Tips if You Are Feeling Anxious

  1. Keep things in perspective.
  • Get the facts.
  • Communicate with your children.
  • Remember basic well-being practices.
  1. Maintain work/life balance.
  2. Stay in regular contact with friends/family, and use technology creatively to do this.
  3. Practice mindfulness.
  4. Regulate your news media monitoring, especially TV news. Read articles, instead.
  5. A good antidote to adversity is kindness and compassion.

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Number of COVID-19 Total Cases in Canada on April 10th, 2020

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic.

This assessment by the WHO is not unexpected. Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change the WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by COVID-19 and it does not change what the WHO is doing. It also does not change what countries around the world should do. For that reason, it does not change the approach we are taking in Canada.

Canada’s public health system is prepared. Since the outset, the Public Health Agency of Canada (along with public health authorities at all levels of government across the country) have been working together to ensure that our preparedness and response measures are appropriate and adaptable, based on the latest science and the evolving situation.

Aside from Canada, other countries and regions are reporting cases (listed below). An official global travel advisory is in effect: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

Risk to Canadians
COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.

This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians.

Check if you have been exposed
Have you been on a recent flight, cruise, train, or at a public gathering? Check the listed exposure locations to see if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Vulnerable populations
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

aged 65 and over
with compromised immune systems
with underlying medical conditions
There are also increased health risks for Canadian travellers abroad. Because of these risks, the Government of Canada advises you to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. This includes cruise ships.

For Canadians who have recently travelled, the Government of Canada has put in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that applies to all travellers arriving in Canada. This is to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

If you have recently returned to Canada and you have symptoms, you must ISOLATE. This is mandatory. If required, immediate medical attention will be provided upon arrival in Canada.

If you have recently returned to Canada and you have no symptoms, you must QUARANTINE (self-isolate) yourself. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.

If you develop symptoms within 14 days:

isolate yourself from others
immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and:
describe your symptoms and travel history
follow their instructions carefully
We continue to reassess the public health risk, based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.

Think you might have COVID-19?

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US becomes first country to record over 2,000 coronavirus deaths in last 24 hours: Report

  • US has now recorded 18,586 deaths
  • Trump on Friday said he will make an announcement next week on US funding to the World Health Organizatio

The United States on Friday become the first country to record more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in one day, with 2,108 fatalities in the past 24 hours, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

The US has now recorded 18,586 deaths and is closing in on the toll of 18,849 dead in Italy, which has seen the most fatalities so far in the global pandemic.

America is also approaching half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 496,535 as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Saturday), an increase of 35,098 in the past 24 hours.

President Donald Trump on Friday said that his decision on when to reopen the US economy, shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be the toughest he has ever taken.

“I’m going to have to make a decision and I only hope to God that it’s the right decision. But I would say without question, it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Trump told a press conference.

Trump, who faces a tight reelection in November, is keen to get the US economy back open after weeks of tough measures that shut down businesses and transport across the country to slow down the virus’ spread.

However, he also faces warnings that a premature opening would put lives at risk.

“I have to make the biggest decision of my life,” he said.

Trump on Friday said he will make an announcement next week on US funding to the World Health Organization, which he has recently threatened to cut.

“As you know, we have given them approximately $500 million a year, and we are going to be talking about that subject next week. We’ll have a lot to say about it,” Trump told a news conference at the White House.

He said he would make the announcement “sometime next week.”

Trump has gone on an offensive against the WHO, where Washington is the principal funder, accusing it of pro-China bias during the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China, last year.

The US State Department has homed in on what it says was the world health body’s failure to pursue an early lead on coronavirus out of Taiwan.

Taiwan, which has succeeded in limiting the virus to just five deaths despite the island’s proximity and ties with China, warned the WHO on December 31 of human-to-human transmission, Vice President Chen Chien-Jen has said.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which rules itself, and has pressured international organizations like WHO around the world not to allow the island membership.

On Friday, China’s foreign ministry said the US comments were “fact-distorting” and politically motivated to shift blame for the pandemic, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

WHO denies that it ever got an early warning from Taiwan about human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

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Coronavirus in the UK: Latest COVID-19 news and case counts

The country has reported 60,733 cases and health boards have recorded 7,097 deaths.

