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Opinion: Message from Prince George psychiatrists on COVID-19

"We are working flat out to be there for our patients and their families."

The following is a submitted article from the Department of Psychiatry at the University Hospital of Northern BC.

The psychiatrists of Prince George are on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.

This crisis is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime.

We are working flat out to be there for our patients and their families.

Doctors cannot do this alone.

What the public does now will impact the health of British Columbians in the weeks and months ahead.

Lives depend on your actions now!

Our province is in a state of emergency.

Here is the directive from our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry:

  • STAY HOME unless absolutely necessary. This means no dinner parties, no shopping, and no sports. Avoid groups of people other than close family members. Have coffee with a friend online
  • Keep two metres, or six feet away, from everyone if you must go out. That is about the width of a car or the length of two arms stretched out
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Tell your loved ones to do the same

This is especially important for young people.

We sometimes see young people out in the park or at the beach.

You too can get sick from this virus.

More importantly, you can be carriers and cause a lot of harm to parents, grandparents, and other loved ones.

Here are some resources to help when we are going through stressful situations:

  • Coronavirus Anxiety: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) offers several resources for COVID-19 anxiety (e.g. how to talk to your anxious child or teen about Coronavirus, expert tips to manage Coronavirus anxiety, overcoming health anxiety, etc.)
  • Coping with COVID-19: The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) put out a brief fact sheet on how to cope with COVID-19

The time is NOW.

No one can wait one more hour or one more day.

Let us save lives, together.