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Health minister encourages kindness, fresh air to manage COVID-19 stress

Last Updated Mar 25, 2020 at 1:46 pm PDT

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu listens during a press conference on COVID-19 in West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Health Minister Patty Hajdu says it is critical for Canadians to support each other if we are going to manage the impact of the intense anxiety and isolation that comes with living in the era of COVID-19.

Hajdu says she is updating cabinet today with the most hopeful scenario for how long Canadians will remain in a widespread isolation and economic slowdown because of COVID-19 — a time she says will be at least two months.

And she says the longer it goes on, the bigger impact on mental health.

The government is going to launch a new online tool to help Canadians find ways to cope in the coming days.

But Hajdu says governments won’t be able to solve this problem alone and relies on Canadians being kind and supportive to each other, with particular effort to reach out to those who live alone or are already managing mental illness or addictions.

She is also encouraging anyone who isn’t showing symptoms or required to self-isolate to go outside and get some fresh air, as long as they remember to always keep their distance from others.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press