COVID-19 or Allergies?

Allergies or Covid?
How Do I Know If I Have Covid or Allergies?

As summer ends and fall begins, so does a new wave of allergy season. COVID-19 cases have also been on the rise again. With so much going around, it can leave us with a big question.

How do I know if I have symptoms of COVID or just allergies?

Seasonal allergies and Coronavirus share many of the same symptoms, however, there are several differences. More severe symptoms such as fever, chills, and sweating are more common with COVID-19. Symptoms such as shortness of breath and difficulty breathing is less common in allergies unless the person has a pre-existing respiratory condition that can be triggered by the exposure of pollen, such as asthma.

Symptoms of Both COVID-19 & Allergies

Symptoms of Covid-19 & Allergies
  • Fever/Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Runny or Congested Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Difficulty Breathing

Additional Symptoms of Allergies

  • Sneezing/Itching Nose
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, cough
  • Red/Watery Eyes
  • Hives

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever & Chills
  • Muscle/Body Aches
  • New loss of Taste/Smell
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion
  • Runny Nose

When to get emergency medical attention

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Pain/pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake or waking up

Staying Safe

Don’t forget to practice social distancing and other health and safety measures to protect you and your loved ones. Wear a non-medical face mask when you are in public, consider using gloves when you are shopping and using public transport, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day.

It is essential to take the proper precautions towards protecting yourself from both allergies and Coronavirus. There may be an increased risk of accidental exposure to Coronavirus with more people cough and sneeze from allergies. Using proper social distancing and safety measures such as wearing a face masks, using gloves and sanitizer will help protect against the spread of COVID-19 and should be used when in public.


Why every building needs an AED

why every building needs an AED

SCA can happen to anyone, any age, and anywhere. This is why every building should have an AED. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) affects 1 Canadian every 12 minutes, or about 40 000 people a year. SCA happens when there is an electrical issue with the heart. The heartbeat will stop or be quivering. Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack because a heart attack is caused by circulatory and other physical problems with the heart. While various cardiac events can happen to healthy individuals at any age, it is becoming increasingly more common that younger employees, students, and athletes are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

cpr, aed,

What is SCA?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) affects 1 Canadian every 12 minutes, or about 40 000 people a year, making SCA among the leading causes of death for Canadians each year. SCA happens when there is a change or stops in the heart’s rhythm. The heartbeat will stop or be quivering or rapid. SCA is different from a heart attack because a heart attack is caused by circulatory and other physical problems with the heart. In the event of SCA, an AED should be used immediately. It is best to use the defibrillator as soon as possible if the patient requires a shock, every minute that passes without one, that patients’ rate of survival and recovery decreases by 10%.

AED Units

What are the differences: Heart Attack, Stroke, and SCA?

A Heart attack is a circulatory problem when blood flow to the heart is blocked. A stroke is caused by some blockage or ruptured blood vessels in the brain, and sudden cardiac arrest is when there is a change or stops a heartbeat.

What are the warning symptoms of SCA

Often there are no symptoms before an SCA event.
When someone is experiencing cardiac arrest, they may be unconscious and not breathing with little, no, or rapid pulse.

Symptoms of SCA

Rapid or irregular heartbeat or palpitations
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Fainting after exercise or startle
General chest pain or fatigue or shortness of breath especially
Chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath during exercise or after
Prolonged shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion and chest pain
Rapid or no pulse
Loss of consciousness with shallow or no breathing.

How do you know if you need an AED?

If you find someone unconscious, not breathing and unresponsive, or experiencing the above symptoms before losing consciousness, there is a high chance you will need an AED. It is good practice in any emergency to get an AED if there is one on-site. Many times, there won’t be visible signs of a cardiac episode, especially if the patient is already unconscious.

Can I accidentally use an AED on someone that doesn’t need it?

AED’s are designed only to allow shock in programmed situations. The machine will first analyze the patient’s heartbeat for any irregularities. The AED will only prompt the user to press the shock button if it detects little, rapid, or no heartbeat. If the shock button gets pushed, and the patient does not meet these requirements, the AED will not administer a shock.

How do I get an AED?

The urgent need for easy access to AEDs throughout our province and country has inspired the website you are on, the mission behind it. Operation Heart Heal and Aim For Life have launched a First Aid CPR/AED training program with a bigger purpose. For every full qualifying class, Operation Heart Heal is proud to donate an AED to that building, or another establishment that doesn’t have one.

