Spread the Word, Not the Virus

Heiltsuk member Charity Gladstone wants to get the message out that keeping physical distance from others can help save lives.

She says the rules are simple to stop the spread of the highly-infectious coronavirus: Stay at home as much as possible, wash your hands frequently, and make sure you are an arm’s length or two away from others in public spaces.

The hard part, she says, is making sure people are informed. That’s why the 35-year-old Heiltsuk Community Planning Coordinator decided to create a series of Covid-19 infographics for her community.

“I thought I would make infographics to share because it was an opportunity to educate people,” Charity explained. “To let them know there are precautions you can take, and you may not know what they are”

With the help of Heiltsuk Tribal Council colleagues Ayla Brown, Megan Humchitt and community member Ramona Starr, Charity researched and designed clear and appealing graphics to drive home public health messages.

She hopes an infographic posted outside the Bella Bella store will encourage social distancing for shoppers. “There are certain things that people aren’t yet taking into account,” she said. “For example, some people don’t understand that coronavirus is more contagious than the flu.”

The poster asks shoppers to stay patient in checkout lineups and keep carts six feet back from the person ahead of them. It illustrates how the virus could be spread by an infected person who coughs or sneezes on the cart and possibly on to others if they touch the cart and then touch their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

According to Charity, even the term “social distancing” can be confusing. One infographic lays out some simple rules for outside the home: Stay back from others by six feet. Do not spend time in large groups. Avoid touching, hugging or kissing and only ride in cars or boats with small numbers of members of your own household.

Tips for Social Distancing at Home offers ideas for kids, simple dos and don’ts, and ways to keep the home safe from contamination.

Charity hopes that people read and help share her infographics. “It’s a community effort. We have to be patient and cooperate,” she urges. “We have to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy because we don’t have the resources to take care of everyone if they get sick.”