Treaty 2 Territory – Coronavirus has now infected over 120,000 people worldwide and a clearer picture of the constellation of symptoms caused by the virus—the infection is now called Covid-19 — is starting to emerge. According to Health Canada, the public health risk associated with Covid-19 is low for Canadians and in Manitoba, but this could change at any time. No one knows what the situation will be in 30 days from now. That is why most communities are closing or reducing activities in all workplaces and meetings/gatherings for the next two weeks to slow down the spread of Covid-19.
There is an increased risk for those over 60, who have a compromised immune system, and who have underlying health conditions, such as Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure. Children appears to be least effected however they can carry Covid – 19. The three most common symptoms seem to be fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Emerging research shows people can be contagious without showing symptoms, making it difficult to know who is spreading the disease.
See attached news link for more info: https://nationalpost.com/news/covid-19-pandemic-means-its-time-for-canada-to-get-serious-about-aggressive-social-distancing-experts
“People can start infecting others before they start seeing symptoms themselves”
Now, we should not panic at this stage or be too overwhelmed by fear as we are currently witnessing now in media and around us. It’s always best to be on the side of caution and to prepare for worst case scenarios. Everyone to use common sense.
Scientific Fact: stress and fear lower the immune system and makes you more susceptible to sickness.
Social distancing is a term applied to certain nonpharmaceutical infection control actions taken by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease.
Social Distancing is being mindful of people around us. I recently started elbow touch with everyone. I no longer shake hands or hug people. This is precautionary practice that should be the norm now. At least to distance yourself 6 feet from each other.
When you suspect that you are having any flu-like symptoms, it is best to immediately go to Self-Isolation. And should you have the symptoms then Quarantine yourself immediately and to inform Health Authorities and Leadership.
See attached link to know the difference: https://www.dictionary.com/e/quarantine-vs-isolation/
I recently talked and heard from a few Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers. They have said they knew that these type situations would occur. They always say to have food and essential supplies stored in the house for at least 90 days at all times. Always have your natural world medicines handy. And if it gets bad, then isolate oneself and family from other peoples. Back in the day, families would move to their trap lines.
When H1N1 came around, our Medicine people immediately went into action. The people where told to drink regularly Wiikay, Sweet grass and Muskeg tea mixed together. This applies to Covid-19 as well. Other teas to use is Chaga, Wild Mint and Cedar. Also, the People are to wear their medicine bag near their heart with the same medicines along with Asemaa (Tobacco) for protection. Have a good diet and drink a lot of liquids. Smudge with Sage and Cedar to yourself, your family and your home everyday. Use disinfectants and declutter your home. And always have good hygiene practices – wash your hands with soap at all the time, especially, when coming back into your homes.
The Medicine people also said to hang up Tobacco Bundles in red cloth with red and black ribbons over the doorway entrances for protection. Cedar or Juniper can be sprinkled at the foot of your doorway. And pray to Gizhe Manidoo for protection and wellbeing.
Finally, remember that our people are Survivor Societies and people of action and intent. We are blessed to have our ways for times like this.
White Spotted Horse
Anishinaabe of Skownan First Nation
Last modified: March 15, 2020