As Europe continues to grapple with COVID 19, Military Family Services (Europe) (MFS(E)) will work to ensure that our families are informed and that everyone has the necessary information to act responsibly in order to take an active role in flattening the curve of infection.
MFS(E) is in frequent contact with Formation Europe. Based on the fluidity of this evolving situation, MFS(E) wants to reassure you that we will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available.
Based on the unique context of Europe, each family will live this experience differently. However, it is important to ensure we are not complacent in this matter and recognize that we each have a social responsibility to protect not only ourselves, but those who may be vulnerable around us.
Here are some tips to help reduce your personal risks and that of your families:
Please understand that since this is an ongoing situation, information provided by governments or health related organisations may not reflect the latest findings in real time (e.g. travel restrictions). Good hygiene and social distancing remain the most effective measures to prevent contact with the virus and slow its dissemination.
- Avoid crowded areas, events & visits with those who may be considered part of the vulnerable population
- Minimalize use of public transit
- Practice proper personal hygiene (wash hands frequently, cough into your arm etc.)
- Avoid non-essential travel
It is also important that each family ensures they have adequate supplies in their home, in order to manage a possible period of isolation or illness. It is suggested that all families have on hand, sufficient food and supplies to last their family for a minimum of two weeks. Based on Ottawa’s Public Health Fact Sheet on self-isolation (linked here) you will find suggestions and examples of some of the supplies you may want to acquire in preparation for a possible period of isolation.
During the next weeks and perhaps months to come, it is essential that families keep all lines of communication open. Be sure to speak to your kids about what they are hearing around them and ensure that as a couple you are engaging in an ongoing open dialogue.
As CAF families, we should remember that in Europe, CAF members may be directed to act in a certain way through the Canadian chain of Command, NATO, or through host nation measures. As a result, we should endeavor to keep abreast of the direction our Forces members are given and follow suit.
Your MFS(E) team will continue to be available to assist where we can and will share information as it becomes available. Staff will be working from home and not be able to access phone messages. Therefore please contact your centre or our regional offices via email.
Alternatively, you may send us a direct message on our MFS Facebook page.
Do not hesitate to contact us!
If you feel the need for some emotional support during this time, please reach out to our MFS(E) Social Worker, Myriam Chebat, at firstname.lastname@example.org. or alternatively, the Family Information Line: 1-800-866-4546, (613)995-5234 or toll free from Europe, 00800 7711 7722 or your local Padre.
Your MFS(E) team