Brazilian Jiujitsu


What do my respiratory therapy blog and Innisfil Brazilian Jiujitsu have to do with each other? Do I practice Jiu-jitsu?

The fact that I had to look up the spelling of this sport should give you a clue. I am sure it is a great sport and can help people destress. I yet to try it, but hopefully one day. This blog post is a reflection than an informative respiratory therapy piece.
With the start of the pandemic, I was deployed to the acute care side of respiratory care. I had to push through personal and mental barriers, step out of the comfort zone, and help out where my presence was required. While uncomfortable, I was fortunate to have a job. I was lucky to rely on a steady paycheque. Not everyone has had the peace of mind when it comes to income. Many small businesses have suffered. To answer the question I asked at the beginning of this blog post, the common denominator of my blog and IBJJ is people. This is NOT a paid promotion. I have purchased a few of my friend’s merchandise and now I am shamelessly promoting his business. My friend PK opened his business in 2019 ( 1035 Cole Street. Innisfil, Ontario). I am looking forward to the day that he re-opens his gym, and does what he enjoys.

Since the start of the pandemic, I have seen many acts of kindness. Many people donated masks and food to hospitals. Something I benefited and very thankful for. I have also observed front line workers giving back.
Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO) recently shared these photos of RTs and organizations on social media (July 6th, 2020):

RTs and other healthcare workers joined to raise money and give back to their communities. #HCWS4FOOD.

Take a step back and evaluate your situation. Is there any way you can give back? Any way you can help out someone in need? Our experience has been different and we may be in different stages and financial situations so this is not put to push pressure on anyone. Giving back could even be volunteering and offering your knowledge and skills. If you don’t have the time or the money to give back, take a moment and appreciate what and who you do have (give gratitude).


This is also a perfect opportunity for me to thank John Meloche from Melotel Inc. for offering his expertise and services to me so I could offer my respiratory therapy blog to those who could benefit from it!

Farzad Refahi
July 8th, 2020

Quiet First Day of Spring

Today is March 20th, 2020. The first day of spring. Happy Nowruz to all those who celebrate the new year. Iranians, among few other nations, have the first day of spring as their new year.

While new year celebrations involve visiting others and sharing delicious food, this year will be quiet. I hope it is quiet. Let’s continue the social isolation. Let’s continue to practice proper hand hygiene. Let’s self-isolate if you are feeling unwell. Let’s think about the vulnerable population and the elder members of the family.

My blog posts are usually meant for clinicians. This time, I am writing to every one, since dealing with COVID-19 is beyond the work of clinicians and healthcare system.

While you monitor your physical health, please don’t forget about your mental health. There are various electronic and video communication options that allow you to connect with others. Call the elderly to check-up on them. If you know someone in isolation, ask if they require groceries (being dropped behind their door).

Those who experienced SARS in 2003 may experience higher levels of anxiety around this time (especially clinicians). Make sure you connect with proper resources, support and intervention if required.

Give yourself mental breaks. Find a few trusted sources for news and COVID-19, and only review those. Constantly reading about it may induce increased anxiety. ( is one of my trusted sources.)

Find appropriate stretches and exercises that can be safely done at home. Stay hydrated. Use this opportunity to stop smoking. Pick up that book that you always intended to read!

Don’t forget about the positive. Give gratitude for the good in your life. There are many great people who are doing their best to help out. A quick shout out to respiratory therapists and clinicians who continue to work to keep us healthy. Fatima Foster is creating a supportive online community for clinicians who are experiencing some anxiety around this time. John Meloche from Melotel Inc. is using the resources in his company to support communities and organizations who have non-for-profit COVID-19 support groups. There are many more examples if you look for them!

Have a happy, healthy, and quiet Nowruz!

Farzad Refahi


Get Involved

There are various ways that you can get involved with your respiratory therapy organizations in Canada. Some take a minute to do, some five minutes, and some requiring a few hours a week on an ongoing basis. You can make a difference, and you should not take that lightly or for granted.

Fast and Easy Involvement

Takes a minute to find your respiratory therapy organizations on social media platforms. Follow them. It helps you stay up to date, and by sharing the relevant and important posts, you help with spreading the word, advocating and promoting the profession.

Takes a Few Minutes but You Will Help Shape Things On a Larger Scale

Our national organization, Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists, is filling a few spots on the board of directors. Put aside 5 minutes to read the biographies and letters of intent. The voting process takes just a minute. Have your say, and help shape the future of our profession on the national level. Go to and vote! The deadline is tomorrow!

Have Some Time To Volunteer On An Ongoing Basis?

Have a desire to help and support your provincial organization? RTSO is recruiting for various position and roles. Visit for more details. I have been volunteering with RTSO for more than 2 years, and have assisted with various projects. I have learned from many amazing volunteers over this time.

Together, We Are Stronger!

We can make a difference. Renew your national and provincial RT memberships!

Farzad Refahi