In the United Kingdom the number of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has reached 60,733 since the virus was first detected in the country in Feb. 2020. According to data from geographic information system ArcGIS, there have been 7,097 reported deaths with the virus (April 8) — the main symptoms of which are a fever, tiredness and persistent dry cough. This figure includes deaths in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A majority of confirmed cases and related deaths are located in England. Each day across the UK there are 5,491 new cases and 938 deaths (April 8).

[Live Science is tracking case counts and relevant news from each region of the U.K. Find your region in the list below]

– Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas’, a National Health Service hospital, after persistent symptoms of COVID-19. On Thursday (April 9), the BBC reported that the prime minister is conscious and in a “stable condition”, but still in an intensive care unit. Johnson tested positive with COVID-19 on March 27 after experiencing mild symptoms.

– In a daily briefing on April 2, health secretary Matt Hancock announced the government’s goal to raise testing for COVID-19 across the country to 100,000 per day by the end of April. This goal will include an increase in swab testing for critical workers and seriously ill patients to 25,000 a day in England by mid to late April, with aligned testing strategies planned across other devolved health authorities.

– On March 23, the UK government announced tighter restrictions on the population’s movement, with only essential travel and one piece of exercise per day permitted. This was in addition to restrictions on businesses, with restaurants, pubs and cafes ordered to close. The stay-at-home order remains in place, and according to the government it is under constant review.

– On Sunday (April 5) Queen Elizabeth gave a rare address to the nation, in which she thanked the efforts of everyone “on the NHS frontline”, as well as care workers and other essential roles. This is only the fourth time in her 68-year reign that she has made a special address, and it was watched by over 24 million people, according to the BBC.

On March 23, the entire nation was placed into stay-at-home lockdown after a public address from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has since written a letter to every household in the UK. “In just a few short weeks, everyday life in this country has changed dramatically,” Johnson wrote. “If too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to cope. This will cost lives.”

The restrictions in place in the UK allow for citizens to leave their homes in only certain circumstances:

– Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible

– One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;

– Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and

– Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Though these measures from the Westminster government affect all countries within the United Kingdom, devolved governments in Wales and Scotland and the Northern Ireland Executive also maintain a level of control over specific countermeasures and advice given to the public and businesses.

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‘Hold on to hope’: AIIMS experts give tips to beat depression and anxiety in Covid-19 lockdown

The health ministry has released expert advice to fight depression and anxiety as the country passes through the 17th day of the 21-day-long national lockdown amid indications that it may be extended further.

Top doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have identified exercises including Yoga and forced distractions among the ways to keep one physically and mentally fit during these testing times.

The medical experts say that with the television showing us an increasing number of coronavirus cases, combined with the compulsion to stay indoors for a long period of time, instill us with the fear that something could happen to us and this can naturally lead to stress and anxiety.

To deal with this situation, they advise that one breaks the daily routine by watching “other entertainment” and or by playing games and reading books.

Here are is the complete list of tips given by Dr Randeep Guleria, director AIIMS and Dr Kaushik Sinha Deb, associate professor of psychiatry, AIIMS.

1. Identify the symptoms of stress- The bodily symptoms include either restlessness or increased sweating, dry mouth, difficulty in breathing or palpitation.

2. The mental symptoms of stress include excessive worry, inability to concentrate, inability to focus on one thing.

3. We need to train our minds to do other things so that we can manage better and it includes things that are of “positive coping”.

4. If you are watching TV, then watch other entertainment, talk to your near and dear ones, play games, read books.

5. Home exercises will help greatly in dealing with stress, even meditative exercise in the form of Yoga.

6. It is essential to maintain sleep hygiene because most of the days are spent at home.

7. Identify depression- Depression is different from anxiety, it is characterized by the sadness of mood and a feeling of worthlessness.

8. Hold on to hope that comes from looking at your near and dear ones and by doing certain basic things, for example, exercising, forcibly doing household chores, forcibly talking to others, forcibly distracting yourself through available means.

9. In depression and in anxiety when things are severe, don’t go for substance use as a method of coping and don’t self-medicate.

