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Celebrate Mom, but do so virtually, Dr. Moore urges

The day to celebrate all the mother figures in our lives is upon us — but so is the COVID-19 pandemic. Connecting with mom and celebrating virtually is the safest option for everyone, says Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health. Photo by Artem Podrez.

It’s not a new sentiment – Stay home, wash your hands, physically distance, wear a mask.

But it’s one that bears repeating, as the downfall of voiding just one of those directives has been seen time and again, Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health, expressed during a press conference on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

“I think that’s still an issue, that there are small social events,” Moore said of activity in the region.

“We’re doing interviews of individuals of this week that just had two or three people over for a beer to watch a game, or meet in the garage, and then transmission occurred in those three, bringing it back to their families. And those three [families] get infected. And those three [families] then have social contacts – You can see how it can rapidly propagate in the community.”

These are real scenarios that have played out in our community, Moore expressed. And with the Cataraqui Heights construction site outbreak in full swing and new cases being linked to it daily, those simple directives everyone has heard over and over become even more critical, he explained.

“[It’s] very important, especially over the next two weeks, that we try to minimize our social contacts and stay within our households. And adhere to all the best practices of masking and hand hygiene and distancing,” he said, noting that he has not had company since the pandemic began and he doesn’t intend to moving forward.

“It really is not the best interests of anyone over the next two weeks to have any degree of social contacts.”

Moore went on to say that the virus – and its B.1.1.7 variant, which is currently circulating in KFL&A – wants to spread, and it wants to spread as quickly as possible. The best way to prevent that is to avoid social contacts outside of personal households, even if the socializing is very small in scale, or with physical distancing in place. Moore shared additional examples of spread of COVID-19 Public Health has observed locally, including letting a child sleep over at a friend’s house, or a physically-distanced bonfire.

“We’ve had transmission at bonfires outdoors, as people were within two meters, and someone had to have coughed or sneezed,” Moore said. “The virus has been spreading in those environments. So it’s a lesson learned. For all of us.”

And with Mother’s Day just days away, Moore said he understands how difficult it is for everyone to adhere to these best practices when it means they cannot celebrate those moms they hold dear.

“Absolutely celebrate your mom! And, please, encourage her to be immunized if she’s eligible,” he said with a broad smile. “But please don’t make it a super spreading event.”

For those who live within the same household as their mother, Moore emphatically encouraged them to “embrace and celebrate the Mother’s Day completely.”

“But don’t make it a time that COVID spreads. We would hope that multiple different families don’t get together over this weekend, especially as our rates are increasing,” he implored.

For those who decide that they must visit to mark the day, Moore stressed the importance of visiting outdoors while masked. But, in a time where seeing a Mom on the day dedicated to her can be done with the click of a button, albeit not the same, it is by far the optimal option.

“I know how difficult it is, and we want people to celebrate moms,” Moore expressed. “But a virtual visit is always the safest.”

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