Updated: Sep 23
In most parts of the country, the summer weather is slowly giving way to the cool and colours of autumn, but the COVID-19 pandemic is far from finished with Canada. With nice weather, it's easy for us to think that everything is back-to-normal, but it's NOT business as usual. The coronavirus is as active as ever, as infectious as ever and no less debilitating than it was in March.
Our understanding of this virus is evolving. Not everything is known about its behaviour and some aspects may even prove unknowable. Keep yourself informed.
This fall, be sure to get the flu vaccine if your doctor suggests it. There is always a small group of people for whom the vaccine is not a good idea or may offer less than marginal benefit. Not only does the flu shot does help avoid influenza, which is itself a dangerous virus, but if you do contract the illness, it will tend to be to a lesser degree and shorter duration. It is not and never has been 100% proof against the virus, but it helps. Staying out of the hospital for the largely preventable symptoms of influenza allows those beds to be used for the more serious and more lethal COVID-19 cases. We don't want our hospitals to be overwhelmed.
Relative to some countries, Canada has done a good job of limiting the spread of infection. We followed the science and right from the outset, our leaders have been pretty-much consistent in their messaging around the seriousness of this virus and how to protect ourselves. We poured a lot of time, energy and money into our communal effort. Many Canadians have made major sacrifices, lost their jobs, went into debt, cancelled school plans, declared bankruptcy or closed their businesses. Don't let those efforts be in vain. We must not let our guard down too soon as the virus is sure to have another go at us.
A major way this virus spreads is person-to-person via the microscopic water droplets that are exhaled by infected persons. Wear a face mask when in public, indoor areas such as shopping malls, grocery stores, banks, etc. Protecting ourselves from these microscopic water droplets will lessen the chances of contracting the virus, but it's no guarantee. Each suggestion below adds a layer of protection against the virus, but it's still not enough for 100% protection. Do what you can to help yourself and those close to you.
You know the drill;
Get the flu shot
Limit social exposure
Keep 2m apart where practical
Minimize non-urgent travel
Take public transit during off-hours, if possible
Don't shake hands or hug outside your 'bubble'
Limit grocery shopping to once per week, if possible
Don't gather in large groups, especially indoors
Wear a face covering if you can't maintain social distancing
Take extra care around high-risk individuals
And for crying-out-loud, wash your hands!