If you are as old as I am, you may remember some of the differences between what our parents expected as “normal” and the realities of the second half of the last century. Yes, we could make a long list of things that have not been great for many, many in the world. But the new normal had much that is good. We are facing a similar situation.
Some new realities are tough to accept but let’s decide what steps we can take towards constructive ways to respond to the new situation, even if it is months of social isolation. And let’s not be afraid to make mistakes, to have failures – this is so much better than not trying.
On a personal basis I have found myself getting grumpy at myself for some habits and routines, and am trying to change that to just accept reality:
- I am a physical sloth, especially when I can’t get outside. A different take on that reality is that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a sloth that lived in a tree outside my room when I was working in Guyana. I found her very relaxing. OK, so my slothiness may help someone else to relax.
- I have no interest in cooking. This is not a new discovery. However, I have enough chocolate cookies and ice-cream to ensure I will not fade away to a shadow. Hmm, does that count as a healthy solution? Certainly sounds good to me, at least for today.
- I am irritated at some new technology but making progress and finding it a lot better than not connecting with colleagues, family, and friends.
- I get endless emails. Through them I have discovered many amazing talents that friends and family had not revealed and are now generously sharing.
This is where the personal flows into the Victoria Health Co-op and the Creating Community Wellness Society and there is much to celebrate in this new reality:
- There is energy for transforming some of our programs from “Hands On” to “No Touch”. Check out the comment below about our “No Touch Wellbeing Sundays”
- There is interest and skill to establish a platform for discussing policy related to our health and medical services. Watch for our “Zine”, a short-form online magazine, about health policy.
- There will be an even greater need than previously anticipated for our Nurse Practitioner Clinic. Check out the information below about the Scope of Practice of Nurse Practitioners, where we are with the project, and how you can help.
“NO TOUCH” WELLBEING SUNDAYS – By the time you read this we will have had our first “No Touch” Wellbeing Sundays, a Zoom video event on April 19th. The next will be on Sunday May 24th. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or check our website www.victoriahealthcooperative.ca for details and to get the registration information. This is important as we want to be sure the event does not get Zoom-bombed. We anticipate that this second “No-Touch Wellbeing Sunday” will focus on the social determinants of health, starting with a presentation by Holly of FED about their program to help people get started on growing their own veggies.
Do you know someone who could do a short (aiming for 3 – 5 minutes) presentation on at-home exercises and other healthy habits? Do you have a skill or knowledge to share that will help people stay physically and emotionally healthy at home?
HEALTH POLICY “ZINE” – The new VHC “Zine” (a short-form, online magazine) will be our way of discussing the A to Z of health policy. We hope to have something on the website, including how to contact Abi, by the time you read this. Please contact us via email or Facebook with your ideas and suggestions, specifically if you have information to share or any questions you’d like to have answered.
THE NURSE PRACTITIONER CLINIC – We recognize that many of us are postponing efforts to access services because of the need to stay at home due to COVID19. This will add pressure to the existing shortage of Primary Health Care (70,000 people in the CRD with no Nurse Practitioner or Family Physician). We are earnestly hoping that City Council will approve the Development Proposal for 328 Cook St as this will ensure that the Cook St Village Activity Centre will have access to the ground floor of the building to which they connect through the back of their large meeting room/auditorium. This will give us access to exam/treatment rooms, office space, meeting space – exactly what we need.
To answer some of the questions we have received: Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses with experience and advanced nursing education at the master’s level. NPs autonomously diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic physical and mental illnesses.
To quote the BC College of Nursing Professionals, “As advanced practice nurses, nurse practitioners:
- analyze, synthesize and apply evidence to make decisions about their clients’ health care
- provide a comprehensive range of essential health services grounded in professional, ethical and legal standards within a holistic model of care
- work collaboratively with their clients to establish measurable goals, and identify and advocate to close gaps in health outcomes”
How can you help support our upcoming programs and services? Many ways! Email us directly to learn about getting involved, and consider one or two or the following actions:
- Send an email to email@example.com referencing the Development Application for 328 Cook St to give the Cook St Village Activity Centre use of the ground floor which will provide space for the Victoria Health Co-op’s Nurse Practitioner Clinic. If you wish, include a comment about your experience in accessing medical services. Send a copy of your email to the Mayor to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Let us know if you have access to any used but good exam room and treatment equipment or supplies.
- Send a donation either directly to the Victoria Health Co-op or, if you would like a charitable donation receipt, to the Creating Community Wellness Society CRA 833835457 RR0001.
- Continue to send us lovely emails, phone us, send a photo of your pet or garden.
And please send us YOUR ideas about how the Victoria Health Co-op and the Creating Community Wellness Society can serve our community now and as we move into a new and different future, a new normal.
Most of all, stay at home, care for yourselves and enjoy the spring weather.
Vanessa, Chair, Victoria Health Co-op