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Going the (social) distance

April 20, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Sandy Brown

“The sacrifices we are making to maintain physical distancing are making a difference to slow the spread of COVID-19. So, stay home, save lives and let’s give our best effort to plank the curve and then crush it.”  

These were the opening remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam this week and is welcome news after the Easter weekend.

Families across the country stayed home, connected by video chats and shared a very different holiday than usual. It was a sacrifice that wasn’t wasted, and this knowledge will help us as we continue to what is necessary.

The Ontario government has extended the Declaration of an emergency until May 12 to continue to stop the spread of this disease. Under this emergency order non-essential businesses, schools, playgrounds, campgrounds, dog parks and public buildings and spaces will remain closed. Restrictions on social gatherings will also continue.

Parliament passed the wage subsidy bill to financially help businesses and charities keep their employees on the payroll. The legislation—titled “A second Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19” would pay 75 per cent of employees’ salaries, for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15.

Travellers face stricter rules when returning to the country and will be required to stay in a hotel if they cannot provide a reasonable quarantine plan. Travellers are ordered quarantine for 14 days, especially seniors and are prohibited from leaving the home during this time.

Both Dufferin County and Orangeville Councils continue to meet virtually – the meetings are live streamed on YouTube.   Members of the public can still participate by emailing or calling in your questions.  Orangeville Information is available on the Town’s website at www.orangeville.ca.

The best source is a credible source.

All town websites are updated daily with COVID-19 information and resources. Our town staff and Council members are working hard to coordinate efforts with all levels of government and local agencies to see that our needs are met. Weekly updates, COVID Town Hall meetings, Council meetings and Coffee Chats can be found on the website (www.orangeville.ca) or YouTube channel (search Orangeville Council). Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Ford and Dr. Theresa Tam all provide daily updates available on news channels or the internet.

We’re all in this together.

There is no manual. There is no right way to feel, but together we can support each other and make it through these tough times. Added to the worry about health, job and money most people have added stress. Whether this is adjusting to working from home, e-learning for students or self-isolating, it can be a struggle.

The Economic Development department has updated information for local businesses from funding to new regulations and staff are available to answer your questions and help you. They have also been creating partnerships to deliver webinars on business strategies as well as how to work from home and operate remotely. Find out more at www.orangevillebusiness.ca. 

My Hero is You: How kids can fight COVID-19!

Developed from the input of over 50 organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund and International Red Cross, this book is intended to be read to children ages 6 to 12 to help them understand how what is happening across the world. With the help of fantasy creature, Ario, children can learn how to protect themselves and how to manage difficult emotions.

WHO is making this book available to download from their website (www.who.int). In addition to this resource, they have developed #HealthyParenting, with valuable tips and techniques to help you and your children navigate the uncertainty. 

Schools will continue to remain closed. Students throughout Ontario have started learning online, led by their teachers. These are challenging times as students figure out how to connect and parents lend their support with the at home activities. 

Learn at Home is the provincial website providing the resources needed to help elementary or secondary students at home. There are plenty of guides like Reading and Writing with Your Child, A Parent’s Guide to the Fundamentals of Math and other tools that are available for parents and caregivers along curriculum overviews for all grades.

As all parents know, it’s not all about school. There are genuine concerns about the pandemic and about school, graduating, friends and feelings of isolation that may leave young people feeling confused. School Mental Health Ontario (part of the Learn at Home website) has the answers to frequently asked questions, links and phone numbers to resources to help families succeed. 

The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health unit (www.wdgpublichealth.ca) encourages people to remain connected with family, friends, staying active and finding ways to deal with your stress while self-isolating and maintaining social distancing. Following a routine, staying busy, limiting news and social media along with getting as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can are some of the suggestions they have – more can be found on the Stay Well WDG Blog.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed – reach out for help. Everyone processing information differently, has different stress points and your family doctor or the health unit can help you take these steps.

I remain confident that we can make it through these challenging times by listening to the healthcare professionals and following their advice. I wish you and your families a safe and healthy week.   We will get through this together.   #orangevillestrong #essentialworkers



         

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