With Ontario declaring a third State of Emergency, effective April 8, we are all being asked, once again, to stay home and leave only for essential purposes. Now, more than ever, it is important that we all do our part and stay home.
This lockdown was put in place because of significantly rising rates of infection – the worst our province has seen so far. Our hospitals are overwhelmed, and some surgeries and procedures are being cancelled. This impacts all of us who may require healthcare.
Because of this, the province has implemented a stay-at-home order. You should only go out for necessities, such as:
- the grocery store or pharmacy
- health care services (including going to medical appointments or getting vaccinated)
- outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community
- work that cannot be done remotely
Many seniors have asked SPLC staff if it is ok to go outside for a walk. Yes, it is! We encourage it because it is good for our mental and physical health. Remember to always keep physical distance from others not in your household and always have a mask in case you can not keep your distance.
Scarborough has been especially affected by COVID-19. Most neighbourhoods are considered hotspots because of high rates of infection. This has been a constant trend throughout the pandemic and it is well known that racialized and lower-income communities in Toronto have been most impacted by COVID-19.
SPLC acknowledges and thanks our community health partners who are working so hard right now to bring vaccinations to these at-risk communities and advocate for vaccines on their behalf.
With so many seniors having been vaccinated, the people being most affected right now are essential workers. They need to work for income, and we need them to keep our essential services, such as grocery stores, running.
SPLC also acknowledges and thanks our own direct service staff who continue to deliver essential in-person care and support to seniors to help them stay well, and to support their caregivers.
While most seniors – and those of us who work with seniors – have received their first dose of the vaccine, it’s still important that we, too, stay at home. We are not fully vaccinated until we get the second shot, which is planned for four months after the first dose.
The vaccine will help protect us from severe illness, but we can still get COVID-19 and pass it onto others. Because of this, we must continue to stay home and take precautions like handwashing, wearing a mask and keeping distance between people.
Our community needs our support now, more than ever.
If we all do our part now while vaccines are being rapidly distributed, we are hopeful that this will be the last time that we are called on to stay home.
As we start the New Year in lockdown in a provincial State of Emergency, Senior Persons Living Connected (SPLC) recognizes this is a challenging time for all. We greatly appreciate the efforts each person in our community is taking to keep us all safe and well.
Currently, we know that many neighbourhoods in Scarborough are reporting high increases in new cases of COVID-19. The pandemic continues to disproportionately affect persons of colour and those living in lower income neighbourhoods in Scarborough.
Across the province, the rate of COVID-19 has been rapidly increasing and our hospital systems are being threatened. Our hospitals are close to being overwhelmed, and this impacts all of us who may require healthcare.
Now, more than ever, it is critical that we follow Public Health guidelines.
Public Health officials remind us that the best way to stay safe is to:
Stay home as often as we can
Keep our distance/stay apart from others who are not in our household
Wash our hands
Wear a mask when we are out of home
“The one thing COVID-19 really can’t endure is distance,” – Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
In a recent press conference, Premier Ford noted common stories of people not wearing their masks, meeting friends and unknowingly becoming infected. Later, those people might sit down for dinner with parents or grandparents – and the virus spreads unknowingly.
Stories like this remind us all that even the people we know, including our family members, can become infected. None of us is immune to COVID-19.
But there is hope.
There is hope on the way in terms of vaccines. However, it will take time. Currently, vaccines are being prioritized for those in long-term care homes and healthcare workers – the need in those areas is tremendous.
That means, we must all do our part right now to continue protecting ourselves and one another.
Senior Persons Living Connected is here for you.
While this lockdown continues, SPLC is offering safe in-home help with personal care and essential needs, and food and hot meals delivery. Some seniors are experiencing new challenges during this long period of isolation. If this is true for someone you care about, we can help with remote friendly check-ins and assessments, and a wide range of support services.
It’s now more important than ever to stay social and active. Join our online and telephone programs for fun and interesting activities! You can find out what’s on for January on our events page.
If you aren’t comfortable using your computer devices or Zoom, let us help. Through our Seniors Active Living Centre, SPLC has been offering many different programs in various languages to help people get comfortable with technology. You can find information about these sessions on our Programs and Services page.
If you need help with connecting to these programs or finding the right one for you, call us at 416-493-3333. Please also read our updated Program and Services page to see what programs are currently available.