Those who have heard us speak, you all know that we take a very evidence-based approach in our presentations. We here at The White Hatter want to comment on the developing public health concerns now that the COVID-19 virus has been declared as a pandemic.
We can no longer ignore the clear and present challenge that this pandemic is going to place on our health care system in North America and we need to adopt best practices to help “flatten the curve” so that our hospitals can treat the sickest. If “flatten the curve” is a new term for you, check out The Globe and Mail’s coverage on the matter (1). If we do not do this, there is a foreseeable outcome than would have taken place otherwise, because of the stress that will be placed on the critical care capabilities of our hospitals.
We at The White Hatter want to acknowledge the clear and present challenge that COVID-19 presents to all of us. This is not something that any of us should be ignoring, minimizing or underestimating. As such, we encourage all our followers to consider the recommended information provided by your local and relevant health authorities as a way to help your family as this public health crisis develops over the next couple of months.
We have taken measures as a team to help with our part to maintain community health. We have rebooked various school programs to avoid large gatherings and have rescheduled some programs to our virtual option, as many organizations are doing.
For those of your who have not checked the latest updates and recommendations, here are what sources like the CDC and our local health authority are recommending (2,3,4):
- If you feel sick in any way stay home and self-isolate for at least 14 days. This could change as more research is done.
- If you are experiencing extreme medical issues such as breathing challenges or you can’t drink anything seek out medical assistance immediately.
- Continually wash your hands throughout the day utilizing hot water and soap for 20 seconds. This is especially important if you are out and about outside your home. If you don’t have access to soap and water, then utilize a hand or wipe sanitizer.
- If you need to cough or sneeze do so into the crook of your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Think about physical/group distancing. Don’t shake hands, fist bump or even elbow bump, instead use a foot bump or a traditional First Nations greeting (5). Do not place yourself in group situations such as concerts, bars, sporting events or other events where people gather in close proximity with one another.
- Although it appears that the most at-risk are our seniors, many pre-teens, teens and young adults believe that this makes them more immune to COVID-19. Nothing can be further from the truth. This why it is so important that this cohort also follow the above-noted best practices. This is not just a “boomer” health crisis; it’s a human health and safety crisis.
Things we can consider doing to help mitigate the effects of this public health crisis on our health care system and to our families:
- Don’t believe everything that you read in social media, turn to trusted resources.
- A good way to judge 20 seconds is to slowly sing happy birthday to yourself.
- Physical distancing doesn’t mean you have to 100% isolate yourself in your home, unless you are sick. Where possible, get outside, go for a walk, and enjoy the outdoors, but be alive to physical distancing with others.
- Help those who need it the most. Many of our seniors, especially those at higher risk, are not able to get out and pick up the essentials for everyday living. If you know such a senior in your community, reach out to them and offer help where reasonable and appropriate to do so.
- Travelling is not recommended at this time even if you have extended/travel health care insurance. Although there are now some great deals to be had, why tempt fate during this pandemic unless it is an emergency and absolutely required to do so?
- It appears that our grocery stores and food distributors are in good shape for an extended mitigation strategy as we migrate through this uncharted public health crisis. Having said this, we should always be prepared to have at least 2 weeks of needed supplies of food and personal hygiene necessities when it comes to any emergency. Many members of The White Hatter team live in an earthquake zone and have been doing this for years.
- Don’t get caught up in the less than desirable social contagion that we see taking place currently with food and personal hygiene product hoarding behaviour. This type of hoarding behaviour is making it much more difficult for those who need it the most to obtain these goods for day-to-day life.
- Don’t financially support those hoarders who are attempting to financially profit from this health care crisis. When this pandemic passes, and it will, we truly believe that karma will catch up to these financial predators. We are calling these people out on social media when we see this happen.
- If possible, donate food and personal hygiene products to your local food bank to help those who don’t have the financial ability to purchase these needed items during this health crisis that we all face.
Take care and be well,
The White Hatter Team