Note: This article was written prior to the Health Canada’s Physical Distancing Guidelines.
Just like SARS and H1N1 did, the coronavirus epidemic is changing our behaviours. Etiquette guidelines at work, in our households and in our community, are rapidly evolving.
Reactions are no longer threats. Falling stock markets, closed-door sporting events and quarantines are real.
Some are feverish about the idea of a planetary panic. A simple sneeze is no longer trivial. The fear that a few tiny droplets could contaminate, is real.
Take control of COVID-19 with calmness, courtesy and above all civility by following these few recommendations to reduce the risk that your work world or your home could become sources of contamination.
Wash, and hands off.
Wash, wash and again wash your hands and don’t touch your face is Dr. Tam’s mantra. When needed spray disinfectants on tech gadgets, switches, handles and shared devices, such as remote controls, tablets and toys.
Cough and blow, according to the protocols.
Cough in your elbow, scarf or even sweater. Encourage your little ones to do it too. Remind them too of “Blow and throw”; blow your nose and throw your tissues, right after. The tiny droplets can live on and contaminate.
Greet properly, while following the 2-meter distancing guidelines
Like Henri IV, who had banned “air kissing” during the plague, Sylvie Briand of the World Health Organization, advises us to choose from these alternatives to greet:
- A mini head bow,
- A greeting with a raised hand, just like Her Majesty,
- A hand on your heart à la Céline Dion,
- Announce your intention with a smile and positive eye contact. ” I’m happy to see you again. In this flu season, I suggest that we avoid making contact and maintain safe distancing.”
Be consistent and do not discriminate.
Treat everyone present the same way without favoritism, especially at work. One greeting for all and greet all in the same manner.
Aboard public transit, maintain the distancing and civility guidelines.
Let people out before entering, put your bag in front of you, wear your gloves and mittens to hold the poles.
Do you have questions or concerns about COVID-19? Visit the Health Canada’s website.