Keep on keeping on for each other

A group of masked individuals, including a cat, stand together. The person in front has a heart on her T-shirt.We may be sick and tired of COVID-19, but it’s not sick and tired of us. In just a few days, COVID-19 cases have spiked in Nova Scotia and in nearby provinces, putting people, communities and our health-care system at risk.

It’s frustrating when reopening plans are delayed, with consequences for local businesses, organizations and events that are eager to get back on track after months of uncertainty.

However, we’ve seen what lifting restrictions too soon has done elsewhere – after provincial officials lifted restrictions this past July, Alberta’s health-care system is at a breaking point and Saskatchewan has just broken its record for the most new daily cases.

In Nova Scotia, we’re already seeing how a spike in COVID-19 strains hospitals, delaying medical treatment for people who need care for other reasons.

Know your risk
The delta variant is more than two times as contagious as the original strain of COVID-19. Unvaccinated people are driving new infections because they’re more likely to spread the virus to others and are 36 times more likely than vaccinated folks to be hospitalized when they get infected. Nearly all COVID-19 deaths have been in unvaccinated people.

Being vaccinated will reduce the likelihood that you’ll spread COVID-19, or that the virus will be able to mutate in your body. Even if it may not completely stop you from spreading the virus to others, it will protect you from getting extremely ill from COVID-19 and needing hospital care.

The bottom line is: The longer people put off getting vaccinated, the longer COVID-19 will stick around in our province and the longer the pandemic will drag on for everyone.

Get vaccinated
We’re starting to sound like a broken record, but getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. The vaccines are safe and effective, especially at preventing illness, hospitalization and death.

If you still need to get your first or second shot, it’s time to step up and get it done. With community vaccine clinics and pharmacies across Nova Scotia offering drop-in doses, it couldn’t be easier. If you’re still unsure or are fearful of needles, talk to your doctor or health-care provider about your concerns.

Stay safe
In the meantime, keep doing the things that have helped keep you safe all along: mask up when visiting crowded public spaces, wash your hands often and stay home (and get tested) when you’re unwell.

For many of us, this is still a stressful and uncertain time. Be sure to share your expectations and needs about staying safe before making plans with friends and family members. Be patient and kind with others who just aren’t ready to get together.

Don’t ignore your mental and physical health. Make a point of doing things that make you feel good, like getting outside for a walk to help boost your mood.

We can’t do it alone – it’s up to all of us to remember our personal responsibility and do what we can to keep each other and our communities safe.

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Nova Scotia quick links

Drop-in vaccination clinics in Nova Scotia
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19
List of COVID-19 exposures in Nova Scotia
Getting tested for COVID-19
Public Health mobile testing unit locations
Rapid testing locations
Self-isolating guidelines
Mental health and well-being

Nova Scotia COVID-19 resources
Download the free COVID Alert app

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