We are working to provide Canadian Red Cross Certified first aid training to rural communities who don’t have access to first aid training, or emergency equipment such as EMS or AEDs. To find out more and see how you or someone else can get a free AED, contact us today!

Before you go! Save and Share this FREE guide to CPR!

how to perform cpr
CPR Info graphic, save & share to save a life!


Keeping Up To Date with Covid-19

With temperatures rising, restrictions have been changing to allow for more shops to open up and restaurants to have higher capacities. We are all ready to embrace a healthy life this summer. Many people have started to dismiss advisories that request people wear masks and continue to maintain a distance, while many are concerned that this could kick-start a new wave. But what is the updated risk?

While the daily average of confirmed cases is getting consistently lower throughout Canada and many other parts of the world, the risk of covid-19 is still present almost everywhere.

Covid-19 Updates for Canada as of July 5th

Here is a summary of covid-19 cases across Canada as of July 5th, 2020.

Canada – Total Active: 27,612 New Cases: 219
Globally – 191,857 New Caes

Ontario- 138 New Cases – Total Active: 1839
Quebec – 79 New Cases – Total Active: 24,943
PEI – New 2 – Total Active: 5
Manitoba – Total Active:16
Saskatchewan – Total Active: 71
British Columbia – Total Active: 162
New Brunswick – Total Active:1
Nova Scotia – Total Active:3
Newfoundland and Labrador – Total Active: 0
Yukon – 0 Active
Northwest Territories – 0 Active
Nunavut – 0 Confirmed

Globally there are over 4 million active cases, with a total of over 11 million confirmed.

The United States is still averaging from 20,000 – 40,000 and up to 300 deaths each day.

We have seen significant improvement in comparisons to the thousands reported daily in the beginning weeks of the pandemic. Covid-19 continues to be a severe health risk, and we should all continue to practice social distancing measures and follow health and safety advisories.

Please continue to wear a mask and wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently. If you have symptoms or have been in contact with a confirmed case of covid-19, health authorities still advise that people continue to get tested and quarantined for 14 days.

Stay safe; we are overcoming this together.


Protect Your Mental Health This COVID-19 Season

mental health, awareness,,covid 19 , coronavirus, covid 19 canada,

This season we are all being asked to practice not only social distancing but to take self-isolation and quarantine measures. Being asked to stay indoors and not go about our regular routines for weeks at a time can have negative impacts on your physical and mental health if you don’t take care of different aspects of what your mind and body needs. 

Going through a public health crisis such as COVID-19 can create a lot of fear, anxiety, and social distancing measures that can very quickly lead to increased levels of depression, anxiety, and other symptoms. We must take steps to protect our mental health regardless of if you have pre-existing struggles with mental health.

mntal health and covid 19, mental health, mental health awareness, stay well, brain

Symptoms of Depression & Mental Illness

Depression and sadness

Fatigue, exhaustion, lethargy

Frequent napping

Heightened anxiety 

Mood swings 

Irritability 

Decreased motivation 

Changes in appetite and weight

Symptoms in Children
sadness, depression

Children and teenagers may display signs of mental illness differently; below is a list of symptoms and signs typically seen from young children to teenagers.

Excessive Crying

Irritability and aggravation

Sadness and depression 

Upset stomachs

Headaches

Restlessness

Unhealthy eating habits

Unhealthy sleeping patterns

It is crucial to make sure your children are getting enough physical activity and mental stimulation and proper nutrition to help improve and prevent these symptoms. 

Even though we live in a day and age where the majority of not only of what we do on a day to day basis is online, there is so much more than the usual that we can take advantage of online. It is vital for our mental health to keep a variety in what we do, keep ourselves learning new information, and even trying new things to make a significance in how self-isolation affects our emotional and physical health. We must try to maintain a healthy mix of social, mental, and physical activities. 

Here are some activities to help break your Cabin Fever this COVID-19 season. 
Things To Try Online

Online Courses

There are thousands of free online courses that you can take on just about anything. Upgrade your credentials, learn a new skill or language, learn how to code a website or app. Learn how to run a business or take the courses you should have studied in college. Check out Udemy and Coursea for some great online courses.

Get some online culture virtual museum & art gallery tours. Check out some of the word’s most famous art galleries and museums that you can visit in bed. 

You can give the famous Water Lilies a virtual visit.

Ever wanted to visit The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam? It is now available online

Van Gogh Museum Now Free Online

Here is a list of 12 more famous museums and art galleries that have free online tours.

If those inspired you, check out this list of 10 different art classes you can take for free online.

