COVID-19: Our Patients' and Residents' Stories
From Algeria to Canada: Help has no borders
Written by Maha - Unit Support Worker
In early February
2021, the Palliative Care Unit had a dying patient with most of his family
living in Algeria. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, his family members were
denied travelling to Canada. Therefore, they were not able to be around his last
moments of life.
Through some investigation and technical creativity, my
colleagues Lindsay Reed, Jean-Claude Munyankindi, and I found a way to connect
all the families in Canada and Algeria the day before he died. The family
requested that I conduct some Islamic rituals for the dying. With the help of
Mary-Anne, I was able to perform these rituals while the family watched via
video conferencing. We had two Ipads beside the patient. One was playing
prayers continuously, and the other had the family on a video call.
members in Algeria and Canada kept a vigil for the patient all day, throughout
the night, and until he passed away at sunrise. I am thankful to say he was able to rest in peace with the company of
Experiencing the pandemic as a Long-Term Care Resident at Saint-Louis Residence
Written by Lee-Ann W.
As I look back into the past year, I think it has made me a lot more reflective, because before I was always like go, go, go, and I think that this new reality makes you kind of stop to think and settle. It made me realize how much my friends meant to me, because I have not been able to see them. So I have virtually talked to some of them. But I still cannot say Hey! Would like to go out for a meal or something like that, so it has made me realize that my friends and my family meant a lot to me. It’s being really good to see how much care we have here. In terms of keeping us safe, the staff did the best they could at the beginning of the pandemic, and then things got really rough and it was very hard losing some of the people in our unit at once. And staffs handled that well, which made me
appreciated staff even more for what they do.
I remember I had an outing right before everything got shut down. I went to the NAC to see a musical. And after that, I couldn’t go anymore, and then at noon on March, 13th we went into a lock down, and that was pretty scary, it was like the wolves were at the door! And COVID-19 all of the sudden became very real to me. And we have to stay in the building, but we were still able to go and eat together in the dining room, and then being isolated in my room, that was very difficult at first and it was scary, because you know that
something is going on, and then I have to go to one of the cohorts and was moved to another room to keep me save, because I was testing negative at that point, and then I tested positive. At that point I was terrified!
COVID-19 has been an isolated and scary experience to go through. On the positive side, COVID -19 has brought us the Unit Support Workers and I got to known them. And the staff that has left, because they got sick in the first wave came back, and it has been very good in that regard, in terms of keeping us safe, they have been very conscientious of our safety and at the first sign of a positive case, they have shut down everything again, and to be honest outbreaks are incredible frustrating and I get very frustrated when they happen, but at the same time is kind of like a ying and yang in my brain, I know that they have to do it to prevent the spread of it.
Right now, I started to think about outings, because I got vaccinated and my friends are planning to get vaccinated, and we were thinking to go out in February, but we still cannot do it, so I think it is better to do it in the summer, so we can go out and enjoy a meal on a patio, outdoors to be safer. Because is going to take me a while to feel safe and comfortable about going out again.