COVID-19: Staying Safe in a Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live in 2020. Many of us have had to alter the way we work, the way we shop, the way we send our kids to school, and the way we run our businesses. Through our YouTube channel, Rural Rescue Life, we've compiled some of the best advice, tips, and tricks we've found to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during this uncertain time.
COVID-19 & Children
Many people have been concerned about how the pandemic will effect children. Fortunately children are quite resilient and adaptable to change. When speaking to your children about COVID-19 keep your voice calm and even, answer their questions, and let them know that it's okay to be nervous or worried. If you think your children are feeling stressed or anxious share with them some ways that you deal with those feelings and make sure they feel comfortable sharing with you.
When it comes to wearing masks many children have no issue putting them on, especially when all of their friends and adults around them are wearing them too! Try to find masks that are their favourite colour or feature their favourite movie character. As well make sure you have more than one mask or a back up stash for children in case theirs gets dirty, wet, or soiled during the day. A great idea is to send them to school or daycare with a cloth mask and a small bag of disposable masks in case they need an extra.
For children that play sports, it's okay to keep them in the sport, assuming this is an option, but be sure to look into the COVID-19 protocols the facility is following and never be afraid to speak up if you think something is unsafe.
COVID-19 & Running Errands
Well we all try to stay home as much as possible we still have to go out for things like groceries, prescriptions, to pick up food, and other essential errands. When you are heading into a store make sure you follow all of the requirements they have laid out. When you put on your mask make sure you sanitize your hands before and after touching it, it covers your chin to nose, and is a snug fit.
Upon entering the store follow the arrows if they have laid out a pathway for customers, be sure to stay 6 ft away from other shoppers, and try to get in and out as quickly as possible. If you can make a list for each store so you know exactly what it is you need and don't waste time looking around. If you are using reusable grocery bags, and the store allows this, make sure you are the only one that handles them and pack your groceries yourself. Try to pay with tap to avoid handling cash and change and be sure to sanitizer your hands on your way back outside.
When you arrive at home you should place your groceries on the floor and wash your hands right away with soap and water. When washing your hands be sure to scrub each finger, under your nails, and do so for at least 20 seconds. You should wipe down any items that you've brought home that can be washed with soap and water. Once you're done cleaning everything and have put your bags away be sure to wash your hands once again.
COVID-19 & Laundry
If you are someone that works as a healthcare worker, first responder, personal support worker, or in a retail position you should change your clothes as soon as possible when you get home. Some professionals we spoke to even strip down in their garage and put on comfy clothes immediately, placing their work clothes straight into the washing machine.
Any backpacks, purses, wallets, etc. should be wiped down with soap and water or a disinfectant wipe to ensure all germs have been removed. If you use a cloth mask make sure you are washing it as often as required, most of them come with proper cleaning and storage instructions.
COVID-19 & PPE
In the attached video we demonstrate how to properly don and doff masks and gloves. These items are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 but improper use defeats the purpose and can cause you to get sick despite your best intentions.
An important note: there is currently a large supply shortage of nitrile gloves for places that need them including first responders, doctors, healthcare workers, and personal support workers. If you are someone that is just using gloves for running errands please consider using vinyl gloves and save the nitrile gloves for those individuals in a high-risk situation.
COVID-19 & Mental Health
This pandemic has the potential to be extremely hard on the mental health of individuals if you or someone you know is struggling please don't hesitate to reach out to your family doctor, nurse, telehealth, or a helpline. If you would like to learn coping mechanisms for yourself or to help others please feel free to check out the two Psychological first aid courses we offer through the Canadian Red Cross. You can find them here and here.