Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. The disease was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China, and has since spread globally, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, sputum production, diarrhea, and sore throat are less common. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.
COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high. This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians: aged 65 and over, with compromised immune systems, and/or with underlying medical conditions.
See this video for a detailed, plain language explanation: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1692308547718
News, Information, and Misinformation
There is a lot of misinformation out there, so we highly recommend checking the sources of any and all media reports - especially information shared on social media. Further, before sharing information, you should ensure that the information is from a reputable news organization. For accurate information and COVID-19 updates, visit the following:
Government of Saskatchewan: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus
Plain Language Guide to COVID-19 For and By Self-Advocates
The Green Mountain Self-Advocates have created a guide to COVID-19 for and by self-advocates. Find it here: https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plain-Language-Information-on-Coronavirus.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3Pn3PJcgXCr-1DDnZEuDzJh1-2I0FN2AY_jt81eII46TjVOdJxmjn7nWs