Letter: More communication needed from NRHA about COVID-19 pandemic

To the Editor:

With the tremendous amount of information coming at us from various sources, reputable or not, regarding the coronavirus, I would expect the best information should come from our health professionals. In Northern Manitoba, that’s the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA).

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I would ask them to communicate more quickly and more often. When people are panic buying toilet paper, diapers, face masks, it suggests they do not have the correct information. Panic can be worse than the virus if essential supplies are not available to those who really need them. 

I also see and hear a lot of misinformation on social media that needs to be corrected. I see males in washrooms who don’t even wash their hands. Others who joke about the virus pandemic as if it may not affect them. They don’t realize it only takes one person from afar who can bring this to Thompson and outlying communities.

Every day I receive numerous emails from sources that provide general information and warnings. Government releases are informative and helpful. Yet, not everyone sees them. Northerners may need more specific information.

Does NRHA have enough test kits?

How can a person get one if they feel unhealthy?

Where should we go for a test … emergency?

Will a nursing station be able to handle an infected person(s)?

Will a lack of running water affect virus prevention?

Will special efforts be required for our eating or bar establishments?

Etc.

Not all northerners are social media savy, and in a media mix world, such communication must be more than just news releases from someone in Winnipeg or Flin Flon. Reliable and sanctioned information from NRHA should come through various media channels, even posters and bulletins on poster boards at grocery stores, laundromats, bars, etc. Not just once, but on a regular updated basis. 

I applaud and appreciate very much our great health care workers and the difficult work they are now faced with. Thank you! Under these very trying and dangerous times, NRHA must do more to get the proper information to everyone as soon and as much as is needed.

Volker Beckmann

Thompson

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