10. Finally, in emergency seek proper medical advice.

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Children’s story book released to help children and young people cope with COVID-19

A new story book that aims to help children understand and come to terms with COVID-19 has been produced by a collaboration of more than 50 organizations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children.

With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!” explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality.

The book – aimed primarily at children aged 6-11 years old – is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings.

During the early stages of the project, more than 1700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world shared how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. The input was invaluable to script writer and illustrator Helen Patuck and the project team in making sure that the story and its messages resonated with children from different backgrounds and continents.

In order to reach as many children as possible, the book will be widely translated, with six language versions released today and more than 30 others in the pipeline. It is being released as both an online product and audio book.


Spring cleaning, coronavirus-style: Areas in your home you shouldn’t ignore

Come spring, it’s usually time to do a deep cleaning on the inside and outside of your home.
While this normally calls for dusting behind appliances, like the washer and dryer, and the tops of door frames and baseboards, this year spring cleaning will look a bit different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although being stuck indoors may feel frustrating, cleaning experts say organizing your space can make you feel a bit better and more productive during such chaotic times.
“When we organize and clean, we are moving and being physical,” said Dennise Conforti, president of the Professional Organizers in Canada.
“Any type of physical exercise is known to help reduce stress, which helps improve your mental health. When you feel organized and in a clean space, it can help you feel more relaxed, refresh your mind and help you gain clarity.”
In the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, Conforti said to focus on cleaning high-traffic areas in the house.
While many can practise self-isolation, other people who work in essential businesses — like health-care workers, pharmacists and grocery clerks — have to go outside and interact with the public.
This leads to the risk of those people bringing the virus into the home and possibly spreading it when they touch different surfaces, health experts previously told Global News.
Conforti said areas like the entryway of your home “where you and your family come and go from each day” should be frequently cleaned.
“Doorknobs both inside the home as well as outside the home,” she said.
“Also, think of items you are taking out of the house each day and returning home with, like perhaps your purse, backpack or lunch bag.”
Conforti said those items should be cleaned each day, as should areas in the home where you keep them.
Toronto-based productivity coach and entrepreneur Clare Kumar said other places to prioritize while spring cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic include the kitchen and bathroom.
“We’re going to be cleaning perhaps a little bit more often — especially in the kitchen because we’re going to be bringing groceries in,” Kumar said.
Kumar added that you should avoid placing items like grocery bags or purses on the kitchen table or counters, where food is prepared and eaten off of.
In addition to the areas that you should focus on cleaning thoroughly, Kumar said to also clean and organize the space that is bugging you the most — like a home office or spare room that’s become a dumping ground.
Now is the best time to tackle the things you’ve been putting off, she said, since your usual responsibilities may be on hold.
“There’s probably some area in your home that’s continuing to have a conversation with you every time you walk by it,” Kumar said.
“It’s saying, ‘Hey you, you were going to give me some attention but you didn’t. Why haven’t you got to me yet?’ I want you to quiet some of those conversations.”
Where to keep the things you want to get rid of
While cleaning experts encourage you to organize your home this spring, you may be wondering what to do with the stuff you want to give away, since most non-essential businesses are closed, which includes thrift stores and donation centres.
Conforti said to box these items up, label them as “donations” and identify the place you wish to take them once stores reopen.
“This way, when you can take them, there will be no need to open [the boxes] up to see what is in them,” Conforti said.
You can then store and stack the boxes in a place where they will be out of sight, like the basement, storage room, garage or even your car.
If you’re someone who has relied on a house cleaner to tidy up your home, experts recommend holding off on having them come into your space right now.
“If you had a house cleaner before, you are most likely to have them return after this outbreak is over,” Conforti said.
Then, at that point, your house cleaner can do a deep cleaning.
Although it may seem unbearable to wait for that undetermined amount of time, cleaning experts agree that the best option right now is for you to organize your home.
“You want to use this opportunity to hone your own skills,” Kumar said.
“If you’re capable of cleaning, then I think it’s one of those things that you want to be taking on yourself and integrating into your rituals for the day as a care and an act of love for yourself and your [family].”
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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Parenting in the time of COVID-19

To help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement, these six one-page tips for parents cover planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19. Use them to your and your kids’ advantage, and have fun in doing so.

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