photo credit: W.A.Weeks

Islington 2000 is a luxury condominium complex in the Toronto west borough of Etobicoke, within easy distance of shopping, parks, highways,public transport and Pearson airport.  With only 6 suites on each floor, the dimensions are unusually spacious and the hallways are quiet. Almost 10 acres of beautifully designed grounds surround one the most sought-after housing complexes in the city. Welcome home.

Wearing a mask

Many people are choosing to wear a mask in public to prevent their mouth and nose droplets from reaching other people or shared surfaces. Here’s advice from Sunnybrook Hospital for all mask wearers.

It’s important to wear your mask properly. Wearing it incorrectly can actually put you at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 or other infections.

Follow these steps to make sure you wear it right:

Clean your hands

Be sure to clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub before you touch your mask to put it on, and again after you have put it on.

Cover your mouth and nose

Use the ear loops or ties to put on the mask. Make sure the mask covers both your mouth and nose. If you are using a medical mask, press down on the wire part so it molds to the bridge of your nose.

Leave it be

Once you have your mask on, do not touch it. Leave it be.

Remove it carefully

When it’s time to remove the mask, clean your hands again before you touch it. Remove it from the ear loops or ties. Do not touch the front of the mask.

Store it safely

If you remove your mask to eat or drink, or because you are at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others, you should place it carefully on a clean surface or in a clean container (e.g., Tupperware) with the part that was on your mouth and nose facing up. If you use a container, be sure to clean it regularly. Remember to always clean your hands before and after touching your mask.

Put it in the garbage

Once you are finished with your mask, put it in the garbage. If you are using a cloth mask, promptly put the mask in the washing machine. It should be washed after each day it is worn.

Some mask dos:

  • Always, always, always clean your hands before and after touching your mask (e.g., before and after putting it on, and before and after taking it off)
  • Wear your mask firmly over your nose and mouth.
  • Replace your mask if it gets wet, damaged or soiled (for example you touch it with dirty hands).
  • Store your mask in a clean location between uses.
  • Put your mask in the garbage when you are done with it.

Some mask don’ts:

  • Don’t touch or fiddle with your mask once it’s on.
  • Do not wear your mask on your chin, head or hanging off your ear.
  • Do not wear a wet, damaged or soiled mask.
  • Do not put your mask in your pocket or purse then wear it again.
  • Don’t toss your used mask on the ground. If you do, someone else has to pick it up and could get contaminated.

Connecting with each other on Zoom

In this time of necessary isolation we are all wondering if it’s possible to carry on the kind of rewarding social lives we had before COVID-19. Yes, we should pick up the phone and call a friend, or have a go at the face time app on our tablets, but many are suddenly being introduced to Zoom, an application that makes it quite easy to gather a number of people together (virtually). Zoom allows for one person to invite multiple friends to all meet at a certain time. Typically the invitation is by email or text (not on social media for security reasons).

So many people are trying Zoom in the days of COVID-19 that the company has had to deal with change in a faster pace than it expected (as have we all). This is from the Eric S. Yuan at Zoom headquarters:

Usage of Zoom has ballooned overnight – far surpassing what we expected when we first announced our desire to help in late February. This includes over 90,000 schools across 20 countries that have taken us up on our offer to help children continue their education remotely. To put this growth in context, as of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million. In March this year, we reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid. We have been working around the clock to ensure that all of our users – new and old, large and small – can stay in touch and operational.

Every suite in the building has unlimited high-speed internet now. This is an open challenge to residents of Islington 2000: If you have tried Zoom with family or friends, make an effort to learn how to set up a zoom invitation. Once we have a critical mass of zoomers we can use it to bring together some of the groups that used to meet at our Recreation Centre.

Crafters, share your work. Book readers, talk about what you’re reading. Lunch bunch, bring a sandwich. Bistro patrons, pour a coffee (or a quarantini) and share a good joke. Each one teach one! Stay home everyone! Stay well!

Under quarantine? Self-isolating?

Social distancing and hand-washing are the most important actions you can take to prevent the spread of the corona virus. But it can be hard to cope with the sudden limitations on our daily life.  How are you doing?
Here is some general advice for managing your anxiety as you continue to do the right things for your health and for the health of our whole community.