Protect yourself and others
- Sharing accurate information can help calm fears, manage anxieties and allow you to connect with others.
- To avoid spreading rumors, use reliable sources of information
- Reliable sources for information include those that have a mission to inform and protect the public like public health authorities.
- Make the behaviors that keep yourself and others safe part of your regular routine
- Wash your hands and practice cough/sneeze etiquette.
- Stay home if you are feeling sick
COVID-19 and respiratory illnesses are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the tiny droplets and spray from their nose or mouth may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the spray and virus. Your hands touch many surfaces and you can pick up viruses from contaminated surfaces and objects. When you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, a virus can enter your body and you can develop illness.
There are actions you can take to stay healthy and protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19
- Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wash all surfaces while you sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Why? Washing your hands removes and kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Practice coughing/sneezing etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus.
- Stay home if you are sick feeling ill (coughing/sneezing) or have a fever.
- Don’t visit vulnerable people if you are feeling ill (coughing/sneezing) or have a fever. Older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) are vulnerable appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Why? Your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus that could contaminate a surface.
- Change your regular greeting. Instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug, a friendly wave or elbow bump is less likely to expose you to respiratory viruses.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets.
- Get reliable information and stay informed. Be aware of misinformation. Reliable sources of information include those that have a mission to inform and protect the public (like public health authorities) and that rely on experts who use well-accepted scientific analyses.
- Limit your exposure to crowded places.
- Know what to do if you become ill or a member of your family becomes ill and needs care.
- Refill prescriptions so that you do not have to go to a pharmacy if you do become ill.
- Shop for extra supplies so that you do not need to go shopping if you become sick.
- Build on the kits you have prepared for other potential emergencies.
Consider ways you and your family could change behaviours and routines to reduce your risk of infection if COVID-19 becomes common in your community
- Connect with others
- Take breaks
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.
- Provide calm and correct advice for your children.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease can be stressful for people and communities. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a stressful situation.
There are things you can do to support yourself and your family.
- Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Check in regularly with loved ones, especially with those affected
- Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try to do activities you usually enjoy. Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
- Take time to talk with your child about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions in a calm way and share accurate facts in a way that your child can understand.
- Reassure your child that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
- Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage of the event. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
- Help your child to have a sense of structure. Once it is safe to return to school or child care, help them return to their regular activity.
- Be a role model; take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members and rely on your social support system.
Seek help - if you experience stress reactions (feelings or behaviors) for several days in a row and are unable to carry out your normal responsibilities. Contact your health care provider or your local addictions and mental health centre (click here for information on provincial resources).