COVID-19 Roundup: Strang urges vigilance, parenting resources, clinics for people without a doctor, pandemic palliative care

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: Communications NS

Yesterday, May 21, Nova Scotia reported another COVID-19 death at Northwood, raising the provincial death toll to 58. There was also another confirmed case of the disease, raising the Nova Scotia total to 1,046 confirmed cases. There are currently nine pandemic patients in hospital, including four in ICU; 959 people have recovered from the disease. 

Danger lurks
Even as government slackens public-health precautions, Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, is warning that COVID-19 remains a threat. “Until a vaccine is available, we have to stay vigilant in fighting this virus,” he says in a recent press release. “We have to find and adapt to our new normal. That means we have to keep practising good personal hygiene, use physical distancing, limit non-essential travel, stay home when unwell, limit large groups, and wear non-medical masks. These measures will remain in place for some time to come, and will continue to be a key part of our fight against this virus.”

Make your move
The Internet abounds with moving horror stories: broken and vanished valuables, possessions imprisoned in storage lockers for weeks. When you’re moving, hiring the right moving company is important, even more so these days. “In a time when you have to strategize a trip to the grocery store, imagine the complications of moving to a new house,” writes Halifax Magazine consumer-affairs columnist Peter Moorhouse.

One of the current challenges, he explains, is getting a reliable quote. Most moving companies are now relying on homeowners’ photos to determine the cost, rather than sending someone to do an in-person survey. This can lead to billing surprises. Moorhouse recommends postponing a move if possible but if not, he has these tips to make it easer.

Parenting resources
The new issue of local parenting magazine Our Children is out now, jammed with resources and advice from local experts. You’ll find lots of information on nutrition, supporting family mental health, guiding young athletes, conquering clutter, and more. Plus there’s a round-up of local virtual events (ideal rainy day fun) and reviews of books by local authors. See your free issue of Our Children here. Like Halifax Magazine, Our Children is published by Advocate Media.

New primary care clinics
To help people without family doctors get medical care during the pandemic (and keep them from going to emergency rooms), the Nova Scotia Health Authority recently set up primary-care clinics at locations around the province, including Hants, Colchester, Cumberland, and Pictou counties. And while officials say the clinics are busy, they could be busier. “We really want to make sure residents… are aware they exist,” says Dr. Aaron Smith. “We feel there are still a lot of people not accessing these clinics.” The clinics, are scheduled to operate until the end of June, can do pretty much anything for you a family doctor can, including addressing chronic issues and refilling prescriptions. Raissa Tetanish reports for The Light.

Palliative care during a pandemic
No matter what’s happening in the world, the important work of palliative care goes on, bringing comfort to the dying and those who care about them. “One of the more difficult issues that have become difficult with this pandemic… has been the inability of visitors to be with their dying loved ones,” says Dr. Anne Kwasnik, head of the palliative care unit at Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow. “Respecting these policies and working with alternative ways to say goodbye has brought out ingenuity and compassion.” Heather Brimicombe has the story in The Pictou Advocate.

Need to know
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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