Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/4/2020 (530 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Grieving in isolation
Last week, my brother died from the coronavirus. He was a resident of an assisted-living facility in Ontario. No one could see him when he was sick, and no one was there when he died. There will be no memorial service. The next day, he was just a statistic from Ontario.
I am glad that the government is supporting people who have lost their jobs, but how do you support people who’ve lost a loved one and have no way to process the grief?
Most of us have been in self-imposed isolation for a month now. We cannot go to see a dear friend and get a hug or hold hands and go for a walk in the woods. While technology is great, it does not give you the intimacy that we all need.
I can only hope that we see the end of this soon and that we all survive the loneliness, the grief and the sadness and hold on tight to one another.
Worth the cost
Re: The price of civilization? and Politics and PST (Letters, April 8)
We most certainly must help Canada and Manitoba recover the enormous costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and be better prepared for the next one. I’m sure not to be alone in fully expecting, and welcoming, increases to the GST and the PST in order to ensure that we remain a civilized country.
I often think these taxes should never have remained stagnant for so many years in the first place.
Invoke Emergencies Act
Re: Trudeau rejects stay-home order (April 3)
Where has common sense gone? The prime minister and premiers don’t think the situation is serious enough to invoke the Emergencies Act.
As of April 9, nearly 20,000 Canadians were infected and 460 had died; the prime minister himself stated too many Canadians are still going out needlessly and potentially spreading the virus. Just look at B.C., where there were hundreds of people wandering around in parks and at beaches — how many more people have to become ill and die before this Act is invoked?
Medical experts say physical distancing and staying at home are the two best things to prevent the spread of the virus. Canada has been lucky so far, but you can count on it becoming much worse. The Emergencies Act should be put into effect immediately in order to try and lessen the spread of this pandemic.
The Canadian Pharmacists Association has decided we should now only get a 30-day supply of medications, and Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin concurred, saying it’s to avoid people stockpiling meds. You could only ever get a three-month supply, which has worked fine for years and could hardly be considered stockpiling. At a time when we’re being told to stay home, I now have to go to the pharmacy three times instead of once?
Only being allowed meds one month at a time will cost me $71 more over a three-month period, and I know there are many people who will pay much more. Many years ago, our private insurance company suggested filling prescriptions for three months at a time to keep costs down. Now their costs will rise, thanks to the CPA and Dr. Roussin, and since premiums are based on the prior year’s expenses, premiums will surely rise in 2021, so once again the patient pays.
I am retired and on a fixed income — can someone explain how any of this helps me? The way I see it, the pharmacies are the only ones to benefit.
It’s in the cards
Many companies and businesses are sacrificing to make it easier for us in this time of crisis. It would be nice if credit-card companies were to give us a break by lowering fees as most of us are asked to use debit or credit cards.
Now that we’ve been instructed on how to do a controlled panic, maybe the chief public health officer could answer some questions, or offer some advice on the following:
How do I negotiate with the bank or landlord after I’ve lost my job?
How will we take care of the most vulnerable when a large number of medical facilities are closed?
Who’s keeping stats on stress-related deaths and serious health problems that have nothing directly to do with the virus?
What do we do about people getting depressed, stressed and violent, at home or elsewhere, because of the panic?
If we’re staying at home as much as possible, what do we do about our muscles failing us — walking problems, etc.?
What’s the protocol when we run out of toilet paper?
I await his reply.
Getting out and about
Re: Vehicle restrictions to remain in place until start of May (April 7)
I give the city of Winnipeg operations department a big congratulations for acting with intelligence and leadership in helping us all stay healthy during the coronavirus crisis. It makes perfect sense to facilitate public outdoor activities by blocking daily vehicular traffic on recognized recreational routes.
In Canada, and especially Manitoba, we have among the largest green spaces in the world and the lowest population density. Our governments need to help us all enjoy these spaces safely during these challenging times and this was a good example of the right thing to do.
If distances are maintained as recommended, there is no risk of contracting the virus while cycling, walking, skateboarding etc. Any person or institution that suggests otherwise is perpetuating an absurd myth. If it happens to come to the point where Canadians are locked down to only leave for an essential grocery trip, this will only serve to worsen the public’s health. Surely, heart disease, cancer, weight gain and arthritis curves will all climb exponentially as the months go on, if people lead an extra-sedentary life at home.
I also suggest the authorities don’t close cottage country and various parks this year and follow the principles that led to the City of Winnipeg’s decision. It would be a fear-driven decision with no basis in reality or science. Let us all stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors safely.
Kelly Milan, physiotherapist
Lessons of gratitude
Thanks to all the staff at the Free Press who have kept the news coming to our front doors, which is a very cheerful start to the morning.
I am wondering what will be the after-effects of the pandemic. I see some people are good at gratitude in hard times, and I think resiliency results when people can put a positive spin on challenging events. Some people are good at this. Others not so much.
It is easy to be judgmental about other people’s actions, especially if they are not following medical advice and self-isolating. However, it appears the messages of medical and political leaders are adhered to by the majority.
Getting outside to walk gives me a new appreciation for nature and the coming signs of spring. I also miss old friends, family and others who I saw on a regular basis, but did not know their names or phone numbers. Hope they are all doing well.
I hope we will remember these gratitude lessons when life gets back to "normal." I hope we will continue to appreciate all the health-care workers and essential workers who kept things running. We appreciate your work!