During this time of uncertainty, I'm sure you are all worried and afraid. We are all faced with difficult choices and situations, whether it be regarding work, caring for family and friends, or trying to decide which activities are OK to engage in, and which activities should be avoided. Health care providers are learning as we go along, as are our leaders, public health officials, and administrators.
I am writing to appeal especially to my patients and their families, to take the practice of social distancing very seriously. We are lucky in Canada that at present, our COVID-19 cases are relatively low but this could change. There are also likely people in our community who are unknowingly spreading the virus because they feel well and haven't starting showing symptoms yet. If you can stay home, please do. If you have to work, try to work remotely and if you need to go in to work, practice good hygiene measures. I know this is becoming repetitive but it is extremely important to wash hands often, avoid touching your face (eyes, mouth, nose) and sneeze into your sleeve/elbow. If you are sick, isolate yourself without exception.
It will be difficult to practice social distancing for an extended period of time, especially with young children. Think about engaging in activities that are safe but allow children to be physical:
Go for a walk and say hello to others in your community (keeping 1-2 meters apart)
Go hiking, play ball hockey on your street in small numbers, play hide and seek
Rediscover good old fashioned pass-times like playing cards, baking together, playing board games
Engage in family activities that involve tech - make an iMovie with your kids and then laugh as you watch it together
My best advice is to take this risk very seriously, but not to give in to fear and panic. Most will get through this unscathed but we all have to do our part to protect one another, especially our loved ones who are elderly, have chronic diseases, or are otherwise frail or elderly.
Good luck and good health to everyone.