COVID19 Edition

Navigating Consent, Harm Reduction, Self-Care and Community Care During the Pandemic

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#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19

​Virtual Date Ideas During COVID19

  1. Have a netflix party! Show them your face show or movie! (edit: the “Netflix Party” chrome extension has recently been renamed as “Tele Party”. Search for this extension using Chrome)

  2. Play online games together! Check out Jackbox - Search “Host a Virtual Game Night with Jackbox Games & ZOOM on Youtube. One game available for free with the option to purchase others from $12-$30. 

  3. Virtual Show & Tell. Video call and show each other your house plants, some of your favourite things in your space, introduce them to your pets etc. 

  4. Screen Share on zoom or other platforms. Anything from funny youtube videos, music videos you like, or power-points you both made to get to know each other

  5. Participate in a Virtual Escape Room. Remote Play Escape Rooms! – Looking Glass Adventures. Based out of Toronto. $25 per person with a minimum of 4 players. Can be the same or different households/locations. 

  6. Watch a Virtual Concert Together. Many musicians are hosting live streamed or virtual concerts. Screen share live streams or watch on your own devices while videoing. Some virtual concert experiences are limited access that require purchasing a ticket. You may not be able to screen share this, but you could video or text while both watching. Here Are All the Livestreams & Virtual Concerts to Watch During Coronavirus Crisis (Updating)

  7. Attend an online group workout together. WLU Recreation continues to host virtual workouts( https://www.instagram.com/wlurecreation/) and some gyms may be offering online classes as well. Check the websites of the locations near you.


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom #VirtualDateIdeas #VirtualDateNight #GameNight

Finding Ways to Connect During COVID


While general public health advice has been to distance from those outside of our households. However, we know that the reality is that multiple households are often in contact with each other. We suggestion taking as many precautions as possible while interacting with folks from outside your “bubble”. 


Harm reduction for seeing folks outside your bubble: don’t share cups, dishes, bottles, smokes, vapes, pipes, masks, and other items that come in close contact with your mouth, nose or eyes.


Wear masks, wash your hands frequently, open a window, change your clothes and shower when you get home or after friends have left (washing surfaces others touched as well)


*note: this is not medical advice. But suggestions based on the most up tp date precautions. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 


Video / Call hangouts. If that’s not your vide and you prefer texting - try a selfie challenging (sending selfies each day with different themes. Your fave winter sweater? Your fave cozy spot?) 


Normalize alternatives to video chats and making space for communication to look a bit different. It can be hard to continue connecting online when we have to do that for work, school etc. We may need more down time / time away from screens.


Creating a routine of connection. e.g. each Sunday evening you video chat and have a tea together or on Saturday nights you read a bedtime story over video/phone to a little human in your life


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom

HookingUp During COVID19: A Thread by ASCC

Getting Tested: Getting regularly tested for STIs is recommended for sexually active folks. COVID-19 can be added to the list of things to regularly receive tests for. Communicate exposure while talking to new potential hook-ups. Try to reduce contact with others before and after hooking up. 


Safer Sex Ideas. Limit kissing (or other exchanges of saliva) as much as possible. Alternatives could include: mutual masturbation, phone or video sex, glory holes, long distance sex toys etc. 


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom #SaferSex #HookingUp #GetTested

Community care tips for supporting those who are struggling


  • Offer regular check-ins or hangouts

  • Validate their feelings about the situation. Avoid toxic positivity phrases like “at least….,” “be grateful”, “it’s not that bad” etc. 

  • Make a virtual or distanced healing space or support group

  • Offer pro bono support if you have that expertise and capacity

  • Share resources (mental health resources, money, household items like food or craft supplies


Practice consent and care during conversations: Don’t comment or give advice on others’ ways of coping or changes in weight or appearance unless they explicitly initiate that conversation or ask for advice. If inclined to give advice ask first "Do you want advice or just need to vent?"


If you want to discuss a heavy topic or disclose something, ask if they have the capacity or are in the right headspace to listen and give a content warning.


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom

Touch Starvation


The lack of physical contact due to COVID safety measures can lead to touch starvation, which negatively impacts mental health. Here are some ways you can reduce touch starvation:

  • Weighted blankets can provide a feeling of being hugged. Alternatively, laying down and placing a large bag of rice or flour on your chest can provide a similar feeling when you're feeling rough

  • Cuddling with pets, stuffed animals, or a body pillow

  • Hugging, touching, pleasuring, or massaging yourself

  • Warm showers or baths - notice how the water feels on your skin

  • Physical contact with nature - Touch a tree!

