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Toronto, Peel Region residents advised to tend to mental, physical health during lockdown

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WATCH: As of Monday at 12:01 a.m., Toronto and Peel Region will enter into lockdown, meaning all non-essential retail, gyms and personal care services will be shuttered for at least 28-days. Morganne Campbell takes a look at the impact the lockdown may have on people’s mental health in advance of the holidays.

Many across Toronto and Peel Region did the mad dash over the weekend for last minute essential items, and in some cases holiday gifts, as those two areas enter a government ordered lockdown.

“We’re not sure when they’re going to be open again so it’s better to go shopping this weekend,” said Alex Rodriguez as he and his partner bought shoes for the family Christmas, which they’re unsure will continue as planned.

Read more: Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Nov. 22

As of 12:01 Monday morning all non-essential retailers in Toronto and Peel will be limited to curb-side pickup only, which includes retailers in malls. Indoor dining will be banned and gyms, salons and other personal care businesses will be locked up for at least 28 days.

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Premier Doug Ford’s government made the announcement during a press conference Friday and asked people not to panic buy in an effort to protect the province’s supply chain.

“This is our busiest time of the year so it’s super stressful for everyone, but especially, I feel, like people in this industry — we rely on the income,” said Elle Hicks, who is a stylist at a Toronto salon. The closure came as a shock to her and her colleagues.

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Coronavirus: Shoppers flock to malls in Toronto, Peel Region ahead of lockdown

“We didn’t really plan for emotionally for this,” added Hicks.

Medical professionals are concerned about the impact a second lockdown could have on those who live in those restricted areas so close to the holidays.

“I think most people are actually going to handle this well but a sufficient number of people are going to struggle with this,” said Ottawa-based epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan.

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Deonandan says the provincial government needs to use the time over the next several weeks to work on effective contact tracing, clean up public health communication and to take a closer look at transmission rates in school environments.

Read more: Here’s what you can and can’t do in Toronto, Peel Region during coronavirus lockdown stage

“Will we do these things? I’m skeptical, but I think we have that opportunity and we should not squander that opportunity.”

Health and wellness coaches are urging people to continue working through their daily routines while at home and say proper exercise, healthy eating and a solid sleep schedule can help to battle those lockdown blue.

“Just try and get a little bit of exercise every day and I promise you, I promise you, you will not regret doing that,” said Dan McDonogh, the director of performance and programming with Goodlife Fitness.

And while you may be stuck at home, there is a way you can help others who may be struggling.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone and just say, ‘let’s chat,’ because it makes a big difference,” McDonogh added.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported a total of 1,534 new coronavirus cases on Saturday.

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