How to celebrate the holidays while obeying COVID restrictions
Given the changing face of Covid-19 numbers and accompanying guidance, it’s early to be talking about the holiday season which is still about 4 weeks away. That said, what seems to be clear is that like everything since March, our 2020 holiday season will not be business as usual.
What types of things seem to be safer, regardless of the numbers?
- Exchanging gifts or baked goods – as long as everyone practices good hand washing, it is fairly safe to exchange gifts with friends and family or exchange cookies or other holiday favourites.
- Getting together outside – going for a walk, going sledding, skiing or skating outside are safer. It is still possible to catch Covid-19 while outdoors, but it is less likely than if you gather indoors.
What about quarantining so that you can gather with family?
- If everyone truly quarantined for 14 days before getting together over the holidays, it would significantly lower the risk. Quarantining is very difficult to do though because it would mean having no contact with anyone outside your home for 14 days (no going to school or work, no going shopping, etc). If you are able to meet the high bar of a 14-day quarantine, it would lower the risk of getting together over the holidays.
Nothing in this newsletter should be considered medical advice. As we have been saying since the early days of the pandemic, it’s important to get your information from the most reliable sources:
- Ottawa Public Health: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/novel-coronavirus.aspx
- Government of Ontario: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/index.html
- Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Winter is Coming
Snow clearing guidelines
The snow is here! Here is the guidance from the City of Ottawa regarding clearing snow from your own property:
- Do not push snow and ice on the street, sidewalk or park.
- Keep fire hydrants free of snow.
- Use wood, plastic or fibreglass driveway markers, which should be no larger than a hockey stick.
- Open catch basins or drains in front of your property when the weather becomes mild.
- Catch basins are identified by a yellow “T” bar painted on the roadway.
A snow windrow is a pile of snow that accumulates at the end of driveways and on the sides of streets during plowing. It is the responsibility of the home owner to remove their own driveway windrows.
What if snow clearing service standards aren’t being met?
If your sidewalk has not been cleared 48 hours after the end of a snowfall, please call 3-1-1. The City does not clear snow from driveways or private sidewalks leading to a residence.
Tips for Winter Driving
The Canada Safety Council has 9 steps to drive safer in winter conditions. You can read the whole article here: https://canadasafetycouncil.org/winter-driving-tips/
Our top 3 from the list of 9 tips:
- Drive smoothly and slowly
- Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.
- Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice covered roads.
- Don’t tailgate
- Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
- Pay attention.
- Manoeuvres are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.
Ski Heritage East
This year’s winter sports season is approaching quickly. Don’t forget that the Ski Heritage East trail welcomes skiing, walking, fat biking and more. There are zones on the trail for various types of activities.
Brigil hosted a launch event in February 2020 and produced a video about the trail. Check that out here: https://www.skiheritageeast.ca/wpshe/2020/11/02/brigil-launch-video/
You can find out about trail conditions, upcoming events, and even donate to the fund to help keep the trail going at the Ski Heritage East website: https://www.skiheritageeast.ca/wpshe/
Holiday gifts for our community
During this uncertain and worrying time, many of us still have job stability and as such, regular and reliable income. If you are one of the fortunate ones and are feeling generous this holiday season, please consider making contributions to one of the many programs and services in our community. Here are a few ideas:
- Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre
- They have recently launched their Christmas Program, where you can sponsor a family, provide a gift or make a food donation.
- The Food Bank is requesting that residents donate funds instead of food
- Minwaashin Lodge
- They have created an Amazon wishlist if you’d like contribute items to their outreach program; you place the order and it ships directly to them.
- If you collect Scene Points from Cineplex, consider donating them to Minwaashin, or redeeming them for a gift card to a restaurant and donating that.
- Royal Canadian Legion – Orléans Branch 632
- Without their regular activities and the Poppy campaign, they haven’t been able to fundraise to provide services to veterans. You can donate here.
- Community Compassion Centre
- You can participate in their Virtual Angel Tree program to provide gifts for children.
- You can donate to their food bank.
- Sonshine Families
- Eastern Ottawa Community Resource Centre
- Helping With Furniture
- During the pandemic, they are unable to visit clients’ homes, and are running out of storage space. They’ve started a campaign to help find and fund a larger storage unit.