Updated – April 3, 2020 at 11:30 am
Looking after each other during COVID-19 is important. Not only does this mean staying home and practising physical distancing as much as possible, it also means being neighbourly.
While most people who become ill with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, older adults and people with existing medical conditions (like heart disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes or cancer) and compromised immune systems can face more severe illnesses.
Even if they don’t become sick, the COVID-19 pandemic can also have a devastating effect on:
- Individuals with low income or unstable jobs
- People who find it hard to read, understand or communicate
- Those who are isolated socially or geographically
- People who live in poor housing conditions or are homeless
- Individuals who do not have transportation
For these groups, the need to self-isolate or maintain physical distance due to COVID-19 can be stressful. They may: live alone, have no nearby family support; have no paid sick leave; be unable to go out because they have young children at home; lack Internet access to get current information; or do not have enough money to stock up on supplies and pay for transportation to get around.
What You Can Do
You can be a good neighbour, even during this time of physical distancing. Consider how you can help others in your community – being sure to protect your health as well:
- Donate to your local food bank. Currently, there is increased demand as more people must stay home from work and may not get paid.
- Call your neighbour who lives alone and provide a friendly voice of reassurance and support.
- Offer to pick up groceries and other supplies for a neighbour in need. Practise physical distancing by leaving items on their porch or by the front door where your neighbour can easily retrieve it.
Fact Sheet: Take Care of Yourself and Each Other – Public Health Ontario