  • Hug yourself while video chatting or physically distanced with friends or loved ones as if you're hugging each other

  • You can also weigh the risk / benefits of opening up your bubble to include someone you are close with.


Harm reduction tips for engaging in physical contact with other people: Have a bubble of people to be in physical contact with. Being open and honest about each other's risk levels and who else is in your bubble helps keep things as safe as possible.


Steps to reduce the risk associated with physical contact with those outside your bubble:

  • Wearing masks while hugging and then changing and washing your clothes

  • Opening windows while indoors

  • Sanitizing before and after holding hands

  • Hugging from behind or the side rather than face to face

Remember to always ensure that everyone consents to physical contact before engaging!

#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom

General Self-Care

COVID-19, safety measures, and heightened social injustices have increased stress, isolation, and burnout. Here are some basic self-care practices to cope and sustain yourself:

Set boundaries with yourself by limiting social media and exposure to news, not checking emails or working after a specific time, and setting a routine. If you fall out of your routine, fall into old habits, or cross your boundaries, remember to be gentle with yourself and try again.

Try your best to meet basic needs (rest, food, water, physical activity, hygiene). If you don't have the energy, alternatives include meal deliveries, dry shampoo, wet wipes, etc.

Prioritize and make time for activities that are restorative and bring you joy and comfort.

Find areas of connection and (safely) surround yourself with people who make you feel supported and validated. Avoid or limit interactions with toxic people as much as possible.

"Date" yourself. Identify your love languages (what makes you feel loved) and apply them to yourself. The 5 love languages are touch, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and quality time. For example, if words of affirmation is your love language, write down affirming messages and/or say them to yourself.

Allow yourself to feel and validate your emotions and find healthy ways to express them (e.g. crying, writing them down, venting to trusted person, taking deep breaths, etc).

#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom

8 Ways to Support and Respect Workers During COVID


  1. Be kind, respectful and patient when interacting with folks in customer service

  2. Tip well if you are able

  3. Sanitize when entering a store

  4. Keep the recommended distance (6ft)

  5. Wear a mask (over your nose and mouth!!)

  6. Limit touching of items you are not going to buy

  7. Try to go to stores/restaurants during non-peak hours if possible

  8. If you are a client of the sex working field during this time, make sure you are taking the needed precautions


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom

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Consent is important in all areas of our lives, not just sex. Consent and respecting boundaries are essential during COVID-19. Things you can do to practice consent during COVID:


  • Share your level of exposure with those you are seeing (and ask them about theirs)

  • Discuss what each of your boundaries are

  • As always, respect rejection. People may have different boundaries than you, and that's okay


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom


Impacts of COVID on Indigenous Communities


Indigenous communities across Turtle Island are disproportionately impacted by COVID19.Community members, activists, and Indigenous media sources continue to connect this to pre-existing oppressions faced by Indigenous communities. i.e. lack of clean drinking water,lower access to health care, higher rates of poverty, higher cost for food and other necessities in remote communities


During this increasingly threatening time, resource extraction also continues to take place across so-called canada on Indigneous territory. With this influx of outside workers, the risk for COVID-19 greatly increases. There have already been multiple outbreaks in these camps. 


“Indigenous communities of Turtle Island have suffered waves of infectious diseases since the arrival of Europeans more than 500 years ago, including smallpox, influenza A (“Spanish flu”), tuberculosis (TB), influenza A subtype H1N1 and now severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).


Although public health measures such as social distancing and the adoption of hygiene practices have necessarily been the mainstay of Canada’s approach to containing COVID-19, these measures require people to have housing, water, food and income security, which are often inadequate in Indigenous communities.” (COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health)


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom

Beyond the Pandemic: Consent Practices Moving Forward


COVID-19 has amplified many of the existing struggles and oppressions people face. We've seen the impact of under-funded health care systems, of lack of access to resources, and how COVID disproportionately impacts already marginalized communities.


It has also prompted conversations around general health and proximity to large numbers of people, the necessity to provide PPE, and how lessening contact such as hand shakes, etc. can protect communities from the spread of various illnesses. Actions that can benefit our communities and protect those most vulnerable whether we are in a pandemic or not.


What are we going to do with this information moving forward?


#Consent #HarmReduction #SelfCare #CommunityCare #COVID19 #ConsentOutsideTheBedroom

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