Thursday, 30 April 2009

Cabbagetown Information about Swine Flu
Everyone who talked to us urges common sense. Their emphasis is on prevention and considerate behaviour toward others. Despite the amazing amount of commentary from the media about this problem, our local pharmacists are much calmer. Lots of people have been calling their stores but, in fact, there has not been a surge of infections or problems in Cabbagetown. Today’s Newsletter gives you a summary of local sources for supplies and advice and we've also listed contact information at the City, Province of Ontario and federal government.

Local information:
We have five pharmacies in Cabbagetown. Here’s a quick summary of the advice that they’ve given us today:

Michael at Main Drugs feels that we have no need for alarm. Everyone has access to lots of information. He suggests that you monitor the government web sites. His store is also connected to an alert system that will keep him well informed of local outbursts and local needs. Supplies are available and more can be ordered by his store when needed.

Ralph at Rexall IDA Drugs is getting a big shipment of masks, gloves, alcohol and hand sanitizers today and expects to be able to meet everyone’s requests. If you have the symptoms, talk to your doctor. If not, be vigilant and follow the handwashing guidelines.

At Shoppers Drug Mart, Doug has had a lot of calls and enquiries and he urges people not to overreact.

Harvey at Parliament Pharmacy will only be carrying prescription supplies, not the personal protective gear that many are looking for. He believes that masks should only be worn by people who already have the flu. They don’t really help people trying to avoid it. You’re better off to move away when other people have a cough and to wash your hands regularly.

If you’re looking for masks, Home Hardware has a good supply. They’re rated N95 and meet the same standards as the ones sold in the pharmacies.

Contact info for these stores:
Main Drugs, 599 Parliament, (416) 960-1616
Rexall IDA, 572 Parliament, (416) 921-5700
Shoppers Drug Mart 467 Parliament, (416) 921-5139
Ultra Pharmacy 411 Parliament, (416) 323-0055
Parliament Pharmacy 402 Parliament, (416) 963-9733
Royal Home Hardware, 485 Parliament, (416) 924-3921

Good basic information from Dr David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health at the City of Toronto:
There are two ways to get the flu - from airborne infections carried by sneezes and coughs and from hands or hard surfaces like counters and door knobs.
The symptoms are the same as those for seasonal flu – fever, headaches, coughs, sore throat, muscle aches, chills, fatigue and possibly vomiting and diarrhea.
At this time, personal proactive measures like masks are not recommended.
So, use your common sense and be considerate.
If you get the symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Stay home if you’re sick.
If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose. If you don’t have a tissue, use your sleeve or arm rather than your hand to cover your face.
Whether you’re sick or not, wash your hands regularly in soap and hot water or with an alcohol based hand sanitizer.

For more information and regular updates from Toronto's Medical Officer of Health:

You can also stay informed by the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long Term Care:

Finally, here’s information from the Government of Canada for people who are traveling.
For a general list of travel advisories, click here:
For a detailed list, country by country, click here:

In other news...

Landscape Study
This is an important reminder that we need your comments about our streetscape proposals for Parliament, Carlton and Gerrard. These ideas will guide both the BIA and the City of Toronto in our future decisions about the shape of the shopping areas. Please check the link and tell us your reactions:   

Soup Sale
Don’t forget that Saturday is your date for Soup’s annual Mother’s Day craft sale. The artists at Soup will be offering cards, jewelry, silk screen clothing, pressed and preserved flowers and lots more. From 10 am to 5 pm at 6031/2 Parliament.

Three nice events are happening in Cabbagetown on the weekend.
For euchre players, there’s a tournament on Saturday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at Central Neighbourhood House, 349 Ontario Street. Registration is $20. There are prizes for $75, $50 and $25. Call Robert Butler at 925-4363, ext 119.

The annual Forsythia Festival is always a landmark event in Cabbagetown. It happens on Sunday, from 10:30 am. It starts at Riverdale Park (Sumach & Winchester) at 10 am and the parade then goes to Wellesley Park (at the east end of Wellesley Street) at 10:30 am. In Wellesley Park, there are games, snacks, and lots of fun for your family. Don’t miss it.

The Hike for Hospice 2009 is another event on May 3 in Riverdale Park. You can take a 2k stroll through the park or a 5k walk in the Don Valley. If you bring fundraising pledges, registration is free; otherwise registration is $20. Enjoy lunch, games, face painting, musical entertainment and a free massage.