Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands!

The possible threat of catching the Coronavirus has caused some concern among our students and staff members. The safety of our EC Montreal family is our greatest concern and our priority. We have seen the news and have been bombarded on a daily basis with posts on our social media news-feed. We want to take the time to inform you of what EC is doing to be proactive and to keep our EC community as safe as possible. We have put some measures in place in our attempt to contain the virus within our control.

We need to put things in perspective and realize that the virus has only affected 0.00001% of the world’s population so far. There have been fatalities, however, less than the fatalities incurred during a “normal” flu season.

We have also learned that panicking does not help anyone, and we should be cautious with the news stories we choose to read and believe. We should only refer to statements issued by the World Health Organization and government sources. The province of Quebec has supplied as with a really useful link that tells you exactly what you should do in different scenarios. We are sharing it with you here:

Prevention is the best thing we can do and below are some suggestions on staying healthy.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after coughing or sneezing, before and after caring for a sick person, and before fixing or eating food. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It’s especially important to wash your hands after coughing and sneezing.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then toss it in the trash.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs.
• Stay home when you’re sick, except when you require medical care.

Something we recently heard was that you can catch the virus through the eyes so experts say that you can reduce your risk of catching the virus by 70% by wearing glasses. The glasses will make it more difficult for you to touch your face and will shield any saliva particles from going into your eyes if someone coughs or sneezes near you. Even if you don’t wear prescription glasses, you can get a pair of frames without a prescription to wear. The Dollar store right downstairs from EC Montreal and the pharmacies across the street both sell this type of eye wear.

Some additional measures that EC has placed can be found below:

• We are no longer accepting students from affected regions and countries (who have been home within the last 14 days)

• These specific areas are:
1. Chinese nationals currently residing in China or students that have traveled to mainland China within the last 14 days
2. Students who are residents of specific lock down areas in Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
3. Students who are residents of special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
• We have a protocol in place should ANY of our students or staff display symptoms for which immediate treatment is required
• You will have noticed that all our classes have been stocked with hand sanitizer gel and disinfectant wipes
• Computers and classrooms are being disinfected regularly, and signs have been posted throughout reminding staff and students how to stop the spread of germs.
• We recommend that you not travel abroad during your course with EC (on holiday or weekend breaks) just in case you have difficulties in re-entering the country

We sincerely hope that this virus will run its course and go away soon so we can all go back to focusing on more positive things. Doctors have also said that the virus does not like the heat so we can all do a little sun dance and hope that summer comes early this year.

Let’s support each other, protect each other and stay positive during these challenging times.

The risk of infection in Canada is still extremely low so this should not stop you from choosing to study English Abroad in Canada.