Letters to the Editor: Cranbrook-Kimberley physicians; Kootenay East MLA

Open letter to residents from Cranbrook/ Kimberley physicians

Dear Residents of Cranbrook and Kimberley;

First and foremost, we want to thank you all for practicing physical distancing, and isolating yourselves when necessary. Although these last few weeks have been trying on us all, we know that it is through limiting spread of this virus that we will make the biggest difference.

Healthcare workers still require your support, and we remind you that the battle is far from over.

Please continue to do the following:

1) Physically distance yourself from others when out, minimum 6 feet apart. Try to keep your outings to essentials, such as the grocery store or pharmacy. Limit these outings to once a week.

2) If you are feeling unwell, stay home. This should always apply, but especially now. If you are the only sick person in your household, self isolate where you can. Ideally, this means your own room and washroom.

3) Make time for exercise, and spend time outdoors when able. Do continue to abide by physical distancing, unless with members of your immediate household.

4) Try to limit injuries by avoiding unnecessary risks. Take proper precautions while being active to prevent use of emergency resources, such as our first responders, the emergency department and surgical facilities.

5) Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!

As your physicians, we understand that while these measures are vital to stopping COVID-19, they may be having a negative impact on your mental well being. In order to assist with your mental health while we all keep our physical distance, here are a list of resources:

www.baypsychology.ca/workshops

www.sharedcarebc.ca/news/newsletters/covid-19-resource-families-children-youth-0

www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/mhcc-covid-19-resources

https://thelifelinecanada.ca/lifeline-canada-foundation/lifeline-app/

https://mentalhealthcovid19.ca/

https://cmha.bc.ca/covid-19/

Don’t forget the numerous apps and programs that virtually allow you to stay in touch with friends and family. Please remember that if you don’t have access to this technology, a regular phone call can go a long way.

If you are still struggling, please reach out to a qualified healthcare provider, such as your family physician, nurse practitioner or a registered counsellor. They are here to help you. The six family practices in our area are offering virtual appointments during regular office hours.

If you do not have a family doctor, there is a virtual walk-in clinic available through the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice. Phone 250-426-4890. They are open 1-5pm, 7 days/week

www.divisionsbc.ca/east-kootenay/cranbrook-covid-19-virtual-walk-clinic

Signed by, your Cranbrook and Kimberley Physicians:

Dr.Frank Ackermann, Dr. Ilona Amstutz, Dr. Cecile Andreas, Dr. Greg Andreas, Dr. Candace Baranieski, Dr. Alan Barnard, Dr. Donald Beach, Dr. Brad Biagioni, Dr. Sophia Bianchi, Dr. Mike Blumenauer, Dr. Fraser Bowden, Dr. Ken Brown, Dr. Mackenzie Budimir-Hussey, Dr. Helena Buchar, Dr. Kate Buddo, Dr. Tanya Burch, Dr. Ryan Cain, Dr. Charles Casselman, Dr. Alex Chan, Dr. Jonathan Chaney, Dr. Sarah Chesney, Dr. Peter Chong, Dr. David Clay, Dr. Liesl Davis, Dr. Shawna Dawe, Dr. Michael Dawson, Dr. Ross Dawson, Dr. Michael De Paoli, Dr. Bernard Driedger, Dr. Andre Duguay, Dr. Anneline Du Preez, Dr. Jason Feniak, Dr. Natalia Frolova, Dr. Gregory Hansen, Dr. James Heilman, Dr. Ilona Hale, Dr. Daniel Hugo, Dr. Charles Huyser, Dr. Andrea Ingram, Dr. Paul Kahlke, Dr. Sara Kalechstein, Dr. Daniel Kelly, Dr. Michael Kempston, Dr. Yvonne Keyzer, Dr. Reza Khosroshahy, Dr. Ashlee King, Dr. Kathryn Lefebvre, Dr. Hendrik Louw, Dr. Keith Lowden, Dr. Launny Lowden, Dr. Ryan Lunge, Dr. Stuart Macdonald, Dr. Fiona Macleod, Dr. Daryn Maisonneuve, Dr. Jason Martens, Dr. Glen McIver, Dr. Kevin McIver, Dr. Rob Mondin, Dr. Laurie Nadwidny, Dr. Ron Nash, Dr. Bill Newsome, Dr. Jacqueline Ngai, Dr. Christiaan Niemand, Dr. Kari Nishi , Dr. Stephanie Nolan, Dr. Madeline Oosthuizen, Dr. Jasmine Osiowy, Dr. Christopher Pienaar, Dr. Wilhelm Pieterse, Dr. Karen Pont, Dr. Dustin Post, Dr. Eugene Ries, Dr. Paul Rode, Dr. Joe Rolandi, Dr. Alisa Sanregret, Dr. Errin Sawatsky, Dr. Andi Scheibenstock, Dr. Ryck Schielke, Dr. Steve Schieman, Dr. Caroline Shilhan, Dr. Kayode Shope, Dr. Gertjan Simons, Dr. Linda Smith, Dr. Silvia Solcova, Dr. Ilana Streng-Coetzee, Dr. Laura Swaney, Dr. Szilvia Szarvas, Dr. Mia Tait, Dr. MJ Thorne, Dr. Roger Tiede, Dr. Moninder Vaid, Dr. Hubertus Van der Lugt, Dr. Deon Van Rensburg, Dr. Shaun Van Zyl, Dr. Katherine Wight, Dr. Lori Wik, Dr. Edward Witten, Dr. Jordan Wolff, Dr. Kang-Min Zhu

Koocanusa campsites on hold until May 19th

Earlier this month the provincial government announced all camping and motorized recreation (including the use of off-road vehicles) throughout the entire Koocanusa Recreation Strategy Area is banned until further notice.

The announcement came directly as a result of public concerns voiced by local residents for their health and safety during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, locally owned campsite operators located within the Koocanusa Recreation Area have all agreed to follow the hard recommendation from local elected officials and remain closed until at least after the Victoria Day long weekend on May 19th, or until further notice.

This will have the effect of re-enforcing public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s direction to stay home and reduce the number of opportunities to spread COVID-19.

Campsite operators have collectively made this decision despite the impact it will have on their individual bottom lines, and I applaud their decision to support Dr. Bonnie Henry.

In the meantime, I will be working with provincial authorities to help alleviate the financial impact on local campsite operators.

As an avid camper myself – and frequent family user of the Koocanusa Recreation Area – I understand how disappointing this is to fellow fans of the campsites, but we do have a higher responsibility to protect our neighbours, friends and families from the danger posed by COVID-19.

​This area has very high use of those outside our region. Premature openings of the campsites could have devastating consequences and would set us all back to stage one if we are not careful.​​

Tom Shypitka, MLA, Kootenay East

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