May 22, 2020

Ex-ambulances being used to bring people to COVID-19 assessment centre

Link to story on CTV News by Nicole Lampa – May 22, 2020

“KITCHENER — A COVID-19 assessment and testing centre in Waterloo is offering a free service to make it easier for residents with transportation issues to get tested.

An old ambulance has become a free ride for those like Lina Roult, who  was tested at the KW4 Community Assessment Centre on Thursday.

“I’m so happy that this service exists because I don’t have a car,” she says.

The owner of the clinic, Rex Mohamed, teamed up with an area doctor to create the assessment centre.

In order to help prevent the spread of the virus on public transit, they initially rented a private limo service for patients who needed tests but had no way to get there.

Then he decided to purchase vehicles more appropriate to the task.

“These are ex-ambulances. We’ve bought two of those and we are transporting patients at no cost,” Mohamed explains.

Nearly 60 people have been transported to and from the clinic so far.

“My understanding is, it’s been received extremely positively,” says Dr. Joseph Lee.

Patients sit in the back of the ambulances and are provided masks.

The vehicles are sanitized between each patient, and drivers are required to wear personal protective equipment.

Mohamed’s wife had also stepped in as a driver up until Thursday.

“As a matter of fact, my wife is in the hospital right now. She was picked up by ambulance in the morning with chest pains and my daughter is showing some signs,” he says.

“But it’s not going to stop us. We’ll continue serving.”

For patients like Roult, the help is appreciated.

“It was a big relief because otherwise I’d have to have thought about walking up here, which is quite a long ways,” she says.

“Or I would have had to have not had a test, which is not good.”

Last weekend, testing opened up to the general public—before then, it was prioritized for high-risk groups, like health-care workers or long-term care residents.

Certain locations are still by doctor referral only, while others, like ones at the hospitals in Kitchener, are working on self-referral options.”

Nicole Lampa CTV News Kitchener Videographer

May 21, 2020

Residents with transportation issues offered free rides to COVID-19 clinic

Link to story by CTV News by Nicole Lampa – May 21, 2020

“WATERLOO — Those running the COVID-19 assessment and testing centre in Waterloo are offering a service that is making a big difference.

Mohamed teamed up with an area doctor to create the assessment centre, and originally rented a private limo service, but had no way to get there himself.

The K-W 4 Community Assessment Centre has since purchased vehicles to transport people to be tested.

“They are ex-ambulances,” said clinic owner Rex Mohammed. “We’ve bought two of those and we are transporting at no cost.”

The method is done in order to prevent the spread of the virus on public transit. Nearly 60 people have been transported to and from the clinic so far.

The vehicles are sanitized after each patient and drivers are required to wear PPE.

Mohammed’s wife had stepped in as a driver until Thursday.

“My wife is in the hospital right now,” he said. “She was picked up by an ambulance this morning with chest pains, and my daughter is showing some signs.”

“It’s not going to stop us. We’ll continue servicing whatever it takes.”

Linda Roult has tested for COVID-19 and says the ride is greatly appreciated.

“It was a big relief because otherwise I would have to walk here, which is quite a long ways,” she said. “Or I would have had not had a test, which is not good.”

The Waterloo assessment centre on Westmount Road is open for general population testing, but is still by referral only.”

Nicole Lampa CTV News Kitchener Videographer

May 7, 2020

Why is it important to talk about the advance directives at the end of life care?

The greatest passion of any medical professional is to cure their patients. The technological advancements at present have added a lot to the medical science and we have a variety of improved options for treatment, diagnosis, and prognosis of many diseases. Today, people consider doctors as their heroes and they believe that the present medical science can do any wonder. People entrust their doctors with their health conditions looking forward to them for possible solutions.

Nevertheless, we cannot deny death because every one of us is born to eventually die one day. Also, medical care facilities don’t bring positive results always. There are greater chances of side-effects of treatments leading to unfavorable conditions. This is sometimes when the doctors are questioned, especially when the patient is approaching the end of his life. In such conditions, some of the most difficult questions arise that need to be addressed for the patients but are ignored. These questions are mostly about the worth of the treatment for the patient, the expected quality of life, the benefits or harms of any particular treatment, etc.

All of these questions require the consent of the patient to continue with the treatment. Lack of the patient’s consent leads to the continuation of the suffering. The doctors cannot decide about these questions on their own because they had taken the oath of making every possible effort to save the life of their patients. This is why “discussions about the advance directives at the end of life care” are encouraged.

In addition, doctors have often witnessed a family conflict at the bedside of the patients. Half of the family insists to continue with the aggressive treatment while the others are of the opinion that the patient should be allowed to have a natural death without any harsh treatment. This happens usually when the patient is very old or too weak to respond to the treatment. These matters could be solved easily with the patient’s consent but he/she isn’t in a position to do so. This is only possible if the patient already discussed the advance directives at the end of his/her life care.

Discussions about the end of life care can bring numerous advantages for the patient, the family and the medical care staff associated with the patient. These discussions give an idea about the wishes of the sufferer regarding the end of life care. It removes a burden from the minds of the family members and they can choose the treatment as per the patient’s choice. Moreover, it helps the doctors to choose an appropriate treatment in time as well. It builds a sense of trust and comfort between the patient and those who are entrusted with his/her care. Most importantly, the discussions about the end of life care avoid unnecessary prolongation of suffering for patients with severe illnesses. It makes it a bit easier for them to die.

It is not always necessary to discuss the matter with the family. Of course, they are your loved ones and the thought of leaving them can grieve you all. You can discuss the matter with your family doctor. It is better to sign a legal document stating all your wishes and demands related to life care so that it can be shown to your family at the required time.

