COVID-19: What you need to know for March 16, 2020

Consider the source

Rounding up the latest news, closures, health updates, and busting myths around COVID-19.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has very clearly laid out some guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We’ve all been bombarded with calls for social distancing, practising good hand hygiene, and taking care of our co-living spaces.

On top of those guidelines, one of the best available methods to do your part to limit the spread of the virus, is to consider the source of where you draw information.

While uncle Skeeter might have a heart of gold, if he spends most of his online time sharing poorly made memes linking Justin Trudeau to ISIS and tweeting “your so pretty” at porn stars, chances are he’s not going to be an authority on how to effectively combat an actual pandemic.

Heed the advice from the experts, it’s our best shot at flattening the curve. Public health officials, epidemiologists, and doctors are getting the right messaging out there. Find it, follow it, and share it with the people you love.

A major announcement from the government of Canada is coming Monday at 1 p.m. If the direction many European and Asian countries have taken is any indication, the announcement could detail a more widespread lock down for Canadians.

The Good

Flattening the curve… visualized

The Washington Post has put together a very helpful and informative piece with visuals on how the virus spreads, and how we can do our part to limit it. The amount of articles containing the same information can be overwhelming, but this is an excellently package piece of content that you can absorb in just a few minutes.

Ford government reversing course

The Ford government appears ready to rollback its measures that cut paid sick days for residents of Ontario.

Retail giants are shutting down

The likelihood of Canadian cities moving to only keep grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essentials services open seems imminent. Over the weekend, retail giants Apple and Nike announced the closure of their North American stores in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Clothing retailer Aritzia followed suit on Sunday.

The Bad

Take note of South Korea’s ‘Patient 31’

For further evidence to the importance of social distancing in our efforts to beat down the virus, check out the case of South Korea’s so-called “Patient 31.” The country currently stands as a solid case study into the effectiveness of these measures. Read how one “super spreader” was a major factor in the country’s rapid rise in cases.

“Before patient 31, our strategies to contain the virus were working,” said said Hwang Seung-sik, an epidemiologist at Seoul National University. “But after countless people were infected by patient 31, it became very difficult to control.”

The Really?!

Now is not the time for this!

If you thought one of your favourite local joints was skirting public health guidelines, be thankful you’re not ordering pies from this Pennsylvania pizza shop.

Image via Christian Raul Hernandez/Wikipedia