Good afternoon, what a lovely sunny day to stay the blazes home, right?
Life continues as the COVID-19 crisis enters into its fourth week in Halifax and Nova Scotia. This is going to be my most video heavy edition of the update, and we will see how that goes.
Today Premier McNeil announced that applications for provincial support for small business should be up on http://novascotia.ca by Friday April 10. Dr Strang announced suggested restrictions at long term care facilities have now been made into orders.
I’ve been fielding a lot of emails and social media about parks. I know it is inconvenient that some parks contain paths that people use every day to get around, but all parks are closed by provincial order.
Staff and police have been taping off playgrounds and park entrances the last while to remind folks to stay out of all parks.
Today I was talking to a friend who works in public health and I was really struck by how we all view this situation based on our point of view. To most of us, we have changed our behaviour tremendously, and in some cases made great sacrifices. But the public health emergency remains, and Dr Strang and the public heath folks are trying to save lives, which is why they see some non-compliance and beg us to “stop looking for loopholes.”
This sets an unfortunate dynamic, almost like the work and commitment so many have put in to date is not being acknowledged – it feels bad at times! I understand though, and really, I agree with Dr Strang, if we are going to beat this thing we have to double down and do even more.
Two things that happened this weekend in particular are of note:
Hanging out in parking lots while 6 feet apart is not physical (social) distancing. “If you’re going to practice intense social distancing, it really means avoiding or limiting contact with people outside of your family, and really staying home most of the time, unless you really need to go out, but any prolonged kind of engagement outside is really still not social distancing, having that prolonged contact with people that[sic] are not in your family.”
Arranging play dates not ok, nor is setting up small temporary home schools. “Allowing kids to have playdates and get-togethers can potentially continue the chain of viral spread into the community”
I know with things like holy week and Easter weekend coming up for many it feels odd to stay home, but most churches have a plan for that.
There is good news – we have not seen a massive spike in infections, yet. Increased testing has been brought on-line (again!) bringing a night shift to the QE2. We have slowed the spread but we must not grow complacent. We’ve got a way to go yet!
The Premier’s message to “stay the blazes home” has caught on, that is for sure, you can see some of the shirts, videos, memes and other great stuff created since that press conference here. My favourite however is this one by ke ke beatz.
I know a lot of people have asked if Halifax will close streets for pedestrians “like Calgary did.” A little research shows that Calgary did not close streets in neighbourhoods where driveways and businesses would be impacted and where interaction between people in the street and motorists was likely to occur. Being a more suburban type of city they had more options that fit that criteria than we do. This may come in time, but as Calgary and Alberta are 2-3 weeks farther down the COVID-19 path we need a bit more time to figure it out here.
There has been a lot of debate about wearing a mask. A friend posted this video which I think is very useful, in terms of what type to wear, and when, and how to put them on and remove them.
If you can stomach a rather graphic example of why you must not flush so-called flushable wipes into the sewer, here it is. The summary is “do you want your basement to flood at this time?”
Leave aside the COVID-19 concerns, do you ever want a basement flood?
***Gnarly video warning***
If all things septic make you queasy, than this video is… well, everyone should hear this message.
— Alexa MacLean (@AlexaMacLean902) April 4, 2020
If you’re aware of a business/organization not following social distancing protocols:
- Check whether they are exempt in the Health Protection Act Order
- Have a conversation with the manager
- If unsuccessful, call the non-emergency police line
For more info http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
I also wanted to share this great article about how many at the Halifax Public Library system are working harder than ever to support our community during this locked in time.
I’m going to close with the video from Her Majesty the Queen. Both my grandmothers were British war brides, so when the Queen says “we will meet again” I remember hearing my Nanny singing along to Vera Lynn, and I found it very touching. We’ve face hard times before and triumphed, and we will again.