Physical distancing has halved spread of COVID-19 in B.C., official modelling suggests – CBC News – 2020-03-27

Health officials say physical distancing restrictions in B.C. are successfully beginning to slow the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province, perhaps by as much as half.

But despite the “glimmer of hope,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and other officials stressed that the province is not out of the woods and the health-care system still needs to be prepared for an inevitable surge in hospitalizations.

“I’m trying not to over-call it, but I do believe we’ve seen a flattening, a falling-off of that curve,” Henry said Friday, referring to the growth of new COVID-19 patients in B.C.

“What we need, though, is for everybody to continue to pay attention to these [physical distancing] measures so we can continue to prevent transmissions in our communities … for the coming weeks.”

Read more here.

Hunkering Down: 4 Brain-Wise Ways to Cope During COVID-19 – PsychCentral – 2020-03-25

‘Unprecedented’ = never done or known before” Oxford English Dictionary

We are, without a doubt, living in an unprecedented time of anxiety, uncertainty, fear, and unease. The word “unprecedented” is trumpeted in numerous news reports and social media outlets, describing the nature of the unfolding COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Most people on the planet today have not lived through a major health crisis of this magnitude, even those in the Boomer or The Greatest (WW2) Generation who might have experienced the polio crisis of the early 20th century. So with that, we are all in this together, figuring out what it means to shelter-in-place, quarantine, home-school, work-from-home, study remotely, socially distance, scour home/work surfaces with cleaning supplies, flatten-the-curve, protect our seniors and vulnerable populations, and wrap our heads around toilet paper shortages (and other grocery supplies).

Read more here.

5 Emotional Precautions to Take During the Coronavirus Pandemic – PsychCentral – 2020-03-23

Obsessed with the coronavirus? I know you are because we all are.

We become obsessed with things that are out of our control. It’s because our brains must work overtime to process the incredible changes we are experiencing.

As a result, it can be hard to get ourselves to think about anything other than the news as this historic event unfolds.

What’s the likelihood of a successful vaccine? How do you make good choices for yourself and others? What will be the economic fallout? These issues and more are all on our minds, for sure.

Read more here.

3 Things We Do Not Need During a Pandemic and Their Antidotes – PsychCentral – 2020-03-19

Being a part of a pandemic is no picnic. Seriously.

I say this as a confirmed, card-carrying, lifelong introvert who has worked from home for over a decade, accompanied only by my (super noisy) feathers and (super silent) shells for company.

It is quite different when you stay home by choice versus when you stay home by command.

Of course I don’t want to make anyone else sick. I don’t want to get sick, either.

But I also don’t want to lose my mental and emotional health in service to my physical health.

I mention this because it is up to me to remember that I wake up every morning still in charge of four unique and highly complex integrated systems – my body, my brain/mind, my limbic brain/emotions, and my spirit.

Read more here.

Anxiety, Depression and Fight-or-flight Response: 16 Ways to Cope with Coronavirus, Quarantine and Self-isolation – PsychCentral – 2020-03-21

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling scattered. Anxious. Overwhelmed. Between my routines and schedules changing and feeling stuck in my house, my body is struggling to remain regulated. Not to mention how receiving all the information surrounding the coronavirus is making me feel. The information that works like a double-edged sword: I want to stay connected to what’s happening and to friends and family, but hearing about the overwhelmingness of this pandemic in every conversation is engaging my fear response. Making me feel on edge. Depressed. Triggering my fight-or-flight response. Turning my world upside down.

This week has made it clear to me that, now more than ever, it is important to find the safe space inside myself.

Read more here.

More than half of the city’s mental health crisis calls have been about COVID-19 – CBC News – 2020-03-27

In the last week, more than half of the mental health calls Bart Campbell answered through the city’s crisis outreach and support hotline are related to COVID-19.

It’s been nearly two weeks since schools and local services shut their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Hamilton and people here are still trying to cope with the uncertainty. Campbell and his colleagues are getting 25 per cent more calls than they usually would, taking nearly 130 calls a day.

“Every day, people are trying to figure it out…we’ve never been here before,” said Campbell, a triage support worker for the crisis outreach and support team, known as COAST.

COAST is a partnership between St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Police Services and Halton Regional Police Services. When locals dial in, trained officers and mental health workers at St. Joseph’s help to identify the person’s mental health concerns, their situation and any risks.

Read more here.

Netflix, Bell Media reduce video quality to lower internet bandwidth use Social Sharing – CBC News – 2020-03-27

Netflix is lowering video quality for its subscribers in Canada as it attempts to reduce soaring demands on internet bandwidth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The streaming giant says it introduced changes on Thursday that are designed to slash its data traffic by 25 per cent, as internet service providers deal with a surge in user activity.

The lower bandwidth streams of Netflix programs should still deliver the usual quality of each plan, the company said, whether it’s ultra-high definition 4K, high-definition or standard definition.

“We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and will be deploying it in Canada for the next 30 days,” said Ken Florance, vice-president of content delivery, in a statement on Thursday.

Read more here.

‘Knock, drop and go’: No more signing for Canada Post packages at the door – CTV News – 2020-03-23

With health officials stressing physical distancing and self-isolation tactics more and more due to COVID-19, Canada Post has announced that it will be reducing hours of service and no longer allowing people to sign for packages at their front doors.

In a press release put out Monday, the postal service said that they would be making changes to ensure the safety of their employees and customers.

“To eliminate customer interactions at the door, reduce post office customer traffic and support social & physical distancing, we have implemented a Knock, Drop and Go approach,” the press release reads.

Read more here.

This Old “Scrubs” Episode Is a Perfect Primer on Germ Transfer – LifeSavvy – 2020-03-17

A 2006 episode of the hit medical comedy, Scrubs, demonstrated perfectly how germs travel from person-to-person in the absence of good hygiene.

The “My Cabbage” episode (S05, E12) featured a subplot that focused on the most adored patient in the hospital, Patricia Wilk (Michael Learned), finally recovering and preparing to head home. The overarching theme of the episode focused on blundering, but well-meaning intern, Jason “Cabbage” Cabbagio (Shaughn Buchholz).

In a key scene, Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) lectures the staff on infectious disease vectors. He uses a green tint as a visual indicator to show how infections travel through the hospital from person-to-person. Ultimately, the visual lesson comes to its conclusion when Cabbage is let go and, on his way out the door, transfers an infection to Mrs. Wilk.

Read more here.

Five people to listen to during coronavirus outbreak — and five to ignore – GlobalNews – 2020-03-24

Stay home. Don’t leave if you don’t have to.

Don’t go to the pub, don’t sit in a restaurant and don’t invite your friends over. If you need some fresh air, a walk is good but keep at least two metres between you and people who aren’t already in close contact with you at home.

That’s the advice experts are offering as the new coronavirus continues to spread.

Read more here.

COVID-19 Total Well-Being Online Resource Guide – PsychCentral – 2020-03-25

I wanted to get out a quick blog post to address the current stress many of us are feeling as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Below this message you will find a list of resources that I sent out to my psychotherapy and coaching clients today; it is my hope that the resources, articles, and links I included will contribute positively to you and your loved ones’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being during this global health emergency – particularly those of you who have been ordered by your government to “shelter-in-place”.

Many states and local governments are instituting restrictions on community gatherings, travel, and attendance at work and school, as well as orders to “shelter-in-place”. This overabundance of caution is meant to help prevent the spread of illness, but can also result in people feeling isolated and restless.

Please be sure to stay connected with your friends and loved ones through phone, text, video chat, and social media; both to check on their well being and to ensure your own social needs are being met.

Read more here.