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Healthcare Personnel and First Responders: How to Cope with Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

September 11, 2020

Providing care to others during the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and other strong emotions. How you cope with these emotions can affect your well-being, the care you give to others while doing your job, and the well-being of the people you care about outside of work.

During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience and cope with stress, and know where to go if you need help.

Tips to cope and enhance your resilience:

  • Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and employees about job stress.
  • Remind yourself that everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources.
  • Identify and accept those things which you do not have control over.
  • Recognize that you are performing a crucial role in fighting this pandemic and that you are doing the best you can with the resources available.
  • Increase your sense of control by keeping a consistent daily routine when possible — ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.
  • When away from work, get exercise when you can. Spend time outdoors either being physically activity or relaxing. Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally exhausting, especially since you work with people directly affected by the virus.
  • If you feel you may be misusing alcohol or other drugs (including prescriptions), ask for help.
  • Engage in mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation.
  • If you are being treated for a mental health condition, continue with your treatment and talk to your provider if you experience new or worsening symptoms.

 Learn more at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/mental-health-healthcare.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fmental-health-healthcare.html

pollen

What’s the Difference Between COVID-19 and Seasonal Allergies?

September 4, 2020

When choosing to go out in public or visit a loved one at higher risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends we pay close attention to our symptoms. For those of us with seasonal allergies, understanding symptoms  can present a challenge!  

Seasonal allergies triggered by airborne pollen can lead to seasonal allergic rhinitis, which affects the nose and sinuses, and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which affects the eyes. Your sniffles and sneezes may seem like symptoms of COVID-19.

While COVID-19 and seasonal allergies share many symptoms, there are some key differences between the two. 

For example, COVID-19 can cause fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies. The image below compares symptoms caused by allergies and COVID-19.

seasonal allergies infographic

*Seasonal allergies do not usually cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, unless a person has a respiratory condition such as asthma that can be triggered by exposure to pollen.

This is not a complete list of all possible symptoms of COVID-19 or seasonal allergies. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. You can have symptoms of both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies at the same time.

If you think you have COVID-19, follow CDC’s guidance on ”What to do if you are sick.” If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.