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May 2021 Newsletter

Looking for the June 2021 Newsletter? Click Here.

COVID-19 Update

While we all continue to observe pandemic protocols, the month of May has brought some key developments. This includes extending vaccine eligibility for people 18 years and older, as well as the announcement of a 3-step reopening plan by the province of Ontario. The reopening plan involves easing restrictions through June, July and August beginning with a focus on resuming outdoor activities such as golf, tennis and basketball. Access to indoor activities, such as visiting galleries, is addressed in the third phase.

Mental Health Awareness

For the past 70 years, Mental Health Awareness week has been held in Canada during May. This year, it was observed the week of May third to ninth. In 2021, the Canadian Mental Health Association focus was on understanding our emotions. Acknowledging that people may be feeling especially stressed and anxious because of the pandemic, the CMHA website has some important advice on helping maintain our emotional wellbeing. This includes:

  • Becoming more emotionally “literate”.
  • Understanding how emotions physically impact our bodies.
  • Developing coping skills, such as putting our emotions into words. 

For more information, visit the CMHA website.

Road Safety Awareness

May is also Road Safety Awareness month. ”This annual awareness campaign is designed to increase public compliance with safe driving measures in order to save lives and reduce injuries on Canada’s roads. The focus of this campaign continues to be on behaviours that put drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users at risk: impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and not wearing a seatbelt,” from a post by London police. 

For more go to : Road Safety Awareness

Systemic Racism Research Survey: London Police Services wants to hear from you.

“To this end, the LPS is conducting research, led by Dr. Hina Kalyal, Policy Analyst for LPS to determine to what extent systemic racism exists in our organization, and identify potential solutions Our Systemic Racism Research Survey is seeking those who have either personally interacted with a member of the LPS (civilian or uniformed) in the past, or who have directly and personally observed interactions between a member of the LPS and the public, to provide their feedback and experiences.”

Learn more here: London Police

The Write Stuff

Two London police officers have come up with a product to help write in the dark. It’s a notebook holder embedded with lights. The Nite Write is designed to help police officers take notes in low light or darkness without affecting their night vision. 

Check it out at Nite Write.

That’s it for this month! Until then, take care, and be sure to keep an eye out as we will be posting a summary of our Fraud Awareness 101 very soon!


Staying Connected Important Now More Than Ever, Especially for Seniors

As 2020 comes to a close, there are still many questions surrounding COVID-19. Communities have seesawed between loosening and tightening social restrictions as instances of infection have dictated. And while everyone has been on the lookout for some sort of consistency, it’s been difficult to determine what the “new normal” will entail.

However, one of the biggest concerns regarding social distancing has been its effects on metal health. While keeping ourselves isolated from others has helped curb infections, the long-term consequences of limiting human interaction is a problematic one, especially when it comes to the elderly population.

One is the Loneliest Number

Studies have already begun examining the challenges isolation poses on seniors. Because this particular demographic relies more heavily on out-of-home social contact, these individuals could find themselves disproportionately affected.

Without access to regular outlets for communicating and connecting with others, such as community centres or places of worship, seniors may experience higher rates of loneliness and/or depression. Furthermore, when considering care facilities such as nursing homes, visits from close family and friends play a huge part in ensuring seniors stay healthy and connected.

Therefore, it’s up to society, as always, to see that changes are implemented safely and compassionately. The more that communities can do to empower their older population to gain access to and adopt technology as a channel for meaningful connection, the more they can do to improve quality of life. As countries everywhere try to navigate this difficult and precarious situation, it’s important those most vulnerable are protected and supported.

How Can You Help?

Take the time to consider those who may not have as many options to stay social.

  • Call seniors you know more frequently
  • If possible, utilize online technologies for games
  • Send hand-written letters to add a more personal touch
  • Coordinate with care staff in nursing homes to arrange virtual visits
  • Introduce viewing parties to enjoy movies/shows together

If you found this article and our resources helpful, consider joining NWL Plus for members-only updates, savings on home and auto insurance from Allstate, and discounts from local retailers. You can also make one time, tax-deductible donations – since 2001 Neighbourhood Watch London has been a registered charity focused on community safety and improvement.

– The NWL Team

COVID-19 Safety

Tips for a Safe & Spooky Halloween!

Like most of 2020, Halloween is undoubtedly going to look a lot different from previous years. But different doesn’t have to mean worse—it just means we have to get a little bit more creative in trying to celebrate our more ghoulish tendencies.

While health authorities haven’t officially nixed trick-or-treating during the pandemic, they have urged people to exercise good judgement by taking proper precautions. Recent media reports include comments by Mayor Ed Holder and Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Mackie, which highlight considerations in planning for Halloween. Recently, Ontario has rolled back some rules on social gatherings, and has even reverted three major areas in the province to modified stage 2 restrictions. You can read a CTV article here for more local details.

More than anything, people want to be able to let their kids have some fun again. A chance to allow—if even for just one night—their imaginations to run a little wild and forget about the virus that has upended any sense of normalcy. And even though doctors are advising against the typical door-to-door hunt for goodies, adapting past traditions to fit the times isn’t as difficult as one might think.

Keeping it Safe

As we move into the colder days of fall with the second wave in full swing, it’s important not to let our guard down. Take a look at these simple suggestions and find out how to minimize your risk of exposure while reveling in the spirit of the season:

  1. Consider individually wrapped goody bags arranged outside on a table for kids to grab as they pass by.
  1. Use tape or other markers to indicate where trick-or-treaters should stand in case a line-up appears at your doorstep. For more festive flair, use cobwebs, gravestones or skeleton bones placed at six-foot intervals as helpful reminders.
  1.  For trick-or-treaters, carry hand sanitizer and sanitize regularly throughout the night. 
  1. Keep gatherings small. Ontario’s current guidelines stipulate limits of 10 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors.
  1. Continue to wear medical grade or cloth face masks. Halloween masks are not suitable replacements for protection against the virus. If wearing a Halloween mask it is still recommended you wear a face mask underneath.

Still Concerned? Consider Going Virtual

If families are thinking about alternatives to traditional door to door  trick-or-treating, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control has some suggestions. These include:

  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home

For more ideas for virtual Halloween activities, visit the CDC’s website.

If you found this article and our resources helpful, consider joining NWL Plus for members-only updates, savings on home and auto insurance from Allstate, and discounts from local retailers. You can also make one time, tax-deductible donations – since 2001 Neighbourhood Watch London has been a registered charity focused on community safety and improvement.

– The NWL Team

p.s. Always follow the guidelines of your local public health authority, and if something doesn’t feel safe, then don’t be afraid to skip handing out candy or trick or treating this year. Wishing you all a safe and fun Halloween!