By: Michelle Poirier

Many residents of Georgina are practicing social distancing and self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While you are stuck inside, you may be questioning what you should be doing with your time. Here are some ideas for those who may need food delivered, or those who may be getting restless:

Donate. You can donate your time, money and resources. If you are able to leave your house, you could volunteer to pick up groceries for your friends and neighbours who are unable to; you can do this yourself or volunteer with CHATS, 1(877) 452-4287, and Routes Connecting Communities, (905) 722-4616. You can donate your time by volunteering with CHATS Seniors Telephone Reassurance program to call seniors in isolation. And you can donate your money or resources to the Georgina Community Food Pantry, https://georginafoodpantry.com/donate, and Sandgate Women’s Shelter, monas@sandgate.ca or call (905) 722-4043 ext. 151.

Take a virtual tour of your favourite museums and galleries. Explore The ROM, The AGO, and museums form all over the world through Google Arts & Culture. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en&tab=pop

See what your favorite singer or actor is up to. Don’t feel guilty for spending more time than usual on the internet, some of your favourite celebrities may be trying to keep your spirits up and keep you entertained through free online concerts and funny videos.

The local library may be closed but they still offer e-books, audio books and movies online. OverDrive, Libby, Hoopla and Kanopy are all offered by the Georgina Public Library and all you need to use them is your library card number and pin. https://www.georginalibrary.ca/en/eresources/eResources.aspx

Take a walk or bike ride. The sun is coming out and the snow is melting, get outside for a while each day, just stay the recommended six feet away from others.

Reconnect with family and friends. Take this time to call or email people in your life. Social distancing may be stopping you from physically visiting, but during this time you should stay connected to those you care about.

Watch a performance from the National Arts Centre. “#CanadaPerforms” is a short-term relief fund that pays Canadian artists for their online performances to help artists impacted by the closure of performance venues and to lift the spirits of Canadians. See who is performing at https://nac-cna.ca/en/

Some other ideas: start a garden, break out your art supplies and get creative, check out some free online workout videos, do that puzzle you’ve been meaning to do, pick a book from your bookshelf you’ve never read, try your hand at baking, organize your closet, support local businesses by buying gift cards or ordering food and/or watch a classic movie you’ve never seen.      

Here are some resources for those unable to leave their house, who are in need of help:

Two local services, Routes Connecting Communities, https://www.routescc.org/, and Community and Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS), https://www.chats.on.ca/covid-19-updates-and-resources, are still operational and offering assistance to those in need. They can help with transportation, grocery and medicine deliveries, and are available to call if you are feeling isolated. 

Join the local COVID-19 Facebook group. The “#Caremongering / Georgina Working Together” Facebook group has local residents offering or looking for help, giving people information and offering ideas to those in isolation. https://www.facebook.com/groups/945860429150288/

If you at home with kids, there are some online resources to help pass the time, and keep them engaged.

Many children relied on breakfast clubs in school. Now that schools are closed, a local group opened to keep children from going without. Georgina’s Pop-Up Breakfast Club will deliver to those in need, just send them a message on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/TheGeorginaPopUpBreakfastClub/

While the Georgina Public Library has shut all branches until April 5, it does offer a list of online resources such as e-book borrowing, indoor activities, educational materials and movies for kids with library cards at georginalibrary.ca

Schools are closed until April 6, but York Region District School Board does offer online resources for children to keep them learning while not in school, they are organized by grade and subject ar yrdsb.ca

The provincial government has also launched a new online learning portal, called Learn at home, which provides curriculum studies for elementary and secondary students.

To keep up to date with the COVID-19 virus here are some links to keep you informed:

The Georgina COVID-19 page: https://www.georgina.ca/municipal-government/covid-19

The York Region COVID-19 page: york.ca/covid19

The Southlake COVID-19 page: https://southlake.ca/news/coronavirus-2019-ncov/

The Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 page: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

The Canadian Government COVID-19 page: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

The World Health Organization COVID-19 page: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

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