Without a doubt, we are living in an extraordinary time, and I am encouraged to see how we as a collective community are coming together to support each other through the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19.
Over the course of my career, I have responded to crises such as SARS, H1N1 pandemic, avian influenza, Ebola and opioid overdoses. These emergencies can test the capabilities of the health system and at times our society to reveal our vulnerabilities. At the same time, we can apply the lessons learned from these experiences to address present and future concerns when they arise. Over the past several weeks, I have spoken to our leaders, staff, medical staff and contracted staff both in the front lines and behind the scenes. I am confident that we are prepared for what may lie ahead during the coming weeks and months.
I know that the tens of thousands of people working within Fraser Health are going above and beyond each and every hour to ensure that our patients, families and communities are receiving the health services that you need. Every day, I hear heartwarming stories from members of the public about how our teams are taking exceptional measures to better support you when you come to us for care.
The tremendous outpouring of support from our communities to each member of our health care team responding to COVID-19 has truly defined the humanity of this pandemic. To be present for the nightly 7:00 p.m. displays of appreciation – pots and pans clanging, cars honking – is to witness our communities coming together to proclaim that we are united as one. The signs, cards, and drawings made by children, donations, and well wishes are shows of respect, solidarity, and gratitude that help to raise our spirits during difficult moments.
At this crucial time, I urge you to continue being vigilant in our fight against the spread of COVID-19. This means frequent hand washing, staying home whenever possible, practicing physical distancing, and limiting contact with people outside your home. For information you can trust about COVID-19, please visit fraserhealth.ca/covid19.
Our collective efforts now will dictate the direction and eventual outcome of this public health crisis, and it is imperative that we are united in our efforts to ‘flatten the curve’.
Dr. Victoria Lee, President and CEO, Fraser Health