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P.E.I. marks 2nd anniversary of COVID-19 pandemic

It’s been two years since P.E.I. declared a state of public well being emergency as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and at the least two Islanders are trying again on these years with satisfaction of accomplishment.

“It is a story of hope and love prevailing within the face of all the pieces {that a} world pandemic can throw at you,” stated Southwest Lot 16 resident Kim Baglole.

In April 2020, Baglole informed SaltWire Community she was taking bodily distancing critically as a result of her husband, Kevin Baglole was at dwelling with extreme signs of a number of sclerosis. A yr later, she is grateful for the effort and time she spent together with her husband.

“At first of the pandemic, my husband was dying from problems from MS,” stated Baglole on March 16 in a phone interview.

Kim and Kevin Baglole exchange a loving glance. Kevin's health has improved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, said Kim. - Contributed
Kim and Kevin Baglole alternate a loving look. Kevin’s well being has improved all through the COVID-19 pandemic, stated Kim. – Contributed

It was throughout that point that Baglole got here up with the concept for a P.E.I. Bear Hunt. P.E.I. properties and companies would put up teddy bears of their home windows so individuals might have an outing, driving or strolling round “searching” for the fuzzy pals.

A Fb web page shared some prime searching areas and have become a optimistic assist.

In March 2020, Kevin was “pores and skin and bones”, unable to face, and one arm had change into so tight, it had folded upon itself — Baglole stated she known as it a hen wing. He was additionally all the way down to round 30 per cent lung operate.

Kim Baglole answers her door to her Southwest Lot 16 home holding a bee bear. In early 2020, Baglole started an online activity called P.E.I. Bear Hunt where Islanders put teddy bears in their windows and parents could go for a drive with their children and try to spot as many as they can. - Colin MacLean/SaltWire File
Kim Baglole solutions her door to her Southwest Lot 16 dwelling holding a bee bear. In early 2020, Baglole began an internet exercise known as P.E.I. Bear Hunt the place Islanders put teddy bears of their home windows and fogeys might go for a drive with their youngsters and attempt to spot as many as they’ll. – Colin MacLean/SaltWire File

One thing they had been in a position to take pleasure in collectively was driving of their wheelchair van and “searching” for bears.

“The bear hunt was actually huge, nearly viral at first. Inside per week there was nearly 8,000 members within the group,” stated Baglole. “I consider it helped lots of people regulate to the pandemic, at first.”

On reflection

In its two-year historical past, the pandemic has had a major affect globally, with greater than 450 million instances and nearly six million deaths, stated Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief public well being officer, on the newest media briefing.

“Trying again to March of 2020, I don’t suppose any of us might have predicted, actually, the magnitude of COVID-19,” stated Morrison, who has been the go-to individual to information Prince Edward Islanders by the pandemic.

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King speaks at an April 2020 media briefing about the coronavirus, one month after declaring a state of public health emergency. - Colin MacLean/SaltWire File
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King speaks at an April 2020 media briefing concerning the coronavirus, one month after declaring a state of public well being emergency. – Colin MacLean/SaltWire File

P.E.I. was spared the excessive case counts and hospitalizations all through 2020 and most of 2021. And, whereas the remainder of the nation witnessed devastating and deadly outbreaks in long-term-care properties, P.E.I.’s susceptible inhabitants had the benefit of vaccinations earlier than probably the most contagious strains made their option to the province.

Then, in December 2021, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 landed on the Island’s shores.

There have been outbreaks in long-term-care settings, which had been adopted by hospitalizations and, finally, 16 deaths, principally of individuals 60 years of age or older.

“The impacts of this virus transcend instances and deaths. We all know that COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on many elements of our society, together with psychological well being,” stated Morrison.

Shifting on

Though nobody is aware of what is going to come subsequent, Morrison shared some reassurances.

“Our progress by the subsequent phases of the pandemic might not all be linear, and though the pandemic just isn’t over, collectively we’ll study to stay sustainably with COVID-19 as an endemic illness, realizing that there could also be future waves and outbreaks,” she stated.

“Transitions are difficult. We have no idea the chance of resurgence of (a) new variant of concern, nonetheless, we shall be prepared to reply. Going ahead, we’ll proceed to depend on necessary instruments in our toolbox, together with vaccines, therapeutic remedies, public well being measures, strong surveillance and monitoring and public well being and health-care infrastructure.

A silver lining

Baglole is prepared for it.

She has been caring for Kevin at dwelling since July 2019, serving to him with workout routines and medicine. Along with dwelling care workers and a bodily therapist, his lungs are as much as 60 to 70 per cent functioning. Kevin has placed on weight, his arm has relaxed and he is ready to train every day. On Tuesdays, he has began standing.

“The adjustments in him are bodily startling,” she stated, including later, “There’s been a lot dangerous stuff and unhappy tales with this pandemic, that I actually suppose {that a} excellent news story must be shared as nicely.”

Kevin Baglole gets some help strengthening his legs a few weeks ago with Christine Lykow, the Bagloles privately-hired physical therapy assistant. - Contributed
Kevin Baglole will get some assist strengthening his legs just a few weeks in the past with Christine Lykow, the Bagloles privately-hired bodily remedy assistant. – Contributed

And, although a nuisance to some, the general public well being measures have helped Kevin, she stated.

“Completely, it’s helped everybody be extra conscious and never carry something to us. Folks have undoubtedly been extra conscious round us,” she stated.

She and Kevin haven’t wanted to get examined for COVID-19 in any respect through the pandemic.

“The individuals which have been round us and have gotten it haven’t been round us in shut sufficient contact time that we’ve even been in danger,” she stated.

Kim and Kevin Baglole take a selfie with Bandit, the cat and Buddy, the 12-year-old Shih Tzu. - Contributed
Kim and Kevin Baglole take a selfie with Bandit, the cat and Buddy, the 12-year-old Shih Tzu. – Contributed

She takes further precautions at shops by sanitizing the cart and every merchandise she places in her cart after which scans and baggage her objects herself.

She and Kevin had been practising for the lockdown even earlier than the pandemic, she stated. Discovering wheelchair-accessible properties and actions was tough, and Baglole stated it had change into simpler simply to remain dwelling.

“I feel the social measures have been a pressure on everyone. To us, it’s nearly been a little bit of reduction, although, as a result of it’s put individuals on the identical web page as us with realizing that they should be extra cautious round us. I feel it’s been a blessing from that facet — simply that individuals have been extra cautious and, in doing that, they’ve helped to guard us fairly a bit,” stated Baglole.

Practically three years since Kevin was despatched dwelling as a palliative affected person, he’s on the point of stroll.

“He isn’t dying,” stated Baglole. “The pandemic, has, mainly (helped). I don’t know if it was the truth that extra individuals remoted, and he actually had an opportunity to heal.”

Alison Jenkins is the well being reporter with SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island.


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