Letters to the Editor.

Mental issues from the lack of human contact will be huge

COVID-19 heightens awareness of the blessings in life

The happenings of 2020 will be with all of us forever. No one escaped from the world wide mayhem that was created by COVID-19, obviously some more than others.

I am so fortunate that, to date, I and those that I care about have not become a victim and thereby a statistic of this disease.

I live in Chemainus which has become my cocoon from the daily horror stories being faced by the rest of the world.

Being a mother, a grandmother and the publisher of Island Woman Magazine.ca has caused me to experience the mental stress and pain caused by COVID-19 from a wider point of view.

Fortunately, the Island has managed to stay relatively safe. I think this speaks well of our medical system, our government and Islanders. We are certainly blessed to have Dr. Bonnie Henry – what an incredible lady, so calm and reassuring.

However, the unfortunate price of social distancing is huge and far reaching. I cannot imagine the stress of being unable to visit loved ones in care, especially those with dementia or who are on their final moments of their journey on earth. As an ‘old nurse’ I believe that scenario must be revisited, it is totally inhumane. Life at any price? I think not for everyone concerned in this situation.

The mental issues that will result from lack of human contact will be huge and I believe that is the next medical challenge we will face.

Personally my hug count is way down! I really miss hugging daughter and granddaughter and my family in Cedar, all so close and yet so far. I miss the social aspects of my church and friends here in Chemainus but I am so grateful for what we have.

All was not negative.

I am grateful for shops like the Chemainus Health Food store on Willow Street that adapted immediately to remain open and maintain the warmth and caring service that was so desperately needed.

I am grateful Warren Goulding and his partner Tony van de Mortel had the vision and the means to create the Chemainus Public Market and the courage to go ahead and adjust to make the place safe for the public. It has become a meeting place even during the COVID challenge. I enjoyed the Wednesday open air market during the summer and fall and now the indoor facilities, always masked and safe distance.

The other amazing aspect is that the majority of the vendors are middle-aged women with an energy and enthusiasm that is refreshing and contagious. I look forward to my visits as I always feel so much better after meeting and getting to know them. Thank you so much ladies.

I know many challenges lie ahead of us but this pandemic has taught me to be aware of the blessings I have now, including the joy and the strength of a caring community.

Thank you to my Island Woman.ca community, the new writers who bring us different aspects of life and to my committed writer friends who have continued to be the backbone of Island Woman.ca.

My heartfelt thanks to you and our readers.

With affectionate blessings for the new year to you all.

Be kind, be calm, be safe.

Trish Summerhayes,



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