As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc in most our lives, many are wondering what they can do to help. It might be difficult to think of ways you can help during this pandemic while following measures and isolating yourself, but there are many ways you can, and they all start with being a good citizen.
How to be a good citizen in a time of crisis?
Be honest and trustworthy: Tell the truth, it’s that simple. If you have symptoms, call the hotline (1 877 644 4545). Don’t lie to health care professionals.
Have integrity: Use your moral compass; do not cave in to peer pressure. This means saying “no” to a dinner invite, or choosing to not “shame” a victim of COVID-19.
Follow the rules and laws: Our government has laws in place to protect all of us. During a pandemic it is even more important to follow these laws. The measures put in place by the governments are based on science and are our best defence against the virus.
Possess self-discipline: Take control and motivate yourself to do the right thing. As tempting as it may be, this is not the time to make unnecessary trips. Manage your household to avoid running errands unless absolutely necessary. Remember if someone doesn’t live under your roof, you shouldn’t be in contact with them. So, you can’t go and have a morning coffee with your mom, but you can still call or Facetime and have chat, but from your respective homes.
Take responsibility: Be accountable for your actions. If you’ve travelled, be accountable and follow the quarantine measures.
Be informed: Knowledge is power, but only if that knowledge is accurate and used properly. Ensure that your information is from a reliable source (TV, Radio, Newspaper) and is relevant to your region. Do not share news that isn’t from a reliable source. Remember, your friends and family trust you and will assume news shared from you is accurate. Providing false news or inaccurate news (ex. measures taken in a different province or country) can confuse people, especially in a time of crisis when stress is already at the max.
Be compassionate: If you are able, volunteer to help those in need. Perhaps a senior nearby needs help with groceries. Charities will be feeling the pinch; reach out to them and if you are able, make a donation by e-transfer.
Be tolerant: Your friends and family will need your patience, understanding and acceptance, now more than ever. Be tolerant of their beliefs. Remember to treat others how you would like to be treated.
Be a good neighbour: Call your neighbours and “check in” with them, especially those over 70. If your neighbours are high risk (seniors, weak immune system, etc.), offer to take out their trash or recycling. Perhaps the young mother next door needs someone to talk to or maybe you can help her by Facetiming with her child while she prepares a meal. Lessen your neighbour’s burdens.
Be courageous and brave: Stand up for what you consider is right. While others are “shaming” COVID-19 victims, be the person who offers an encouraging word. Be the person others will look up to. Be brave, learn a new skill and teach a new skill to your children. Tackle each day knowing you are doing your best to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Remember that your individual actions matter and what you choose to do can have a positive impact on those in your community. You have the power to take action and make decisions that will keep you and your community safe, while minimizing the stress of others. Be that person! Be a good citizen!
Dr. Iv Bonnier-Viger, director general of the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands Public Health Board, explains that the nine cases of Covid-19 infection identified in the region were all “imported,” in the sense that all affected people had travelled, seven outside the country and two elsewhere in Canada. So far, there are no cases of community transmission on the Gaspé.
According to the Public Health Board there weren’t any new cases of Covid-19 between March 28 and March 29. None of the nine cases reported so far, have needed to be hospitalized and none of those nine people are health sector workers or residents of a home for the elderly.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bonnier-Viger points out that he will no longer provide data associating cases either to the Gaspé Peninsula or the Magdalen Islands, so to reduce potential stigma that can arise, considering the size of the region’s communities. He also does not want to create a false impression of security in the places where there haven’t been any cases reported.
The release of the first three cases in the Magdalen Islands a few days ago created a “delicate situation,” says the doctor, especially because of reactions on social media. “Releasing that kind of information is not useful,” he says.
The first case reported in the region, that of a New Carlisle resident who identified herself on social media, is considered a “recovered” case. However, “recovered” cases still appear in the regional count.
The “Quebec and New Brunswick governments still have to fine-tune the rules of circulation between the two provinces,” adds Dr. Bonnier-Viger, who is advising that the “essential service rules,” apply at the Pointe-à-la-Croix and Matapedia check points.
Regionally, two check points; one in Sainte-Florence, Matapedia Valley, and another in Les Méchins, on the north side of the coast were installed at 4 p.m. on March 28 to “close” the Gaspé Peninsula to outside visitors and to restrict residents who had been away. The essential service rules apply at those check points as well.
The Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands represent one of the eight Quebec regions that were closed on March 28. That controlled closure means that residents of the other 10 Quebec regions will now have to be quarantined if they are allowed in a closed region.
Those eight regions had reported 74 of Quebec’s 2,424 cases, as of March 28 and there has not been any community transmission in those regions. The Quebec total rose to 2,840 cases on March 29. The total for the eight closed regions has not yet been updated.