Change in the time of COVID-19

Hon. Myrna Driedger
Broadway Journal

Thank you to all Manitobans who have and continue to stay home during this COVID-19 pandemic. Due to your vigilance, our province has been able to flatten the curve and make it through this unprecedented time with relatively low numbers. That’s not to say there has not been a toll. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, there have been 7 deaths in Manitoba due to COVID-19. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. I send my deepest condolences during this difficult time.

There has also taken a mental health toll on Manitobans. When our top Public Health Official made the call for Manitobans to stay home, we did. Manitobans who could work from home did so, people put their social lives on hold, and all non-essential public activity came to a standstill. Our lower numbers can be attributed to these precautions. However, it has been hard on people. The lack of social interaction and family get-togethers has made many feel lonely, isolated, and depressed. There has been a rise in anxiety and as such, the Province has established anxiety supports specifically for those struggling at this time.

I’d like to thank the very hard-working health care professionals in our province. From the nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and the healthcare aides, to the people cleaning the hospitals, I am so grateful to all of you. An amazing team of public health professionals are also working behind the scenes, planning, procuring, communicating, and strategizing on how best to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to Dr. Brent Roussin, the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, and Lanette Siragusa, the Provincial Chief Nursing Officer, for their tireless efforts. These two public servants have been the face of delivering the COVID-19 news and strategies daily. Thanks to them, Manitobans have received the information they needed to make smart decisions that have led us to where we are today: in the process of reopening.

Beginning on May 4, 2020, Manitoba began the slow process of reopening and that is due to the incredibly hard work of all Manitobans. We have changed how we live, we have changed how we work, we have endured difficult times. This has all been in pursuit of flattening the curve, a difficult task that many countries and cities have struggled with all over the world. Our numbers have been low, and the evidence of community transmission is not a high risk at this time.

In and around the constituency of Roblin there are many amazing businesses, organizations, and nature areas. Each one of these has had to change, adapt, and in some cases temporarily shut their down their operations. These measures have contributed to Manitoba having some of the lowest case numbers in the country. Thank you to everyone who has done their part!

Some of these organizations have had to dramatically change their way of operating:

Gyms: The Yoga Barre, Pro-fitness, Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness have all had to adapt their ways of doing business. Some are using social media platforms to offer online classes. Check out their websites and Instagram pages for more information on home workouts.

Restaurants: Taverna Rodos has been offering delivery and keeping people happy with their generous portions. Pizza Hotline. Sorrentos and Boston Pizza are offering take-out and delivery options. Nick’s Inn has some great options for take-out and so does the Headingley Grill. And now many restaurants and patios are open under careful guidelines.

Religious institutions: I know that right now, many people are missing their Sunday gatherings. I appreciate the effort by all those who have sacrificed to stay home.

Grocery stores: The precautions the grocery stores have taken during this unprecedented time have been admirable. Thank you to the grocery stores in the constituency of Roblin for enabling residents to carry on grocery shopping while providing a safe environment and sanitizing carts and baskets.

Parks and trails: Parks and walking trails have been especially popular during this time. As the weather warms up, everyone wants to get out, exercise, and enjoy our beautiful surroundings. However, to promote good health, everyone must remember to stay away from crowds in these places. If a park is full or a walking trail packed, remember to turn around and head home. Even as the Provincial Public Health experts ease up some restrictions, it’s important to remember that not everything is back to normal.

Thank you to all community members, businesses, and organizations who have changed, compromised, reorganized, and sacrificed to ensure the safety of our communities.

Hon. Myrna Driedger is MLA for Charleswood and Speaker of the legislative assembly.