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It’s OK not to feel OK: Be mindful of mental health amid COVID-19 crisis

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Practice physical distancing not social distancing

TORONTO, ON., March 30, 2020 – Although the term social distancing has been used widely by governmental officials and most people on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, the phrase has been rethought as it isn’t literally what citizens are being asked to do. It is super important to remain social and in touch with friends and loved ones during this crisis that has millions of people isolated at home outside of essential trips for groceries, medical suppies and and perhaps dog exercising.

Now the term for keep a minimum of six feet (2 metres) from another person is more appropriately being referred to as ‘physical distancing.’ And while we must physical distance from each other, the process can weigh heavy on many people. This is why public health officials stress the importance of keeping in touch with friends and loved ones to help avoid

Last week, Mayor John Tory, Medical Office of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management, Matthew Pegg, stressed the importance of mental health and addressed the anxiety many people are experiencing in response to the public health and social impacts of COVID-19. These are normal and healthy responses and feelings to an abnormal situation. It’s OK not to feel OK.

Whether in self-isolation or practising physical distancing, it is important to connect with friends and family over the phone or online and try to eat well and stay rested. Everyone is encouraged to check in by phone or other means that maintain physical distancing on family, friends, and colleagues who may be struggling. 

For crisis support reach out to Crisis Services Canada or Toronto Public Health

Individuals looking for additional crisis supports should reach out to Crisis Services Canada or Toronto Public Health. Crisis Services Canada is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at crisisservicescanada.ca, by phone at 1-833-456-4566 or by text message at 45645. In an emergency, always call 911. 

Toronto and Ontario COVID-19 status

As of yesterday at 1 pm Toronto Public Health has had 540 cases of COVID-19 reported in Toronto, up from 512 cases on Saturday. And as of today, Ontario has hugely jumped from yesterday’s record number of 211 cases to today’s record high of 351 cases, bringing Ontario’s total to 1706 cases of COVID-19 including deaths and recoveries.

Currently, 39 of the Toronto cases are hospitalized and there are 18 in ICU. Among cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, there have been four deaths to-date. There have been 24 other people diagnosed with COVID-19 who have recovered from their illness. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 1 p.m. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times. 

Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 61.4% of these cases according to Public Health Ontario.

More information on COVID-19 crisis and mental health supports are listed on the City of Toronto website at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-health-advice.

story by Terry Lankstead

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