When you can’t HUG – K I S S

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by Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan

Doreen O’Sullivan

Keep It Sweet and Simple! Every level of government provides the same basic advice about how to manage during the current COVID 19 pandemic, and that advice always includes; Wash your Hands Often, Avoid Touching your Face, Practice Physical Distancing, Stay Home if you’re sick and Be Kind!

The World Health Organization (WHO), Government of Canada, Ministry of Health of Ontario, Lanark Leeds Grenville Health Unit, and the Municipality of North Grenville all urge you to follow those basics. The experts are making their decisions based on the best available evidence and we are bound to follow rules and guidelines that have been set down.

Our individual and community responses to the pandemic are very dynamic and ebb and flow based on our circumstances at a point in time. Initially, our focus was turned to toilet paper, and that obsession either made you laugh, or caused you to get on the bandwagon and join the crowd of TP shoppers. Similarly, the focus on flour and yeast had a variety of responses from society. Some people are very afraid of the virus and still remain self-isolated and extremely cautious. Some have the idea that government restrictions are over-kill and not necessary. The point is, that it depends where you are at in a particular moment how you react. I’ve heard it said that we are all in this together, and that may be true; but, while we are all in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. Some are cruising through this on a luxury cruise ship; others are managing well on board a fortified battleship; some are in a leaky rowboat; and others are in a very tippy canoe. The supports that are within and around us make a huge difference in how we react and deal with the current situation. I appreciate, acknowledge, and accept that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and response.

I admit that while I am personally ‘in a good place,’ I have experienced episodes of anxiety through this pandemic. Fortunately, they have been short episodes and not often or severe. While I couldn’t pinpoint the cause for them, they were very real. Imagine how someone feels when they experience anxiety or depression on a frequent, or more severe basis. Imagine if their boat is a leaky rowboat or a tippy canoe. Imagine if someone treated them unkindly!

We had a tragic incident in North Grenville last week. Carleton Place also had a similar sad incident the week before, and, early in the pandemic, there was a tragedy in Brockville. We cannot definitively link these to the current pandemic situation, but it is possible that the effects of restrictions may have played a role.

The message I want to convey in this article is to continue to practice the basics, Wash your Hands (visit this link on how and when to do it properly https://youtu. be/YTUFqnP326E). Avoid touching your face (the virus can be transmitted to your mouth and nose through contact with your face). Practice Physical distancing (stay 2 metres away from people who are not in your personal bubble. If you are unable to physical distance, wear a mask). Stay Home if You are Sick (no matter how minor your symptoms are, don’t assume it is just a cold or allergies. Stay home and protect others). BE KIND! (we have no idea what kind of boat people are in, and we don’t know what they are dealing with.) Remember to practice the Golden Rule!

North Grenville, we have done very well at keeping this virus at bay so far. Well done, and thank you all for doing your part. Please continue to be diligent and BE KIND!

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