7 ways Canadians are preparing for H1N1
As the country braces for the coming flu season and fears of the H1N1 virus loom large, some Canadians are taking precautions that go beyond hand sanitizers and sleeve-sneezing
Source: Web exclusive: October 2009
So far, the H1N1 virus has caused only mild illness in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. However, the agency is also warning citizens to be prepared for a more serious form of the virus once the cold-weather flu season hits. Here’s a round-up of the measures some Canadians are taking to prevent the spread of H1N1.
Canadian Catholics can expect to see some major changes in their places of worship as a result of H1N1 preparedness plans.
‘ Edmonton’s parishioners won’t be dipping their hands in holy water for a while’the city’s archdiocese has advised pastors to drain the fonts as one of their flu-prevention measures.
‘ The Archdiocese of Winnipeg announced that the sign of peace, traditionally exchanged by shaking hands during Mass, would be replaced by a nod of the head.
‘ In Vancouver, the archdiocese has advised that the practice of taking Holy Communion from the communal chalice will be discontinued for the time being.
If just one star athlete comes down with the flu, the whole team could be at risk’not to mention the season’s stats. That means some long-standing athletic traditions are going to change.
‘ Players in Edmonton’s Minor Soccer Association won’t be shaking hands anymore. To reduce the risk of spreading H1N1, kids are encouraged to cheer and clap for the opposing team at the end of each game instead.
‘ In light of the H1N1 virus threat, Canadian Olympic Committee chief medical officer Dr. Bob McCormack is advising Canadian athletes to avoid exchanging that Continental double-cheek kiss to greet foreign competitors at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, reports The Vancouver Sun. Instead, McCormack recommends exchanging a shoulder tap or simply not making physical contact at all.
Young adults are a high-risk group when it comes to catching and spreading H1N1: According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control, people aged 5 to 24 have the highest rate of infection. To that end, Canadian universities are taking extra precautions to protect their students.
‘ Dalhousie University in Halifax has posted notices on campus to advise students on how to avoid spreading the flu. One of the tips: stay away from crowded social situations and avoid hugging and kissing people. That may prove challenging for the concert-going, snog-happy undergrad set.
‘ As part of its H1N1 preparations, McGill University in Montreal plans to deliver room service to students living in residence who become ill during an outbreak, reports the McGill Tribune. Residences have also prepared special menus that will cater to students with small appetites due to the virus.
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