To our Community members and attendees,
We hope you are all keeping well.
If someone would have mentioned to us in 2019 that the early months of 2020 would bring upon the world a pandemic that would disrupt every sense of normalcy that we have ever known – we would never have believed it. But here we are, nearly seven months after announcing the closing of our ISIJ centres, meeting bi-weekly with our medical experts, keeping tabs on the latest facts, and adjusting to the ‘new normal’.
We want to take a moment before diving into our updates to thank each and every one of you for doing your part and adhering to the protocols and guidelines of our province.
To our seniors, we know it must have been difficult to not attend weekly programs at the centres and meet with others in your circle of friends, but you were resilient and prioritized your safety and the safety of others. Thank you!
To our young parents, we know you were looking forward to the programs that catered to your children throughout the peak months like Ramadan and Muharram/Safar. Not being able to attend those could not have been easy, but you adapted to online programs and ensured your children did not miss out. Thank you!
To our youths and children, your social programs and sporting activities may have been the highlight of your week, but you found alternative and safer means for events via online platforms and many of you may have also assisted the elders in your home adjust to ‘online programming’. Thank you!
Being a part of one community where its members and attendees support one another, has enabled us to overcome some of the challenges of the pandemic and insha’Allāh we pray that together (while physically distanced!) we can overcome this in good health and safely.
Imām al-Husayn (a) has said: “If any believer goes out to help his brother, Allāh writes for him a good deed for every step (he takes) and erases from him a sin and elevates him a degree.”
An Update from our Medical Experts
It has been a turbulent week where the province of Ontario is seeing an upward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported daily. On Monday, the province reported its highest single-day increase and on Wednesday health officials showed through the latest modelling numbers that Ontario could see an upward of 1,000 cases a day in October.
While 85 per cent of known cases are resolved, the number of active cases per 100,000 people is on the rise. In our communique sent on Thursday August 20, 2020 we shared that, at the time, there were 8 active cases per 100,000 people in Ontario. As of September 30, 2020, the rate is 34 active cases per 100,000 people in Ontario.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Office released a statement on Sunday September 27, 2020 where she highlighted some key points:
- We all need to increase personal protective measures and reduce the number of close contacts and the contact duration as much as possible.
- We all have different family circumstances but keeping our bubble very limited will contribute to reducing the overall rate of infection in our communities.
- Every person we encounter brings a whole network of contacts history with them.
- The quickest and safest way for Canada to get back on the slow burn is to take every measure during every moment of our day, and always act in a way that can prevent the spread of illness to others.
- ALWAYS keep a 2-metre physical distance from others who are outside of our small, consistent and trusted bubbles – regardless of whether you are indoors or outdoors.
- ALWAYS keep up with good hygiene habits such as washing hands frequently and thoroughly, covering coughs, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering where appropriate.
- LIMIT the amount of time and the number of people you come into close contact with.
- DO NOT take measures and policies lightly.
Our scholars have repeatedly reminded us, especially over the course of the last two months, that we have a responsibility to both protect others from harm, as well as to stay safe. Therefore, if it is an absolute must that you must go out, before leaving the house, take a brief moment to consider how your interactions outside will impact your household bubble and what precautionary measures you need to take to keep both you and your loved ones safe.
We urge each and every one of our community members and attendees to please take care and keep safe.
With Salāms & Du’ās
ISIJ Secretariat Office
Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto
905.695.9786 | [email protected]