Weli gisgug Listugujawag,
As the Director of Health, I believe it is important to share with you some key information now that COVID-19 is here.
Over the last 11 months, the Health Center, along with the LMG, has implemented and shared with you a number of precautionary measures aimed at keeping COVID-19 out of our community. Our actions are rooted in a detailed Pandemic Plan that we created for our community based on our experience with H1N1 and SARS. This plan is in line with the overall Emergency Pandemic Plan developed with the Listuguj Unified Command. Everything we do, every day at the Health Center is grounded in our goal of ensuring the health and well-being of our community and its members and residents.
Our community has become complacent about COVID-19. Our community believed that this was happening somewhere else. Our community sacrificed our students’ graduation, our Pow Wow, and the many, many special occasions we each have with our own families. Or so we thought. Our community is now facing the consequences of the many social gatherings that took place as a result of this complacency.
Around the world, others have used the ‘concept’ of bubbles in their battle against this terrible disease; and around the world, it has taken the lives of over 1.8 million people. COVID-19 is here. It’s in Listuguj, and it was completely preventable.
These ‘bubbles’ are the reason for our troubles now. Community members have family bubbles, work bubbles, social bubbles. That is us. That is the Mi’gmaq way. We are a collective of individuals who look out for each other, who ‘trust’ that the other person is looking out for us as well. We are not strangers to each other like the rest of the world. Our bubble is Listuguj. That bubble has been broken. There is no other way of saying it.
We need to forget ‘bubbles’ and begin focusing on our ‘households’. Focusing on those individuals who reside under our roof. Focusing on what we need to do over the next few weeks.
We know the possibility of the number of cases in Listuguj will go up. We need to prepare ourselves. We need to prepare our households. Our families’ health depends on it. All of us, the ‘collective’ of Listuguj, means individuals who are parents, grandparents, children, grand-children, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and friends. Together, by taking care of ourselves, we take care of each other. Take care of yourself, your household, and collectively your community will get to the other side of this crisis.
As I said earlier, we have been aware of COVID-19 since last January. By now, everyone should have cleaning supplies, hand soap and bleach in their household. It’s important that you have these supplies, and at least 2 weeks of food in your cupboards and fridges. A positive test result changes your lifestyle immediately.
Once COVID-19 hits your household, it will not wait for you to get ready, it will spread, quickly, to others under your roof. It will spread to those who enter your house to help you. It will spread. The incubation and self-isolation period for your household is 14 days from the date of your positive test results. Quebec Public Health will monitor your individual case.
I do not expect that the number of cases will be going ‘down’ in the next few weeks. I expect that this number, in spite of the great efforts by so many of us here in Listuguj, will go up. I ask that you take this seriously. I ask that you prepare your household. I ask that you stay safe. For all of us.