Online Events

The Toronto P.A.R.T.Y. Program held an online event directed for the youth in the Greater Toronto Area on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020. The event was titled “P.A.R.T.Y. Program @Home” and focused on safe practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special thank you goes out to Dr. Rob Fowler, Dr. Mark Sinyor, Dr. Avery Nathens, Will Thomas-Boaz, Corey Freedman, Stephanie Cowle and Sgt. Kerry Schmidt for a very successful event!


One of our senior scientists, Dr. Rob Fowler; Chief of the Tory Trauma Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a consultant to the World Health Organization on Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases answered some of your questions.

We are fortunate to work with amazing leaders out in the community like Ontario Provincial Police, Parachute and medical professionals such as doctors, nurses and scientists who are on the frontlines of this pandemic. The following incredible professionals have also provided some answers to your questions.

Health Care Questions and Answers 

1. If you live in an apartment, and you use the elevator, what precautions should you take? Our elevator fits 10-15 people on average, and it’s a closed, tight space so I’m concerned whether the virus could be transmitted.

That’s a great question. If possible, we should try to socially distance, even in elevators. If you can, skip a busy one and take the next. Better yet, if you are able, take the stairs! If you are in an elevator with other, try to distance and if you are within 6 feet (many elevators aren’t that big!), it’s a good idea to wear a mask.

2. Is re-infection possible? Why are children more resilient to the virus?

I suspect it is much less likely after someone has cleared the virus and developed antibodies – this makes a subsequent infection much harder to take hold. That’s a great question about kids. While they do get ‘infected’, they appear much less likely to develop substantial symptoms or get sick.

3. How come places such as South Korea managed to get the coronavirus under control faster and better than we have?

Where a virus takes hold and where it doesn’t involve a number of factors. One is how quickly people can take precautions like social distancing, wearing masks, etc. Another is the circumstances of the first infections and how many people might have been exposed and seeded other transmission chains – they can take a while to shut down. Another is the density of the population – Seoul is pretty dense however and they did a good job! Another is ‘luck’. It’s not clear why Toronto had SARS in 2003 but it really didn’t take hold in Vancouver.

4. How do you guys keep your distance when working on an injured patient?

We can’t distance ourselves so we wear our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (e.g. Face shield, mask, gown and gloves)

5. Is there any increased worry in workplace injuries for those who are essential workers? Not just from covid-19, but just overall.

Workplaces continue to be required by law to create safe working environments for their workers. This includes personal protective equipment and other safety equipment, when appropriate. Workers should prioritize their safety and speak up if they do not feel safe.

6. When going to essential stores, there are obviously more than 5 people inside, but how do you manage that?

Firstly, try to limit times in which you are exposed to such environments. When you do find yourself in them maintain a distance of at least 2 metres. Many stores are now providing specific guidance to promote safe distancing, such as dedicated directions in aisles, and marked areas on floors when lining up to pay.

Before and after entering the store, and when you return home, wash or sanitize your hands. Lastly, you may consider covering your mouth and nose with a mask, bandana or scarf.

Most importantly, try to keep as much distance as you can, and practice good hand hygiene!

Mental Health Care Questions and Answers

7. What should someone do if their family is their main source of distress during this time?

If your family is causing you distress, a good option can be to do your best to create some space (e.g. if possible, finding a private space in the home to do a pleasant activity or use an emotional regulation strategy like a breathing exercise or meditation). Another option is to be honest about the situation with your family members and try to work collaboratively to find solutions. For example, you could say that being isolated with a small group of people can be hard on everybody and you want both yourself and your family members to make things go as smoothly as you can for everyone’s mental health. If possible, working as a team to find a way of managing family stress can strengthen relationships and decrease tension.

8. How do we get professional help during quarantine if we end up reaching that point?

Many providers are still offering services virtually during the pandemic. So the goal is likely just to try to access care from the same place you normally would but via videoconferencing or phone. Reaching out to your family doctor is always a good strategy. Alternatively, many of the mental health hubs are still providing access to services for youth (

Ontario Provincial Police Questions and Answers

9. How are the police handling regular traffic stops when it comes to collecting license registration and insurance?

Officers will continue to practice distancing from drivers and vehicles they stop using personal protective equipment and possibly asking for verbal IDs and confirming it through the computers rather than asking for their physical driver’s license.

10. How are the police handling people while maintaining a distancing?

If officer’s need to have closer contact with a person, obviously their safety is top-of-mind. They will be using personal protective equipment, washing and decontaminating vehicles after their interaction and always being mindful of possible transmission.

11. Will I get fined if I go on a walk with one of my friends?

If you’re in a social setting with a group of more than five people you could be charged. There is no offense for going for a walk with a friend or being within two metres but there may be other bylaws that apply to those situations and you need to know where you are and what rules are applicable.

12. How are the police planning to disband future corona virus lockdown protests?

Anytime there is the protest we handle them on a case-by-case basis, we live in Canada and you have the right to peacefully protest but any violence or hate crimes would certainly be investigated and prosecuted

13. Am I allowed to hang out with my friends in their backyard?

You are allowed to hang out with friends but again the maximum number of people in a social group is five, anything in excess of five you could be charged even if it is in a personal residence.

14. Are we still allowed to walk in forests and on trails?

Provincial parks are opening but again you need to watch for specific bylaws that may apply to activities within a park. Playgrounds, athletic fields and other recreational amenities are closed. You should be able to walk through most parks but you may not be able to participate in specific activities within the park. Check with local by laws.