COVID-19 Information

This information is from an e-mail we received from Tracey Clausen, the owner of Independent Quality Home Care, a firm which looks after the elderly and those who have other difficulties in caring for themselves, regardless of age.

It is written so anyone can actually understand it and how to remain safe; thanks Tracey and all the other members who let me know how serious this has become, from an epidemic to a pandemic.

Message from the Ministry of Health
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Respiratory infections caused by COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. The outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the WHO on January 30, 2020 and declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. A pandemic is when an infectious disease spreads across the globe. This is different than an epidemic which is usually contained within a region or country.
Although COVID-19 originated from Wuhan, China, it has now spread worldwide including to British Columbia. Cases in British Columbia are being closely managed.

How is coronavirus transmitted?
Coronavirus is spread from an infected person through
  • Respiratory droplets spread when a person coughs or sneezes
  • Close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
It is important to keep about a 2-metre distance away from a person who is sick, to reduce breathing in droplets when they cough or sneeze.

What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms for COVID-19 include
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
The incubation period is the time from when a person is first exposed until symptoms appear. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease.
If you are unsure about your symptoms or have questions or concerns, contact HealthLinkBC (8-1-1) at any time.
If you do need to see a health care provider, call them ahead of time so they can arrange for you to be assessed safely. Wear a mask to protect others.
When seeing a health care provider, please tell them
  • Your symptoms
  • Where you have been travelling or living
  • If you had direct contact with animals (for example, if you visited a live animal market)
  • If you had close contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing

How can I prevent getting infected?
The most important thing you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth. You can also practice respiratory etiquette and social distancing.
To help reduce your risk of infection
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection
  • If a sink is not available, alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Follow good respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
  • Avoid crowded public spaces and places. Examples include mass gatherings, such as concerts and sporting events. Examples do not include hospitals (for healthcare workers) and schools
  • Maintain social distancing by keeping at least a 2-metre distance between yourself and others
  • Avoid shaking hands
For more information on proper hand washing see:

Should I wear a mask?
  • Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19
  • A disposable face mask can only be used once
  • It may be less effective to wear a mask if you are not sick

Common Questions About COVID-19
Find answers to some of the most common questions about COVID-19. Learn how it spreads, how long after exposure symptoms take to appear and what symptoms to look for. Find out what you can do to prevent COVID-19.

Disaster Mental Health Information


Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe
With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing every day, psychologists offer insights on how to separate yourself from others, while still getting the social support you need.
Around the world, public officials are asking people who have contracted or been exposed to the new coronavirus to practice social distancing, quarantine or isolation measures in an effort to slow disease’s spread.
Social distancing means keeping a safe distance (approximately 6 feet) from others and avoiding gathering spaces such as schools, churches, concert halls and public transportation.
Quarantine involves avoiding contact with others if a person has been exposed to coronavirus to see if they become ill.
Isolation involves separating an individual who has contracted COVID-19 to prevent them from spreading it to others.
Spending days or weeks at home with limited resources, stimulation and social contact can take a toll on mental health. Though controlled studies on interventions to reduce the psychological risks of quarantine and isolation are lacking, psychologists have established best practices for handling these challenging circumstances.
Here is a summary of research on social distancing, quarantine and isolation, as well as recommendations on how people can cope if asked to take such measures.

What to Expect
People asked to stay home due to illness, exposure or active community spread of COVID-19 will likely be cut off from their regular routines for at least two weeks, the estimated incubation period for the virus.
Common sources of stress during this period include a drop in meaningful activities, sensory stimuli and social engagement; financial strain from being unable to work; and a lack of access to typical coping strategies such as going to the gym or attending religious services.
Psychologists’ research has found that during a period of social distancing, quarantine or isolation, you may experience:

Fear and anxiety
You may feel anxious or worried about yourself or your family members contracting COVID-19 or spreading it to others. It’s also normal to have concerns about obtaining food and personal supplies, taking time off work or fulfilling family care obligations. Some people may have trouble sleeping or focusing on daily tasks.

