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Last updated: May 8, 2020 @ 6:00 PM EDT
Read answers to our clients’ more frequently asked questions, below, then join us on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM, for a live online chat. Click here to register for the webinar chat to hear members of our Mental Health and Settlement Teams answer participants’ questions and have a chance to get YOUR questions answered too!
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How can I stay positive in these unprecedented times?
We are currently living in an uncertain period where the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has impacted the livelihoods of millions across the planet. Aside from the financial shock, people have been affected psychologically as a result of lockdowns and social/physical distancing measures.
Questions like “When will this end?”, “Are my kids going back to school this year?”, “How will I ever get a job?” and “Will my life ever return to the way it was?” are quite common.
Nobody knows when we will go back to a “new normal” like many people are calling the future. Here are some tips that may help people deal with the uncertainty.
Try to concentrate on the present. We live in a culture focused on the future – planning ahead is key in almost everything we do. We like to have a guarantee, some level of security – how amazing and what a relief it would be if we could predict the future. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s best to focus on the present: ‘live the now’ with acceptance, awareness and self-responsibility.
As cliché as it may sound, ask yourself if the glass is half empty or half full. Look at it this way: the glass is full – half full of water and half full of air. It is important to recognize what you pour into the glass – is the water clean or is it murky with polluted elements? It takes only one drop of polluted liquid to dirty the water, just as it takes only one negative thought to spread into destructive thinking. But if you fill the glass with positivity, it can overflow and give you lots of energy to fix or deal with what is wrong. Focus on the positive to ignite your creativity and lift your spirit!
I wonder if I will be able to achieve my future goals.
The priority at this time is to do what is in your hands to overcome this situation. Take one step at a time and take care of yourself and your family. So, what would be a realistic goal at this time? Here are some examples:
Improve your skills. There are free online courses you can take to enrich your language competences, develop your computer skills, or boost your career. Some of the most recognized universities in the world are offering free e-courses in almost every discipline.
Nobody knows what the future holds, so don’t waste your energy on thinking about it. Instead, spend your time wisely and put your priorities in order. You need all the positive energy you can muster to reflect and focus on important changes that you and your loved ones can benefit from.
How do we manage the lack of privacy while living in confined spaces?
We all need our “me-time” – time and space to be alone for self-preservation. We need to find some inner peace, stay relaxed, and learn how to recharge. Sometimes the bathroom is the only place we have for ourselves! If that’s the case, make it work for you – use the bathroom to take a 15-minute “time out” for yourself. Going for walks, writing in a journal, meditating, and exercising are other activities you can do that will boost your energy levels.
It is important to feel safe on the inside just as much as on the outside. You want to achieve mind-body harmony. It is important to be aware of your thoughts and emotions, so that you can connect positively with your inner self and surrounding environment. This will help you interact more harmoniously with others and help you be more emotionally in control.
If you are struggling at any point in being at ease with the emotional and psychological repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis and lockdowns, you can access a safe and private space to express emotions, thoughts, and problems via a counselling session with us.
Please contact MNLCT – call 647-776-2057 (Keele) or 416-291-3248 (Victoria Park); or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I deal with the fear of losing a family member due to the COVID-19 virus?
While we are alive, it is in our hands to do everything good to demonstrate our love and compassion to family members. Death can be difficult and painful, but it is the nature of our existence. Being aware of the reality of life and death can help us realize that every moment is an opportunity to enjoy and value each other. During these COVID-19 times, it is fundamental that we take care of ourselves by being responsible and using good judgement in the face of this life challenge.
If you would like to talk with someone about your concerns, please contact MNLCT – call 647-776-2057 (Keele) or 416-291-3248 (Victoria Park); or email: email@example.com.
How can conflicts among couples be managed during lockdowns?
It is amazing how much love can be shared between two people, but many times it does not last – life happens. How could we make the relationship work when there is a conflict?
To find a way, generosity, negotiation, compromise, communication, patience, respect… so many virtues are needed to go from “my way” and “your way” to “our way”.
Remember that you are on the same team. Set rules like no name-calling, no interrupting, and respecting each others’ points of view. If you feel any tension, stop the conversation to avoid any escalation. Resume the conversation when you are both calm. Be honest and listen intently. There is always something to learn from the situation – and your partner as well.
Is my landlord allowed to ask tenants about their health status?
Landlords can ask this question at any time, however, if you don’t feel comfortable providing them with this information, please know that you have the legal right to tell your landlord that you prefer to keep your health status private. Since landlords have a responsibility to create a safe space for tenants, during COVID-19 they could ask if tenants have been diagnosed, have symptoms, may have been in contact with an infected individual, or have recently returned from travel. If you choose not to answer these questions, your landlord will still have the responsibility to provide a safe environment for all tenants.
I don’t have a family doctor, where can I find a walk-in clinic?
Since most in-person visits to a doctor’s office have been suspended until further notice, you can now get a virtual appointment either by phone or video conference with a licensed doctor from the comfort of your home.
Cover Health is a convenient at-home digital access to healthcare that is free for all those living in Ontario. OHIP covers your visit; but if you don’t have one, the Ontario Ministry of Health has announced that physician services are now to be covered for all patients in the province. This includes those who are not currently insured under OHIP or another provincial plan. All you need is your address and phone number and they’ll take care of the rest.
Based on availability, you could get a virtual appointment within 24 hours by visiting cover.health; if you look online, you will find other similar clinics.
To find out more about how virtual care works in the province, visit Ontario Telemedicine Network (www.otn.ca).
For additional information on accessing healthcare services during COVID-19, please click on the following link:
Now that Service Canada offices are closed, can I apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) online?
Yes, you can apply online by going to the link below. Make sure that you select the type of application you want to apply for (Initial/New, Correction, Name Change, etc.). Once you have filled out the application – which asks for basic personal information – you will get a confirmation of submission. You will get your SIN approximately 3 to 4 weeks after applying. Applying online is easy, but please let us know if you need support; we are always happy to help you navigate the system.