CHABAC COVID-19 Response and Resource Page
The COVID 19 Pandemic has affected African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities in Canada differently, and the CHABAC Network recognizes that the needs of each ACB person are unique. The following resources are presented in an easy to use and navigate format so that you can connect to the information you need in order to support yourself, your family and friends, and your community. The following three areas are linked here and available through our ACB COVID 19 FAQ. To get COVID-19 information no matter where you or your friends and family live in the country, visit the Health Canada website for a full list of contacts organized by province and territory.
There are two main funding programs for individuals in Canada who are eligible to work and who pay taxes, or receive social assistance. If you are a newcomer, some or all of these may apply. The government has been changing these plans frequently, so even if you don’t think you are currently, eligible, please check back often. You may apply for either benefit and you may receive it, but be aware that currently, the government may issue you a payment in error and then ask you to pay it back. The two main benefits are:
Canada Emergency Response Benefit or CERB (for eligible people who have worked in 2019/2020, made more than $500, and are earning less than $900 a month).
Canada Emergency Student Benefit or CESB (for students recently graduated from high school, or in university who do not qualify for EI or CERB).
Did you know that the government has a range of other income supports and programs for:
- You and your family
- People living with disabilities
- People in college or university or who graduated recently
- Indigenous people
- Young people who stated their own business
- Women who started their own business
Visit the Government of Canada website to learn more
PROTECTING MYSELF, PROTECTING MY COMMUNITY
The information regarding COVID-19 has been and is rapidly changing. As different parts of Canada ease public health measures such as isolation and return to more normal social and business practices, the risk for ongoing infection and a resurgence remains. CHABAC is therefore recommending that ACB HIV and/or Hep C, CHABAC supports the advice from Health Canada and all provincial and territorial public health authorities’ shared recommendations and best practices for staying safe which include the following until further notice:
- Physical or ‘Social’ Distancing of two meters at least from any other person except family members, or your social bubble of 5-10 people.
- Practicing good respiratory hygiene (e.g., cover your cough and sneezes, staying home when you feel sick).
- Wearing a mask and frequent handwashing with warm water, soap and where this is not possible, hand sanitizer are still the best ways to reduce the risk and reduce transmission of coronavirus in ACB communities.
With the recent murder of George Floyd and the ongoing anti-Black racism in the US and Canada, the mental health of ACB communities and individuals, especially those who are also women, newcomers, disabled, or LGBTQ2. Mindfulness and isolation, usually ways to center ourselves and to get respite from stressors are now themselves affecting the mental health of ACB communities. Developing a social bubble, finding a pandemic buddy, or finding socially distant, virtual or other social activities that are low risk are important to maintaining mental health.