General News · 4th December 2020
I offer my greatest gratitude to the Klahoose First Nation leadership for taking swift and decisive action to safeguard the lives and wellbeing of your members and, indeed in so doing, of the island community at large. Thank-you! Your lock-down has been effective at producing the intended results. Although I understand that we are not out of the woods, your latest update has offered some relief to us all.
In March and April, when Covid first became a reality here, this island was extremely proactive. We created working groups who began the planning needed to assist in the response both to the spring lock-down as well as to a potential outbreak. We hosted weekly public zoom calls all spring to engage and update the community about work afoot and to strengthen ties with key outside agencies. This week, some of that early work was leaned on. Thank-you to all involved.
I have also recently leaned on years of relationship building within Public Health and Island Health and we now have a direct rapport with their Covid-response team designed to support rural, remote and indigenous communities in the North Island. I made it clear that we will need a more localized version of contact tracing than what is currently being provided remotely by public health. They have concurred and are committed to helping resource that here if/when needed. They are also expecting, within the weeks to come, to make available a covid testing system that will produce near immediate results and will not require the support of an off-island lab. I have asked for a call with the Island Health team and key Cortes community leaders in the days to come. After that happens, I will host a community zoom call to share what we know and answer your questions as best as we can.
Knowing that the winter is young and that covid is on the rise all around us, it is likely that the recent cases will not be the only ones here. The small cluster at Klahoose was immediately contained because the Klahoose leadership took, and indeed was able to take, remarkable efforts to contain the spread by enforcing a lock-down. As a broader community, we do not realistically have these same tools and instead heavily rely on our collective individual care and precautions. I’ve hardly been anywhere for weeks, months really, visiting mostly on the phone and when seeing loves ones in person, doing so one-on-one outside. After days of coughing I got a covid test, because that is how careful we are being asked to be. Thankfully it was negative. My daughter Zyla has not seen a friend in too long and is going stir crazy... so today we will go for a long walk to a special new place and perchance see a friend along the path. This is what is being asked of us. We are so very blessed to live where we do, to have spaciousness around us. Enjoy.
I ask that we all follow Bonnie Henry’s public health orders and that we do so with open hearts and kindness toward each other. I have heard of a couple troubling fear-based, reactionary, racist incidents in these past few days. I call instead on each of us now to practice respect and kindness with each other. It’s actually that simple. We are among the most privileged people alive. May we use this privilege for the benefit of us all.
All my love to all of you.
Warmly, Noba Anderson
Regional Director, Cortes Island