As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in our province, Doctors of BC reached out to physicians to gather tips and ideas on staying safe this fall.
Here’s a list of some great ideas from doctors on navigating challenges, helping families adapt to pandemic conditions and practicing safety precautions in our daily lives.
1) Wear your mask with pride
Wearing masks saves lives. Even if you are asymptomatic, you could be spreading COVID-19 or contracting it from others. Remind your friends, colleagues and family members that wearing a mask isn’t just the safe thing to do, but the normal thing to do during this pandemic.
Think about ways to make wearing a mask fun for your family and friends. Gift fashionable masks to friends and encourage children to stay safe at school by wearing their favourite animal or super hero character mask. We can all be super heroes by helping each other stay safe from infection and removing any negative stigma around using them.
2) Increase ventilation indoors
As temperatures drop outside, it’s time to make the indoors as safe as possible. Increasing ventilation by opening doors and windows, and using air purifiers can be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 when gathering indoors. Just make sure the increased ventilation is part of a larger strategy that includes social distancing, wearing masks, disinfecting surfaces and handwashing.
3) Celebrate people who lead by example
We can all learn from each other! Acknowledge a job well done and encourage responsible behavior by showing your appreciation when people wear a mask, clean a space or physically distance. Encourage them through an act of kindness, a simple “thank you,” or even a free coffee. We can all benefit from giving and receiving a little kindness right now.
4) Empower kids to be leaders
Parents, teachers and school staff can play an important role in helping children understand COVID-19 in a way that is accurate and minimizes fear. By practicing healthy habits at home, school and during play, we can protect children against the spread of COVID-19. Empower children to be champion leaders in educating others about safety precautions and being a positive force behind wearing a mask, physically distancing and proper sanitization.
5) Ask colleagues for help
Heightened stress levels and feelings of anxiety can render us forgetful in keeping up with the simple but important rules of staying safe in our daily lives as the pandemic continues. As we get tied up in the busy work of everyday life, we must remember to ask for help when needed. In these challenging times, a simple reminder to wash your hands after seeing a patient or coming back home from work, can help save lives.
6) Learn from the community
People around us are taking heroic measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Some out-of-the-box initiatives include creating online groups for community support, volunteering meal delivery so people can isolate effectively, co-organizing educational school campaigns and designing isolation cars to get repatriated Canadians from the airport to their homes safely. We must take the time to learn from each other, implement practices that have worked well in other communities, and make a point to share our learnings.
7) Listen to ensure inclusivity and equal treatment
Due to negative stigma around COVID-19, patients may be reluctant to provide honest answers to screening questions and be forthcoming regarding symptoms out of a concern they may receive different treatment. It is important to reassure patients that they will receive equal treatment and to listen to their concerns.
8) Follow the leader
Each of us is responsible to adhere to rules and regulations that have been set in place by government and medical leaders to ensure the safety of the community. As things change on a daily basis, it is imperative that we commit to following provincial and national guidelines regarding healthcare, education, travel and gatherings.