Dr. Rebecca Janssen. (Submitted photo)

Dr. Rebecca Janssen. (Submitted photo)

Letter: ‘Be kind, be calm and be safe’

St. John Hospital’s Chief of Staff quotes Dr. Bonnie Henry in letter to residents of the Omineca region.

By Dr Rebecca

Janssen, MD CCFP

Chief of Staff

St John Hospital

Dear residents of the Omineca region,

2020 has been quite the year.

COVID-19 has meant we have all had to make significant adjustments to our lifestyles at home, work and in the public sphere. Thankfully the choices that we’ve made in B.C. have meant that we have fared relatively well as a province during this pandemic.

However, our Public health officials have warned us that a second wave is coming.

The irony of Public Health measures is that when they work as they should, we see very little of the foe that we’re trying to defeat. This naturally makes us question whether it was all necessary.

However we’ve seen in other jurisdictions that when they haven’t taken the situation seriously, there have been terrible consequences. Unfortunately these costs are often borne by the most vulnerable in society.

And when we look at the numbers around COVID 19 it’s easy to focus on the death counts. But please bear in mind that this isn’t the only possible consequence of this illness. Complicating strokes, heart attacks and permanent lung damage will scar many for the rest of their lives.

B.C. has an amazing Public Health leader in Dr. Bonnie Henry. Please listen carefully for the ongoing advice that she gives around measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Locally many of our modifications have eased at St. John Hospital and Stuart Nechako Manor. This might change should a second wave strike as predicted. Unfortunately visitors to the facility are still limited. Please phone St. John Hospital, Stuart Nechako Manor or the Omineca Medical Clinic, if you have questions about our modified policies and procedures at these facilities.

It is my sincere hope that British Columbia and the Omineca region continue to have relatively few cases of COVID-19. However this will require ongoing cooperation from everyone in our province, and our local communities.

Please continue to listen to our Public Health leaders and follow their advice. As Dr Bonnie Henry says: “Be kind, be calm and be safe”.

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