To the Editor:
Town of Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau, this week declared a state of Emergency for our community. I commend Mayor Charbonneau for his strong leadership.
COVID-19 has caused anxiety and many are scared. I am no different; my wife and I are also anxious, we are scared about what could be, we worry about our sons and spouses, we worry about our grandchildren and we are concerned for those who are more vulnerable, but two things are certain, Saugeen Shores residents are strong and if we work together we can hopefully defeat this awful virus.
Our Mayor’s request to our seasonal residents has caused some stress and dissatisfaction among some of our seasonal residents and to you our residents. I say, I understand your frustrations and I have been hearing your feedback when you say, I pay taxes and I should have a right to visit my cottage. To my many cottage friends, no one can stop you from travelling to Saugeen Shores, but please allow me to say this. Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Ford, our Chief Medical Officer of Health, Bruce County, Our Mayor, and our own Dr. Keith Dyke have all made their positions clear … “PLEASE STAY HOME, DO NOT TRAVEL“ This means refraining from travelling to your cottage. And to permanent residents, do not travel to another community.
Folks, there will be a strain placed upon our rural health care system with an influx of additional people. I had a very good chat with Dr. Dyke today. I thanked him for his Social Media post that he recently released to our community. I want you to read his post and I encourage you to heed Dr. Dyke’s important message. Here is word-for-word Dr. Dyke’s important message.
“For those of you who know people from the City that have cottages in Grey and Bruce who may be thinking of coming here during the Covid-19 pandemic tell them NOT to come. If they are over 70 and have other underlying health issues it is doubling important they do not come. We have limited Health resources especially ICU beds and ventilators. We do not need and cannot treat a surge in population. Not only do we want you to stay home, but we also want you to stay in your hometown.” Dr. Keith Dyke
To Dr. Dyke and to the entire medical profession, I say “Thank You for everything you are doing to keep us safe and for the extra-ordinary work you are all doing.”
To you our residents, we only have 16 beds at our hospital and no Intensive Care Unit (ICU). So, I make this plea to our seasonal residents and to our permanent residents, PLEASE STAY HOME, PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL. It’s by working together we can get through this and, if we all work together to limit community spread, we can hopefully return to normal life “sooner than later”.
To my cottage friends on a personal note; my wife Jean and I miss you, you are not only great friends and neighbours, but you are also a very important part of Saugeen Shores. Please protect your own health and well-being and receive the care in your home town if you contract this horrible virus. You are more likely to be able to receive medical treatment in your home town than here in Saugeen Shores where beds and resources are very limited. A good rule to follow: HOME may be classified as “where your doctor is”. Please do not leave your regular doctor or your normal access to healthcare during this time of COVID-19. Wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing. We will have our good times together in due course.
PLEASE, PLEASE stay safe and let’s work together during this time of uncertainty.
Town of Saugeen Shores