MLA report July 16

Posted Under: Leela Aheer

Hello Chestermere-Strathmore readers:

COVID-19 has seen 12.9 million cases, 7 million recoveries and over 500,000 deaths worldwide. What is it like to have the coronavirus? Some of you may have had friends and loved ones that have been through it and recovered, and to those of you who have lost loved ones, we send our deepest condolences and love to you. The stories are unique to each individual, and as we come out from the shadow of this horrible virus, we also have to understand that we are far from ridding the world of COVID-19.

However, we are learning to live with it, keeping each other safe, and reigniting the economy after the devastation and sacrifice of so many to keep our communities safe. If you have any signs of sneezing, mucus, headaches or fevers, please make sure you are tested ASAP, as the signs for a common cold are so similar to this virus. It is not easy to isolate yourself, and I would like to take the opportunity to share a story with you about one of my family members who has recently recovered, living in India.  My cousin, after one month of recovering gave me some incredible insight into the virus, and why we have needed to take the precautions we have, and why this is not just like the common cold. This is his story:

“The virus took a serious turn infiltrating my lungs, and thanks to the team of doctors, who were able to secure my medicines, frequently reviewed and changed the medicines as they monitored me closely for 24/7 for a month. I am 60 years old, and with additional support from my family, I was pulled back to a path of recovery. After a 12 day stay at the hospital, and 10 days post hospital stay, I am finally feeling better, and have been able to stop most medicines. Due to my limited strength and ability to speak, I was not able to respond to a large number of calls. This is a bad virus. It spreads very fast and attacks breathing; it makes one weak and if not timely treated spreads further. I was very careful. All May, I stayed away from any meetings except a brief meeting with a few people on one occasion. I can’t believe that my moments would attract COVID-19. It was hell for me. The virus operates at a very quick pace, and if not treated within the first few days it will quickly move into the lungs. Getting tested in Hyderabad is very complicated. Please stay safe, protect each other, and keep your health intact. The prevention is far better than the cure. There are no hospital beds available here. I am deeply touched by your good wishes, and I am certain my recovery will give me strength and get me back to be as active ever before.”

The reason I am writing this is because every single day I am told by at least one person that there is too much hype around the COVID-19 virus and how various governments have handled the situation. I am honoured to be in a province where the people here respect each other and their health deeply, and the prevention strategy has for the most part, helped us to return to our lives faster than we imagined. Our province has given out more PPE than any other jurisdiction in Canada. We are doing regular testing, and I encourage you to be tested, as asymptomatic testing is as important as testing someone who is already sick. I wear a mask everywhere I go, especially if I cannot distance myself from people. I take off my mask in my cohort groups, and if I have enough distance between myself and the next person. I wear a mask to protect the other people in the room. I was told the other day that wearing masks does not work. I am not a doctor, so I surely do not have the answers, but I will say that doctors, nurses, dentists, oilfield workers, construction workers and many more wear them all the time, long before COVID-19, and I’m fairly certain those protocols have protected these folks from all manner of infections, dust, and other things.

We are now recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, and we are relaunching our economy. We have invested billions into infrastructure and transportation projects across this beautiful province, because we believe in our province, our people, and our collective recovery. We know that the resilience that is in the DNA of every person in this province will be what leads us forward to future prosperity. We can do this together by elevating each other, protecting each other, being conscious of our own heath, and that of the person standing beside us. It’s time to come out from the shadows with a greater understanding, knowledge and appreciation of life.

As always, we love to hear from you. -Leela

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