunosuppressed individuals. So call your parents, grandparents, elderly relatives and neighbours. They might need your assistance. A good way to know how to help your community is through Help Next Door MB.
Call ahead if you need to go to any establishment like clinics or service centres. This will prevent you from wasting a trip and having unnecessary exposure. Check if they are open or confirm your appointment for the day. Remember that many places are operating on minimal staffing and shortened hours. Those in the medical field are overloaded and may not have time to inform you about appointment changes.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Article updated July 9, 2020
Sources: Manitoba extends state of emergency, Danton Unger, CTV News; and ‘We will get through this together’: Tools for Manitobans with anxiety over COVID-19, Rachel Bergen, CBC Manitoba. Accessed March 31/ April 21, 2020.
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