We are in the middle of a pandemic which none of us were expecting as we welcomed this new year. The right thing to do now is to stop panicking and being well informed of the current situation.
What is Pandemic?
Pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that is affecting the whole world.
What is the latest update?
The global tally of cases: 2,231,438
Recovered – 564,718
Number of deaths, worldwide: 150,837
What is happening in Canada?
The Government of Canada has created the infrastructure to respond to the public health threats of the virus and is well prepared to act—in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and international partners—to minimize the health, economic, and social impacts of this rapidly evolving public health issue.
Canada’s response is based on plans and guidance related to pandemic preparedness, with the following guiding principles:
- Collaboration – all levels of government and stakeholders need to work in partnership to produce an effective and coordinated response.
- Evidence-informed decision-making – decisions should be based on the best available evidence.
- Proportionality – the response to a pandemic should be appropriate to the level of the threat.
- Flexibility – actions taken should be tailored to the situation and evolve as new information becomes available.
- A precautionary approach – timely and reasonable preventive action should be proportional to the threat and informed by evidence to the extent possible.
- Use of established practices and systems – well-practiced strategies and processes can be rapidly ramped up to manage a pandemic.
- Ethical decision-making – ethical principles and societal values should be explicit and embedded in all decision-making.
These principles build on lessons learned from past events, particularly the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, which led to dedicated legislation, plans, infrastructure, and resources to help ensure that the country would be well prepared to detect and respond to a pandemic outbreak. Some examples include:
- The creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada, which monitors and responds to disease outbreaks that could endanger the health of Canadians.
- The appointment of a Chief Public Health Officer, who advises the Government of Canada and Canadians on the steps they should take to protect their health, working in close collaboration with the chief medical officers of health in provinces and territories.
- The development of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: Planning Guidance for the Health Sector, which sets out guidance to prepare for and respond to a pandemic.
- The enhancement of diagnostic capacity in the National Microbiology Laboratory.
- The strengthening of working relationships with the World Health Organization and other international partners, such as the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the Government of Canada has been focusing on containing the spread of COVID-19, it has also been undertaking coordinated planning to prepare for possible broader transmission of the virus and to mitigate the impacts of a potential pandemic.
To support these efforts, the Prime Minister convened an Incident Response Group on coronavirus, which has been meeting since the end of January, and, on March 5, he created a Cabinet Committee on the federal response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and vice-chaired by the President of the Treasury Board, the committee meets regularly to ensure whole-of-government leadership, coordination, and preparedness to limit the health, economic and social impacts of the virus.
Source – Canada.ca
What is the need of the hour?
What every country out there is aiming now is to flatten the curve through social distancing.
This is why Italy is in total lockdown and so are many other countries. The fatality rate was earlier calculated as 0.4% which is now escalated to 4%. This increase is not only because of the complications from the disease but also because of the inability of the health system to give sufficient medical care. More the number of patients, the more the requirement for ventilators and ICU. With the already existing patients of other ailments added to it, hospitals in the affected countries are overwhelmed. They ended up deciding who is getting the oxygen and who is not.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known incubation period for this disease.
Recent evidence indicates that the virus can be transmitted to others from someone who is infected but not showing symptoms. This includes people who:
- have not yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic)
- never develop symptoms (asymptomatic)
So all you have to do is,
- Stay at home
- Wash your hands
- Do not touch your face
How to not panic
The symptoms seem to be very generic such as the fever, flu, cough and common cold which are very common so how to differentiate? The chart below clearly lists the symptoms of covid-19,
If you are feeling sick, the first thing to do is isolate yourself and do not have any kind of physical contact with others. If the condition is getting worse, call the local helpline and they will guide you on what to do next. You will be quarantined either at your house or at the hospital depending on your condition.
Take a covid-19 self-assessment test here .
Do not stock up on necessities such as hand sanitizers, face masks and groceries. This will just make the situation worse and people who are in actual need of it will not get it. Buy only what is necessary for you.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan :
For individuals and Families :
- Increase in the Canada child benefit
- Extra time to file income tax returns
- Mortgage support
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Improving access to essential food support
- Women’s shelters and sexual assault centers
- Youth support: mental health
For Businesses :
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy
- More time to pay income taxes
- Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program
- Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program
- Increasing credit available for agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture
Stay safe and let’s all make it a priority to stop the spread of COVID-19.