Waterloo is strong and connected.
If there is one thing we have in common as neighbours in Waterloo, it’s our deep desire to help and support each other. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is creating feelings of uncertainty and fear. In spite of these feelings, many are asking, “How can I help?” or “What can I do?”

Here are some suggestions that focus on our bodies, our brains, our happiness and someone else:

1.   Take care of yourself!
Self-care is incredibly important at a time like this, ensuring that you’re making safe and smart choices is an important responsibility. So for some, doing your part will simply mean taking care of yourself - and that’s okay!

2.   Maintain social connections
Maintaining social connections can be particularly helpful for combating feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

3.   Stay informed
We encourage Waterloo Region residents to stay informed about the facts by checking:
  • How city-level services are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak through our website, Twitter and Facebook accounts. We will post updates about facility closures and program cancellations.
  • Local public health information, on the Region of Waterloo’s website. This web page keeps residents up to date on how many positive cases have been detected locally, and the measures people should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Provincial updates, on the Province of Ontario’s website. The Ontario Ministry of Health has prepared an information sheet on COVID-19 and translated it into 23 other languages including French, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Hindi and Italian. We’ve learned from our colleagues from the Immigration Partnership that the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre has translated the information sheet into two additional languages: Tigrinya and Amharic. This resource shares important information about how you can protect yourself, what the COVID-19 symptoms are and what to do if you are sick after travelling.
  • Federal updates and support programs, on the Government of Canada’s website.
4.   Share resources
  • Reducing waste - if we’re lucky, our pantries, freezers, and fridges are stocked with necessities. Let’s use (cook, eat, share, store) what we have. A few simple ways to cut down on food waste include storing food in the proper place and at the proper temperature, waiting to wash produce until you’re ready to use it (to avoid mold), freezing anything that you don’t expect to use in the near future (if possible) and enjoying leftovers!
  • Support local businesses by buying from them online where possible, or by buying gift cards for others or later use.
  • Give blood - As the novel corona virus continues to spread, there is already a decrease in those eligible (and willing) to donate blood. Hospital needs for blood continue and people with critical illness or trauma still need blood. Canadian Blood Services encourages those who are healthy and have not had contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus to donate.
  • Make a donation - While many of us are busy taking physical distancing precautions and keeping up-to-date with the latest recommendations, not-for-profits around the world continue to deliver services and implement programs. If you have the resources, consider making a donation to your favorite organization or a local family that is struggling. Your contribution will help.
  • Please note several local organizations are not currently accepting donations of clothing or household items.

5.   Be a leader
If you’re in a position of leadership at home, work or in the community, empower and support others around you to make safe and smart choices. Even if you don’t consider yourself or others nearby to be particularly high risk, cancelling meetings, events, social gatherings sends an important message that you are supporting the public good.
 Stay tuned for the next edition of Waterloo Neighbourhoods.
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