COVID-19

 

The COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

APTN News is reporting from across the country on the viral outbreak and how it is impacting Indigenous communities.

COVID-19 Cases | Indigenous Communities


COVID-19 Cases | Canada


 

Questions and Answers


You asked your COVID-19 questions and we pursued the answers from experts.

Do you have a question? Send us an e-mail.


When does there appear to be an end in sight for social distancing and self isolation?

 

Answer

Dr. Nel Wieman: We’re not able to say exactly when this is going to end. It’s understandable that people feel, you know, sort of anxious about the uncertainty but what we need to keep in mind is we need to all each and every one of us work at flattening that curve and decreasing the ability of this virus to spread.

I would just advise to everyone to continue to do what they’re doing, try to stay calm and then just keep in touch with the news for all the daily updates because it just seem to change on a daily basis.

What are some of the ways we can reduce panic, anxiety and fear we might be feeling right now?

 

Answer

Dr. Nel Wieman: It’s quite natural to feel anxious and worried about what’s going on.

One of the ways that people can help themselves from feeling that anxiety and panic, is to try to stay informed about what’s going on, but also try to avoid tracking the news channels 24/7. Try not to be on social media all of the time. Try to actually do some things that are good for very your own wellness, including your mental health.

Where should I get information about COVID-19?

 

Answer

Dr. Nel Wieman: Try not to spread any misinformation, go to your trusted news sources.

Those types of channels include APTN, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the First Nations Health Authority and for mental health resources the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto has their own website that has some very good mental health resources on it.

How can we maintain mental health and wellness throughout this period of isolation?

 

Answer

Dr. Nel Wieman: One way of shifting perspective is to focus on the things that we do have control over, the things that we can take charge of and that includes trying to do things that keep you in a positive frame of mind.

I’ve seen some people talking already about the use of humor in our Indigenous communities, it’s helped us get through some really dark times in the past. Keeping a positive outlook is really important. Other things you can control include following the public health recommendations in your area. The recommendations around physical distancing for example, that’s really important. And engage in more positive coping behaviors if you’re able to.

What advice do you have for people who are having trouble coping?

 

Answer

Dr. Nel Wieman: If you find yourself in a really panicky moment, there’s a couple of different grounding exercises that people can do and the easiest one that I know of is called five, four, three, two, one. Helps you slow down and calm down.

You name five things that you can see and you’re immediate environment. You name four things that you can feel or touch. You name three things that you’re currently hearing. Two things that you smell and then say one thing about yourself that you feel positive about.

It only takes ten seconds and as long as people do some deep breathing at the same time that can kind of just take people away from that peak of anxiety or distress that they’re feeling.

What are some ways people in the North can prepare?

 

Answer

Dr. Anna Banerji: Washing your hands, if you’re bringing in food depending what it is, washing the food, where it’s possible. If something’s in a box you can leave it for a day and if there’s coronavirus, it’s going to die. So just trying to keep things separate but you don’t need to worry about getting coronavirus in your boots, it’s generally not how it’s transmitted.

So just doing the best you can, but the main thing again is if someone’s sick and they’re coughing on surfaces, you touch those surfaces and then you touch your hands or face, that’s how you’re going to get it.

So wash your hands with soap and water, doesn’t have to be Lysol for everything, but try as much as possible to keep your hands away from your face.

How is COVID-19 transmitted and how can we avoid catching it?

 

Answer

Dr. Anna Banerji: Washing your hands, if you’re bringing in food depending what it is, washing the food, where it’s possible. If something’s in a box you can leave it for a day and if there’s coronavirus, it’s going to die. So just trying to keep things separate but you don’t need to worry about getting coronavirus in your boots, it’s generally not how it’s transmitted.

So just doing the best you can, but the main thing again is if someone’s sick and they’re coughing on surfaces, you touch those surfaces and then you touch your hands or face, that’s how you’re going to get it.

So wash your hands with soap and water, doesn’t have to be Lysol for everything, but try as much as possible to keep your hands away from your face.

Is bleach just as good at killing coronavirus in the absence Lysol?

 

Answer

Dr. Anna Banerji: Bleach is a very good disinfectant, it will kill coronavirus. You have to be careful with bleach but you can clean surfaces, especially surfaces that are high risk with bleach.

How long are you be infectious with COVID-19 and can you catch it twice?

 

Answer

Dr. Anna Banerji: This particular coronavirus hasn’t been out long enough for us to know can someone get it twice. Usually once you’ve had it and you have recovered from it then you’re no longer infectious. Usually the recovery time they say is about 72 hours, so three days after your last symptoms, you should no longer be infectious.

How to stop the spread


COVID-19 is now a high risk for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Elders and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk. Some people who contract the virus may notice nothing more than the symptoms of a cold or flu.

There are ways to protect yourself and others from contracting the virus.

Click on each item below to learn more.