Each day since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Jennifer Kwan, of Burlington, has been tracking COVID-19 data, creating graphs, and sharing this information with the public on Twitter.
Dr. Kwan believed that if people saw the numbers in a graph, it would help them visualize and better understand how Ontario has been impacted by the virus. What began as an effort to encourage people to protect themselves has become a daily ‘must read’ for her 64,500 followers on Twitter.
Initially, her graphs tracked the number of cases, but as more data became available, she began to include charts and graphs on other metrics including hospitalizations, ICU admissions, deaths, testing, positivity rates, and even the variants of concern.
Dr. Kwan spends about an hour each morning compiling this information from publicly reported data and is committed to producing daily reports until the end of the pandemic. As she notes: “When people have a higher level of health literacy, they feel empowered about their own health.”
Expert, trusted advice is a powerful way to help alleviate some of the psychological anxiety of living through a pandemic.
To that end, Dr. Sean Blaine of Stratford has found ways to provide insights and assurance to as many members of his Stratford community as possible. He partnered with a local film and television production company to produce a video series of public health messages covering topics that are top of mind—from returning to school during the pandemic, to staying safe over the holidays, to the COVID-19 vaccination strategy.
To date, his videos have had more than 70,000 views on YouTube and an even larger reach on Facebook. “We believe there is going to be a greater need for reliable and trustworthy health messaging … and who better than a family physician to deliver it?”