As a part of the tattoo industry in the greater Toronto area, we wanted to get in touch with our clientele to discuss the COVID-19 virus, which is taking the city and the rest of the world by storm. We are concerned about your safety and we believe that we all have an important part to play to keep this virus at bay and to help keep those with compromised immune systems as safe as possible.
The assessment made by the World Health Organization (WHO) to call this a pandemic was expected. The health system in Canada has been preparing for the situation and the PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada), along with health authorities and different government levels nationwide, have been putting together plans to make sure that all response and preparedness measures are adaptable and appropriate. With this in mind, it’s important to realize that there is a risk for Canadians to experience a more severe outcome with this virus. Those that are more risk include:
- Individuals with immune systems that are compromised
- Individuals 65 years of age or over
- Individuals that have underlying medical conditions
Containment continues to be the focus to help keep the virus from spreading out of control. This is done by identifying cases rapidly and finding any close contacts and notifying them ASAP. Social distancing and isolation also come into play since they are tried and true measures that have proven to be effective in the past.
Once community transmission begins, these containment actions will still continue. This will help to interrupt transmission chains and delay outbreaks whenever possible.
Playing Your Part
It’s important for everyone to realize that they have a significant role they need to play in order to mitigate the impending impact of this virus. Canadians need to stand up and take responsibility for their own actions. While the health sector and the government will do its part to keep the spread of COVID-19 down, it takes all of us to band together to make sure it happens. This involves taking action based on an understanding of how it spreads and how you can prevent illness.
As an individual, you need to formulate a plan regarding the actions you can take to remain healthy and help prevent the virus from spreading. This includes the following measures:
Stay-at-home if you are ill – You should isolate yourself from other people during the flu and cold season and also encourage others to stay home when they are sick until they are symptom-free.
Change your greeting practices – Restrict the amount of contact you have with other people starting with how you greet them. Instead of a hug, a kiss or a handshake, greet those you meet with an elbow bump or a friendly wave to keep the exposure to COVID-19 at a minimum.
Wash your hands – Your hands must be washed frequently for at least 20 seconds and soap should be worked around the fingers and joints and underneath the fingernails for a thorough cleaning.
Practice proper sneezing and coughing etiquette – Make sure that you cover your nose and mouth with your arm when sneezing or coughing.
The best way to get prepared for the outbreak of COVID-19 is to plan ahead. Shop for groceries during off-peak hours and if possible use public transportation when it’s less busy and not during rush hour. Know what you will do if you become sick. If you care for others then you should have a plan in place for backup caregivers.
Find out if you’re able to work from home by talking to your employer about the possibility. This is especially important if you will possibly need to take some time off to help care for somebody in your family that has fallen ill.
You should also ensure that your prescriptions have been refilled so that you can avoid going to a pharmacy later. You may also want to consider seeing your doctor now to get your prescriptions renewed ahead of time.
Make sure that you have a stock of non-perishable items of food and avoid doing any panic buying. It’s easier to build up a stock by buying extra food gradually at each grocery shop. Items that you may want to consider purchasing include sauce and dry pasta, canned soups, canned beans and vegetables, pet food, feminine hygiene products and facial tissue.
It would be handy to have enough essentials on hand so that you wouldn’t have to worry should you have to self-isolate. As well, even if you don’t end up falling ill, if you have enough supplies at your disposal you won’t have to leave your home and subject yourself to the possibility of getting the virus once the outbreak reaches its peak.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to practice self-distancing. If you put this into place now before things get any worse, you can become a part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Playing your part is essential right now and moving forward, so that we can minimize the impact of this virus on our everyday lives.
There is something you can do about it and the time to act is now.