Depression and boredom
A hiatus from work and other meaningful activities interrupts your daily routine and may result in feelings of sadness or low mood. Extended periods of time spent at home can also cause feelings of boredom and loneliness.

Anger, frustration or irritability
The loss of agency and personal freedom associated with isolation and quarantine can often feel frustrating. You may also experience anger or resentment toward those who have issued quarantine or isolation orders or if you feel you were exposed to the virus because of another person’s negligence.

Stigmatization
If you are sick or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you may feel stigmatized by others who fear they will contract the illness if they interact with you.

Vulnerable Populations
People with pre-existing mental health conditions and health-care workers helping with the response to the coronavirus may have an increased risk of experiencing psychological distress when they engage in social distancing, quarantine or isolation.
People with disabilities who require specialized diets, medical supplies, assistance from caregivers and other accommodations are also at risk for psychological challenges during a pandemic because of the increased difficulties in receiving the care they require.

How to Cope
Fortunately, psychological research also points to ways to manage these difficult conditions. Before social distancing, quarantine or isolation orders are enacted, experts recommend planning ahead by considering how you might spend your time, who you can contact for psychosocial support and how you can address any physical or mental health needs you or your family may have.

Limit news consumption to reliable sources
It’s important to obtain accurate and timely public health information regarding COVID-19, but too much exposure to media coverage of the virus can lead to increased feelings of fear and anxiety. Psychologists recommend balancing time spent on news and social media with other activities unrelated to quarantine or isolation, such as reading, listening to music or learning a new language. Trusted organizations—including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the World Health Organization—are ideal sources of information on the virus.

Create and follow a daily routine
Maintaining a daily routine can help both adults and children preserve a sense of order and purpose in their lives despite the unfamiliarity of isolation and quarantine. Try to include regular daily activities, such as work, exercise or learning, even if they must be executed remotely. Integrate other healthy pastimes as needed.

Stay virtually connected with others
Your face-to-face interactions may be limited, but psychologists suggest using phone calls, text messages, video chat and social media to access social support networks. If you’re feeling sad or anxious, use these conversations as an opportunity to discuss your experience and associated emotions. Reach out to those you know who are in a similar situation. Facebook groups have already formed to facilitate communication and support among individuals asked to quarantine.
Relying on pets for emotional support is another way to stay connected. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend restricting contact with pets if you contract COVID-19 until the risks of transmission between humans and animals are better understood.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Get enough sleep, eat well and exercise in your home when you are physically capable of doing so. Try to avoid using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with the stresses of isolation and quarantine. If needed, consider telehealth options for psychotherapy. If you already have a psychologist, contact them ahead of a potential quarantine to see if they can continue your sessions using phone-based or online delivery.

Use psychological strategies to manage stress and stay positive
Examine your worries and aim to be realistic in your assessment of the actual concern as well as your ability to cope. Try not to catastrophize; instead focus on what you can do and accept the things you can't change. One way to do this is to keep a daily gratitude journal. You may also choose to download smartphone applications that deliver mindfulness and relaxation exercises. For example, PTSD Coach is a free application developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology. It contains coping and resilience resources such as exercises for deep breathing, positive imagery, muscle relaxation and more.
Focusing on the altruistic reasons for social distancing, quarantine or isolation can also help mitigate psychological distress. Remember that by taking such measures, you are reducing the possibility of transmitting COVID-19 and protecting those who are most vulnerable.

What Happens Next
Following a period of quarantine or isolation, you may feel mixed emotions, including relief and gratitude, frustration or anger towards people who worry you may infect them with the virus, or even feelings of personal growth and increased spirituality. It’s also normal to feel anxious, but if you experience symptoms of extreme stress, such as ongoing trouble sleeping, inability to carry out daily routines, or an increase in alcohol or drug use, seek help from a health-care provider.
See more APA advice on ways to deal with COVID-19.

Tools and Resources


Independent Quality Home Care |  #300-1275 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver BC V6H 1A6
Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment