Health Canada is recommending social distancing to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and prevent the spread of disease. Even if you’re prepared, social distancing can be hard. But it’s an even bigger challenge for vulnerable people like seniors, the homeless, and people living with domestic violence.
Here’s how you can reach out to someone safely and help ease the anxiety and isolation they might be facing:
Regular calls, video chats and texts go a long way to reducing the loneliness people may feel when social distancing. But remember, not everyone has or is comfortable using technology. If you can do it safely, consider donating old smartphones, tablets, or laptops loaded with social media apps to others and show them how they can use the devices to chat with family and friends. Check out Netflix Party as a way to stay connected through your favourite shows.
Help seniors and vulnerable people lower their risk of exposure to the virus by volunteering to do their errands. Ask if they need help picking up medications or groceries. Use online shopping to your advantage. Atlantic Superstore and the Vegetorium Farmers Market offer home delivery in HRM.
Some people are not able to stock up on essentials. Take an inventory of what you have, determine what you realistically need, and then give extra toilet paper, hand sanitizer or food to neighbours and family, or donate these items to food banks and shelters.
Social distancing or self-isolation increases the threat of domestic violence for women and children who are living in unsafe households. Many shelters may find themselves overwhelmed over the coming weeks. You can help by providing financial support or by donating items such as hand sanitizer and soap.
Self-isolation or social distancing can make it hard to care for a cat or dog. If someone you know is struggling to provide for their pet, buy some food, toys and litter, or offer to look after their pet for a while if you can.
Remember, we’re all in this together. When you take steps to support others during this time of need, you help keep our communities safe, healthy, and strong.
If you have general questions about COVID-19, visit the provincial coronavirus info hub or call the toll-free federal info line at 1-833-784-4397.
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