COVID-19 & The Coronavirus

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:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer [they’re in short supply but you can make it yourself with aloe vera and alcohol … assuming you can find those]
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm or sleeve
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs or kisses
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Reduce your exposure to crowded places

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]:

Canada
BC
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario [and Toronto]
Quebec-English & Quebec-French
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland & Labrador
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut

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.

Be well!

Ontario Electricity Support Program​

The Ontario Electricity Support Program is a program providing reductions in electricity bills for low income households. The application for the program is available online, but you can also phone: 1-855-831-8151 or email: info@OntarioElectricitySupport.ca for more information. The website is: https://ontarioelectricitysupport.ca/
 

Art Works for Cancer

This not-for-profit organization is looking for donations of art works to put in hospital cancer wards around Ontario. You can find out more on their website by clicking here.