If ever there were a time to feel good about skipping the gym, ordering copious amounts of takeout and bingeing dumb TV shows for days on end… well, this would be it: At (what we hope is) the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Public health officials all over the world are encouraging people to practice “social distancing” in an effort to flatten the epidemic curve of COVID-19 and protect those most-vulnerable to serious complications from contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus.
At this point, it’s probably a good idea to simply stay home if you can — or so say Canada’s top officials.
On Monday night, the Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa formally recommended these provinces: Ontario, Prince Edward Island,Newfoundland and Labrador,Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia,Manitoba,Nunavut the closure of all bars, nightclubs, stadiums, concert venues, libraries, movie theatres, schools, childcare centres, dine-in restaurants and recreation centres.
“I hope the seriousness of this declaration will make it clear to every resident how important their personal actions will be in the coming days,” said Mayor John Tory in response to the province’s state of emergency.
“If people can stay home then stay home and limit your interactions with other people,” he continued. “We know from our medical professionals that engaging in social distancing will protect people’s health and the health of their family and their neighbours.”
De Villa was more blunt in her plea on Monday night, stating: “If you can stay home, do.”
“If you are a business or an employee, help your staff to stay home,” said de Villa in a press conference .
“Limit group gatherings. If you need to seek medical attention call ahead. If you are a healthcare worker and you are sick, stay home. If you have travelled, stay home for 14 days from the day you arrived back from your travel.”
Canada’s top doctor was, careful to emphasize that these decisions were not made lightly and that the actions of residents are critical in slowing the spread of COVID-19 enough to keep local health facilities from becoming overwhelmed.
“The overall goal is to protect the overall health of our city. We all need to do our part,” said de Villaon Monday night.
“If you can, stay home. Help out our country by reducing your interaction with others. Every little bit, every effort counts.”