Can I go for a drive during a global pandemic?

Staying indoors plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of transmitting COVID-19, explains Dave Deines, president of the Paramedic Association of Canada. If you get into a collision, for example, you’re likely to come in close contact with a number of other people, including paramedics, firefighters and police officers. This contact increases the chances of transmitting the virus.

“Every single call we go to has the potential to be a COVID or [influenza-like illness] call, so the more people outside, the greater the risk of getting infected,” Deines told over the phone Wednesday.

While paramedics are expected to wear the highest quality protective equipment, their unpredictable work environment and close contact with patients make them especially vulnerable to infection. Staying off the road reduces the chances of requiring pre-hospital care, says Deines, which is why he recommends it.

“Generally, we know what needs to be done to flatten the curve and stop community spread,” Deines said. “Staying home is one of the things you can do to protect everyone, including first responders.”