April 16, 2020
Dear Coquitlam residents,
When I think about what will help us get through these difficult times, what comes to mind is care, compassion, connection and community. COVID-19 is testing all of us in new ways, but overcoming the challenges we face is easier when we care for others and for ourselves, when we maintain our connections with each other, and when we continue to engage in our community.
We see acts of caring in Coquitlam every day. There are the significant ones, like those made by health care and other essential service providers. And there are numerous smaller but still meaningful acts of caring, like the hiker who steps off the trail to maintain a safe distance, the shopper who buys only what he needs, or the neighbour who picks up groceries for someone at risk.
Self-care is also critical right now as many of us deal with stress, anxiety, sadness and fear. Don’t neglect yourself. Taking an online fitness class, eating well, establishing a daily routine and spending time outdoors while physically distancing are a few ways to help process the emotions being stirred up by the pandemic.
One way to feel less alone is to keep connecting with other people. Take the time to chat with your neighbours over the fence. Try a video call with friends and family who live across town, or across the country. Even a quick text or phone call can brighten your day, or someone else’s.
Maintaining a sense of community also helps keep us tethered when so much is beyond our control. In addition to providing the core municipal services we all rely on, the City is also continuing to look for ways to support the community’s well-being. For example, we’ve provided signage and staff at many parks and trails so that our residents can continue to safely get outdoors for their physical and mental health. We’re also working to provide more services and programs online in the days and weeks to come.
Follow the City on social media to stay up to date with what’s happening in your community. And in the meantime, please take care of yourself and others, and take advantage of opportunities to connect and engage.
And now for a couple of shout-outs to those who are making a difference.
You may have read about Coquitlam couple Jamie Haakons and Keisha Go in the news. They came up with the great idea to use their own 3D printer to make frames for face shields and ear savers for masks, and then donate them to medical professionals.
And kudos as well go to the Soroptomists International of the Tri-Cities, whose volunteers have been sewing and delivering hospital gowns to doctors in the Tri-Cities. What a great project.
I love hearing about the creative ways our residents and businesses are having a positive impact on others. And I hope these stories encourage you to think about what you can do to help make this difficult time a little easier for someone else. And if you have a story to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.