COVID-19 Special Updates – Physically distancing: How to Stay Connected

Mar 25, 2020 | CV19, Impact Updates, INFO-FLASH News archive

Physically distancing: How to stay connected?

What are “social distancing” and “flattening the curve”? 

“Social distancing” and “flattening the curve” have been in the news.  Social distancing is avoiding physical contact with people who do not live with you as well as public spaces, where surfaces may be infected. “Flattening the curve” is the use of social distancing to slow the spread of the virus so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any given time.  

This explains why Ottawa Public Health is advising  Physical (social) distancing. Here’s a bilingual video about physical distancing from Ottawa Public Health (updated May 5). 

Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation 

Yet, social distancing does not have to mean social isolation for older adults. But don’t take our word for it. Here is a opinion piece from The Globe and Mail, In an era of isolation, it’s essential we maintain social connections with our most vulnerable. They urge all Canadians to make a list of people they are concerned about and plan to stay in touch with them. 

How do you practice social distancing? 

(adapted from Ottawa Public Health, Social Distancing) 

Social distancing means  

  • staying home as much as possible 
  • avoiding non-essential trips in the community 
  • limiting or cancelling group gatherings 
  • connecting with family and friends through technology  
  • spending time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from each other 
  • Posting messages in your window or on your door to let others know you are ok.  
  • If you have family members living in long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other care settings, visiting only as regulations allow and staying in touch by phone 
  • If you are still working, talking to your employer about working from home where possible

Please note that these guidelines are not meant to say “you must stay in your home!” 

You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog. If you need groceries, go to the store. The recommendation is simply that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 6 feet (2 metres) from those around you.

We are in this together

We can all help by keeping in touch by phones and screens with family, friends and neighbours. We can offer to help and ask for help when we need it.
Over the next while, we will be putting out our INFO-FLASH newsletters, like this one, on COVID-19 related topics of interest to seniors.
Stay safe! Even with social distancing, we’re in this together.
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New Links and Resources

January 14, 2021: COVID-19 regional public health measures and restrictions under new state of emergency, Government of Ontario

December 24: What’s allowed and not allowed when Ontario goes into lockdown on Boxing Day CTV

November 2: How close can you get with masks on? CBC

June 12: A Note to All Patio-Goers This Weekend: Please be Patient

May 8: City relaxing restrictions on use of parks, property maintenance services, and community gardens

May 6: Ottawa Public Health encourages wearing masks in public now.

May 6: What is physical distancing? Ottawa Public Health