Most of the people consider the discussions regarding the end of life care important but only a few practice it. Considering COVID-19, it is the best time for such discussions. The spread rate of the virus is a threat that anyone can catch it. Anyone of us can end up sick with the Coronavirus. At present, it is such a traumatic disease that leaves the patient mentally crippled. They are not able to make decisions about their life care at such a critical point. It is very important for us to let our families know the level of the medical care we wish to have if we’re harmed with the virus. It is necessary to consider and communicate your wishes and beliefs earlier so that conflicts at your bedside are avoided.

Discussions about the end of life care can make a huge difference in the time of crisis. It is not about denying medical care regardless of age or condition. Also, it isn’t necessary that every one of us will encounter severe illnesses. It is just a healthy exercise that can help you to acquire the medical care of your own choice and avoid sufferings at the death bed.


The (

Smeenk, F. W., Schrijver, L. A., van Bavel, H. C., & van de Laar, E. F. (2017). Talking about end-of-life care in a timely manner. Breathe13(4), e95-e102.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, & Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee. (2006). Patient-and family-centered care and the role of the emergency physician providing care to a child in the emergency department. Pediatrics118(5), 2242-2244.

Is it COVID-19 or your imagination? The effects of isolation on the mental health of people! 

Any pandemic or a disease outbreak is one of the greatest tests of any society. This hard time brings unusual inconveniences and adversities for the people living in the threatened area. Global pandemics lead to greater v2astation. They have long-term effects on almost all the sectors of life across the world. From declining the economy to stopping everyday life, a pandemic has a lot to do with the people. It creates political, economical, and social unrest all around the world.

One of the major effects of any pandemic is the deterioration of the public’s mental health. People experience a sense of fear, threat, anxiety, and restlessness all the time. Most importantly, self-isolation as a consequence of social distancing is reported to harm the mental health of the people. It is often associated with negative feelings and mental illnesses that in severe cases may cause the death of patients.

Man is a social animal. It cannot survive without social connections, communications, and interactions. There are very few people who live happily when isolated. However, the majority of the human population loves to interact. The power of even a momentary touch has long-lasting effects on human wellbeing. One cannot spend the whole life in a particular place with no one or a certain number of people around. It is a human psychological desire to go out in the world, meet new people and make connections. When you spend time with your family or when you go out with friends, you share your problems, everyday routines, your due tasks and what not? All of this interaction is scientifically proven to be cheering, therapeutic, and pain-relieving. However, we should never forget that every picture has two faces. Socializing is good if done with right and positive people. Interaction with negative-minded people is much worse than isolation!

Isolation and mental health   

COVID-19 has made us all sit at homes and maintain a distance with the world. Unfortunately, this social distancing is one of the most effective preventive approaches towards pandemic. People who v2elop the disease or acquire the infection are also quarantined to limit the spread. The health care experts are continuously emphasizing on limiting human contact. People aren’t allowed to leave their houses until it is very necessary. All the markets have been closed down except for grocery stores, bakeries, hospitals, health care units, pharmacies, etc. People working at such places are also directed to maintain healthy distances for minimizing the chances of infection.

This state of isolation at homes is reportedly affecting the mental health of people especially the ones locked in their homes. The working members are disturbed due to their jobs and declining businesses. Children especially students are worried about their studies as they are unable to go to school, colleges or universities. Many of them must be missing their friends and the fun they had at schools or colleges. Everyone has mental health issues that they are battling in different ways. Doctors and paramedical staff working 24/7 in the hospitals are mentally exhausted. They are tired of living away from their loved ones and performing duties day and night. The patients of COVID-19 living at the quarantine centers are said to have the greatest mental health issues. The disease cuts their contact with the outer world which is not less than a trauma. They demand greater attention and empathy.  The poor class of the society who used to work on daily wages is suffering the most. People don’t have anything to eat and no work which is very traumatic for them.

There are a lot of studies that indicate an increase in the rate of v2elopment of mental illnesses during isolation. Anxiety and depression are once again hitting people hard. The daily news regarding worldwide deaths creates a sense of mental unrest among the general population. This wave of fretfulness mixed angst is decreasing the morale of people and compels them to surrender before the disease. The disease might not catch them but their fear of catching it makes the situation more miserable. People who have already fallen prey to numerous mental illnesses depict much worse symptoms! All of these responses are much obvious and expected but, if not controlled in time, they can lead to unexpectedly dangerous outcomes.

What needs to be done?

It is necessary to treat the disease but it is more important to motivate the people to fight it. COVID-19 might not be curable but at least we can fight it with motivation. The health care staff should ensure some safety measures concerning the mental health of the population. The perceptions of the patient about the situation can help them to fight both isolation and the disease very well.

Here we present a few tips to fight mental illnesses during the isolation.

One of the key tips to avoid mental illnesses is to prevent them from v2eloping. Don’t let yourself to consume your mind over negative imagination. Keep your thoughts positive and hopes high. Practice isolation creatively! Invest your time in creative work. Make friends with yourself and your family members and spend quality time with them. Try to spend your day doing what you always wanted to or what you love to do. Parents should motivate their children to practice healthy hobbies. Children should help their parents with household chores. Eat healthy food. Keeping all the tensions aside, try to take out some time to meditate. Make a regular exercise schedule, encourage your children to work out with you too. The infected people, living in quarantine, should not panic and fight the disease with strength. The medical staff shouldn’t only treat them but also empathize with them. If possible, they should let the patients contact their family members over phone calls.

We all need to understand that we are together in this hard time. We should support each other with all the available resources and pray for the health of the whole world!


  1. CDC, Coronavirus, 2019 (
  2. HUB, John Hopkins University, 2020 (
  3. WHO, Coronavirus-mental health consideration, 2020 (
  4. Global news (
  5. Venkatesh, A., & Edirappuli, S. (2020). Social distancing in covid-19: what are the mental health implications?. Bmj369.



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