Cariboo Chilcotin Liberal MLA Donna Barnett. Submitted photo

COLUMN: Facing up to crisis

COVID-19 is just the latest example of our community coming together in the face of a crisis

COVID-19 is just the latest example of our community coming together in the face of a crisis.

It has been incredible to witness how we rally together with kindness, innovation, and hard work to get through difficult times. Our community has been hit before from forest fires to floods, and I am continuously impressed by our ability to persevere through whatever comes our way.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of our community members in their fight to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and support our most vulnerable.

Our hospital acted quickly to prepare for COVID-19 by more than doubling the number of available ventilators and transforming a section of the hospital into the recently opened Cariboo Respiratory Unit.

We are fortunate to have extremely talented doctors who were able to repurpose anesthetic machines into functional ventilators. Making the most out of limited resources is something our rural doctors are familiar with, and the ingenuity displayed during this crisis has truly been astonishing.

The city also stepped up to help patients facing severe isolation and loneliness by providing iPads to ensure they could keep in touch with their family and to keep their morale high.

These seemingly small acts have made a huge difference and most importantly, send a message to each other that we care. From grocery shopping for your neighbour, to sewing home-made masks, we have shown this virus that we are resilient.

We are at a place now where the province is beginning to reopen the economy because of the joint effort of each and every one of us. With restrictions lifting this week, I encourage all of us to keep looking out for each other as we begin to move forward with cautious optimism.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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