The coronavirus is the topic of discussion; in the media, online, and around the water cooler [wherever water cooler conversations are still happening].
For many of us artists, it means the suspension of our livelihoods, as live performances, film shoots, and galleries close. The federal government has announced a program to provide $900 every two weeks to self-employed people — people like us — who have lost their gigs. The funding will become available April 1st. You can apply online if you have My Account with Canada Revenue Account; or a Service Canada Account. Both sites have information on how to register if you don’t have an account. You can also call 1-800-959-2019 to register for the program but be prepared for a wait.
According to our friends at Canadian Actor’s Equity, Parliament will have to be recalled to pass the legislation enabling this. It could take a week or so, although all parties seem to be online with it. Either way, there will be no payments until next month..
You can read about all of the support mechanisms the government is putting into place here.
Also, many food companies such as Loblaws, FreshCo and Shoppers are offering a Seniors’ Hour early in the morning so we can shop more safely. We’re told some have discounts as well.
In the meantime, it never hurts to repeat what medical experts are telling us:
If you think you might have contracted the virus, each province and territory has its own protocols. Here are the links to those sources [we’re including the City of Toronto because so many of our Community live there]:
Understandably, many people are feeling anxious in this stressful time. If you need some help, try the Canadian Mental Health Association. And check out this fact sheet from the Canadian Psychological Association.