Start A Blog/Vlog

Websites and Blogs and Vlogs are much easier to start than you think! Check out WordPress or Godaddy for free and cheap websites and blogs! Videos more your thing? Startup a YouTube channel!

Missing Wildlife?

Check out this collection of live cams with anything from Birds, Aquariums to Puppies, or Pandas! This website has a wide variety of wildlife live streams! 

Try Yoga!

I put this one in the online category because if you’re starting, it might be helpful to start with an app such as Downdog or a YouTube channel, click the link for a good channel for beginners.

Things To Try Offline

Indoor Gardening

Scrap garden, kitchen garden. indoor garden,
Indoor Garden of Kitchen Scraps

Now that you’ve had to stock up on produce try your hand at scrap gardening! Click the link to see the variety of things you can regrow right in your own window!

Did you know that you can plant and grow your kitchen scraps? Try planting the ends of your chives, garlic, or even try your hand at an indoor avocado or pineapple tree.

Cooking

Now that you have some extra time around meals try cooking and baking your meals more than you usually would. Try experimenting with new combinations and recipes. 

Writing

Writing is hugely beneficial to your mental health! Whether you’re self-helping through journaling or just passing the time with creative or technical writing, it keeps you mentally stimulated, grounded, and gets the creative juices for everything else flowing as well!

Spring Cleaning

It is good that now and again to go through the junk drawers, clean out our basements and garages, purge the wardrobe, and finally test all of those pens that keep dying halfway through use. Not only does this benefit your house, but it can even help reduce anxiety and stress. 

Need a change?

Try freshening up the way things feel with rearranging your furniture and decor! 

Read 

Now is a great time to crack open those books you’ve meant to get around to, you know what they say, a chapter a day keeps the insanity at bay! 

Meditate and Yoga 

If you can’t go outside, go inside. Meditation, mindfulness, and yoga are all great ways of staying physically active and relaxed. These activities are also useful tools to help keep your anxiety, stress, and depression levels at a minimum.

Benefits of Meditation

Exercise

Get or stay in shape with at-home workouts, exercises, dancing, or get outside for a walk or a jog!

Work on your goals

Now is the best time to sit back and try to put a little reason for life’s rhyme. Try goal setting and financial planning for your current situation and future. 

Fuel Your Dreams

Start planning your dream business, or that trip, or start that book you’ve always maybe wanted to one day write. Even if its all for fun, these things that we think are silly in reality, might be the best idea on paper. 

Teach your dog (or cat) a new trick

Some old dogs can learn new tricks! Have you tried? Try teaching your animal a new trick; not only does it help your pass time, but it also keeps your animal entertained. 

Get Crafty!

Got some reno’s on the to-do-list? Start a new DIY project, refurbish, or renovation! 

Please remember social distancing is in place for everyone’s health and safety, including yours. Help flatten the curve by staying home as much as possible, washing your hands often and practicing social distancing.

Social distancing laws and other COVID-19 related news are updated daily. Follow us on here and on social media @operationheartheal to keep update an for more information on how you can stay healthy and happy at home!


Going The Social Distance

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Cabin Fever

Canada has seen a steady incline of positive coronavirus cases. Manitoba is for now on the lower amount of confirmed cases with only 35, whereas Quebec is now over 1300. Provinces and other nations are already in a state of emergency. Most areas are now limiting gathers to 5 or less.  

However, there are some essential things to take into consideration with these numbers. We can only test and confirm as fast as our time and resources allow. Tests are minimal, and the majority of cases will go untested and recover without any medical treatment. This is because it’s being advised that people only test if your symptoms are more critical and require medical attention. With that in consideration, there remain hundreds to thousands of people who will go unconfirmed, and may never exhibit severe symptoms. We must take this into account when asking if the social distancing is necessary.

In the past decade, we have seen a few dangerous viruses and illnesses that affected people on a global scale. Throughout the 2000’s we had seen Mad Cow, the SARS, H1N1, and Ebola. If you go further back, you see epidemics of the Spanish Flu, Small Pox, and Polio. But none of these epidemics had closed down our modern world like the coronavirus. 

Across the world, nations have had to enforce lockdown and other emergency protocols. Las Vegas has wholly closed for only the 2nd time in history, the first being JFK’S assassination. In more extreme cases, the Italian government has issued threats of using physical force and weapons to shut down large gatherings and social events if people continue to not comply with these temporary laws. While some of these measures may seem drastic, many people are still not taking these warnings seriously.

