Last Wednesday JoAnne Patterson, Supervisor Occupational Health and Safety and I along with other leaders in the community met with our local Medical Officers of Health, Dr. Chris Mackie and Dr. Alexander Summers. We were briefed with respect to COVID-19.
At present there are no cases of COVID-19 in Middlesex-London and the risk to people in the area remains low. We were reminded that adopting a calm pragmatic approach, avoiding emotional overreactions, will serve us well as we work collaboratively as a community to address COVID-19.
Dr. Summers shared a rather interesting finding. At the end of January/first week of February London Middlesex experienced its highest rate of influenza. It was at this time that the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was identified in London. The rate of influenza was expected to rise or stay stable in the subsequent weeks. That did not occur. What did happen was a dramatic and sustained decrease in reported influenza in the region. The credit for this decline goes to all of us for being far more rigorous in following the recommended routine precautions. These precautions include:
- Stay home if you are ill
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your sleeve; or cough into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the garbage
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces frequently
This remains solid advice for all of us to follow.
Both Medical Officers of Health reinforced the importance of accessing and communicating correct information when it comes to COVID-19. We were reminded again, that locally the MLHU website is our best source of information.
As we enter our second week of Lent, I came across the following in Sacred Space upon which to reflect.
“Be who only you are. Rise to what you dream. Do not cease to dream. Do not despair even though pain comes hand in hand with joy. That is the nature of the gift we were given. It is the most amazing and extraordinary and confusing and complicated gift that ever was. Never take it for granted, not for an instant, not for the seventh of a second. The price for it is your attentiveness and generosity and kindness and mercy. . . If we are our best selves, there will come a world where children do not weep and war is a memory and violence is a joke no one tells, having forgotten the words. You and I know this is possible. It is what He said could happen if we loved well. . . ” Brian Doyle, The Thorny Grace of It