April 8, 2020
The holidays are a special time for families to join together in celebration. For those who are preparing to observe upcoming holidays, the need to protect our loved ones, particularly our older generation, from potential exposure to the virus means we must all do our part to respect and maintain physical distancing measures. This means staying home.
As difficult as this decision is to stay apart, particularly during holidays, it is the best way to protect our loved ones. It is a sacrifice, but one that is necessary.
With that said, there are still wonderful options to connect with loved ones virtually. Whether through programs such as FaceTime, Zoom, or WhatsApp, we can all still come together to celebrate, but with the help of online chat apps, we are able to do so safely, respect social distancing, as well as protect our families and friends.
The Province of Ontario has said that we should not gather in groups of more than 5 people unless:
- There are more than 5 people in your family or 5 roommates that live with you.
- The gathering is for a funeral and then up to 10 people are allowed together.
- It is in a childcare centre for essential front-line workers.
Below, you will find tips and guidance from Ottawa Public Health on how we can all come together safely for the holidays. Other activities like weddings, parties, play dates, and services within places of worship are prohibited and should not take place.
We MUST all practice physical distancing and keep 2 metres (6 feet) away from others when we are out. This is very important so we can stop the spread of COVID-19.
During times of the year when celebrations are happening:
- Do not gather with others in person to celebrate.
- Use technology to connect with others.
- Spend more time with your own family who live with you.
- Create new traditions at home, cook your favourite food together, decorate together, play games together for example.
Being apart from family and friends can be very difficult for all of us. It’s normal for situations like COVID-19 to affect your mental health. Everyone experiences these events in their own way. It is completely normal to feel stress and concern during these times and so it is important to practice positive coping strategies.
Below is a listing of Mental Health Resources available to you.
If you are in crisis, please contact the Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 day a week) at 613-722-6914 or if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-866-996-0991.
If you (or your child) are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, please call 9-1-1.
For more support and help, visit OPH’s mental health webpage.
It is imperative that everyone in Ottawa practice physical distancing and avoid groups to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Visit the Government of Canada’s website for more information.
If you have any questions, please send an email to the Mass Gatherings and Events Taskforce at firstname.lastname@example.org. To report a mass gathering, please contact 3-1-1 for assistance.
As always, visit www.LauraDudas.ca for updates on the Coronavirus.