People who are sick, and people who have been returning home from travel have been proactive as a whole at practicing social distancing and self-isolation. These are not the only people who are at risk for infecting the rest of the public, just the most immediate. The more significant risk is a large amount of the population right now that isn’t showing symptoms and are at risk for passing the virus on unknowingly.

The coronavirus can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to start. In this time, a seemingly healthy individual with no symptoms, but that has unknowingly picked up the virus can and will transmit it. The average person has the potential to infect up to hundreds of people in one day. You don’t have to come into immediate contact or proximity to transmit the virus. Anyone who accepts their money uses a door handle after them or picks up the jar that they put back is at high risk of contracting the virus. This is an example of the average person. Social distancing has been put into effect to try and reduce and eventually eliminate this from happening. 

With hospitality and customer service industries closing, many people have been transitioned to work at home or laid off. 

This proactive measure kept hundreds of thousands of us contracting and dying from the COVID 19. If companies didn’t take these precautions, the numbers would be significantly higher

This is the same outcome that social distancing is to have. There are a lot of people who work in health care, emergency services, network providers, customer service positions, retirement and care home staff, and many other vital professionals will still have to go into work. These people are working hard to keep us safe; our loved ones cared for and keep our resources going. We all must do our part to keep them healthy, too. 

social distancing, covid 19, coronavirus,stay home, flatten the curve, firstaid, social isolation, quarantine
Together We Can Flatten The Curve & Bounce Back

While this measure is for the best interest of our entire population, it isn’t exactly practical for everyone. Having to follow these social distancing rules and being forced into self-isolation does pose the risk of experiencing cabin fever, a term used to coin the effects that being cooped up for long periods can have on the mind and body.

Some potential risks and symptoms of cabin fever include:

Depression or sadness

Becoming agitated 

Headaches 

Lethargy 

Restlessness 

Troubles concentrating 

Decreased motivation 

Frequent napping

Difficulty waking up

Weight gain or loss

Social isolation 

Here are some things you can do to beat cabin fever and making working and playing at home healthier and happier than ever!

Exercise at home 

Start a DIY project 

Take free online courses 

Virtual Museums 

Try meditation 

Do yoga/stretch 

Read 

Write 

Start a blog 

Set your goals

Work on your business 

Clean your house

At-home spa treatments 

Scrapbook 

Plan a trip

Learn your family tree

Learn a new skill, craft, or language

Try a new show or YouTube channel 

Play board games

Try to make every day different as much as you can, whether you’re with family or alone. 

While we should be staying away from busy public areas, you can still enjoy getting outside. It is vital for your mental health and body to get fresh air and sunshine (natural Vitamin D). If you are someone who has been transitioned to work at home, it is a good idea to take yourself on a walk after a long day of working at home before a long night of binge-watching Netflix. Give your eyes a break and your body and legs much-needed movement and stretching. 

We are all in this together, and together we can bounce back faster than ever. 


Make Heart-Healthy Living Your 2020 Resolution

heart healthy living heart smart foods

Start your new year off right! Give your heart a healthy start this year. Check out our quick guide on how to start living healthier for your heart!

Check out these heart-healthy tips to start keeping good care of your heart and overall health! 

  1. Start getting enough sleep.

Sleep is vital for good health and a happy heart. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and you’re not going too long without good quality sleep. 

  1. Include more foods for your heart.

It’s always a good idea to include more of these foods in general. However, here are a few that specifically help your heart! 

  • Fish high in omega 3’s, like salmon and tuna.
  • Berries
  • Dark green veggies like spinch, kale and bok choy. 
  •  Fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, and yellow such as tomatoes, oranges, and carrots.
  • Nuts 
  • Legumes 
  • Check out more information on heart-healthy eating here!
  1. Cut back on alcohol and smoking.

Alcohol and cigarettes not only have ingredients in them that can weaken and damage your heart, but these can add stress to your heart. Try to limit or quit these things to help lower your risk of heart disease and other severe illnesses. 

  1. Start making time to relax & reduce stress.

Stress can lead to many serious illnesses, and heart disease is no exception! Make sure to take time to relax and reduce stress. When we are under stress, it can weaken and damage our hearts, and it is vital to give ourselves time to de-stress and relax. 

For more information on how stress can impact your heart, click here.

  1. Exercise more! 

Exercise helps strengthen your heart, lungs, and your body as a whole. It’s essential to get at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day. Even something as simple as walking can help lower stress levels, improve your heart’s health and function, and help lower your risk for heart disease. 

You can see more information on these heart-healthy living tips and more here!