CHEK Upside: Supporting front line workers

CHEK Upside: Supporting front line workers
WatchThe Upside talks with Island Health Medical Health Officer Mike Benusic to discuss how to best support health care workers.

It was a sound heard throughout the start of the pandemic: pots and pans banging together in support of frontline workers.

“It was great to just hear that level of support for health care providers and know that I was a part of the team trying to help with COVID-19,” says Island Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Mike Benusic.

As the pandemic continues, more and more strain has been put on the men and women working to keep the public safe.

“I think everyone’s tired of the pandemic and the fatigue on our shoulders, but health care workers have had so much burden on their backs,” says Benusic.

“For many of us when we hear stats of 20 more people with COVID-19 in the ICU, that’s a stat, for health care providers that’s their work,” adds Benusic.

That strain has been compounded in recent weeks by protests in front of hospitals around the province, but those protests are also unleashing a new wave of support.

“There was just an outpouring of support to all health care workers after that…that was great to see,” says Benusic.

While the messages of support are a welcome boost, Benusic says the best way to support health care workers is to get vaccinated or to support anyone who is not sure about getting the shot.

“Right now we have about 20 people in the ICU [on the island] with COVID-19,” says Benusic.

“Ninety percent of those were eligible to get vaccinated but weren’t,” adds Benusic.

It’s a call that’s not only coming from health care workers, but those with unvaccinated loved ones who have contracted COVID.

“Really make an effort to speak to your health care provider and make that decision,” said Michelle Mellor in a previous CHEK News interview.

Mellor’s husband Josh is currently in the ICU at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anybody and it’s been hard,” added Mellor.

Vaccinations are available by appointment or drop in at select Island Health clinics.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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