Toronto cityscape view from the waterfront with the image of the lower half of a person holding a medical mask superimposed over the water to symbolize the coronavirus pandemic
Health + Wellness,  Here + Now,  History + Community

Coronavirus Update: How to Handle the ‘Pandemic’

In the wake of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we must all remember to stay calm and listen to the advice of authorities who have been working around the clock. The world faces a global standstill as the reactions to the recent ‘pandemic’ have reached the world news. Stock markets are on the brink of some of the greatest crashes of all time, global sports leagues close down and displace fans for coming weeks, and whole countries have been quarantined as precautionary measures.

The coronavirus or COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that emerged in December 2019 from the Wuhan area of China. As of March 12, 2020, it has infected 125,000 people in 117 countries that ended fatally for 4,600 people. The virus has a 3.7% mortality rate worldwide and is highly contagious. All it takes is a close contact with an infected person or a few of their “respiratory droplets” to be inhaled into your lungs to contract it.

Some countries are already facing the massive economic downturn of the Coronavirus’ now pandemic status, but there is no end in sight to the coming events as this fever runs its course.

Italy, Europe’s most affected country, has closed borders and advised all nonessential workers to stay home. Self-quarantine and public distance have been suggested by world health organizations, as well as government officials, in order to stop the spread. But as the world waits for the virus to run its course, it’s advised to be as informed as possible. So we’ve pooled together some resources and recommendations for you.

How to identify symptoms:

If you are experiencing a fever, difficulty breathing, muscle and joint aches, lethargy, or coughing you may want to see a medical professional. Less common symptoms include sore throat, headache, and diarrhea. Older patients and those with chronic medical conditions are most at risk when contracting the virus.

How to protect yourself:

There is currently no vaccine to protect against the coronavirus, so it is advised that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if you that is not currently available use alcohol-based sanitizer. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, and generally practice social distancing. Clean and disinfect surfaces and anything you touch frequently, including your smart devices. If you are returning from air travel be diligent and monitor your health carefully.

If you test positive:

You are advised to quarantine yourself, drink plenty of fluids, and rest. If you have a sore throat you can take hot showers, use a humidifier, or drink tea for relief. If you have a fever or feel worse than a seasonal cold, seek medical help and you may be prescribed pain or fever medication.

Among the various jokes on social media about canned goods and toilet paper sales, lies a dark truth. With the measures being taken, we must all come to realize the multiple levels of downturns we are due to experience.

The next few months will hold interesting conclusions as to this virus. It will be a test of humanity’s ability to unite in order to create peace and work together. Though our test at this exact moment, is whether we remain calm and careful, or panic in the wake of this new challenge. With the peak of the virus not yet reached, we all have a front row seat to how this virus is to come to an end. One way or another.

If you are unsure about mild symptoms you can contact:

Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000,
Toronto Public Health 416-338-7600,
or your local public health worker.

Only reserve 911 in cases of emergencies.

If you’d like to test your knowledge of COVID-19 click here:


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