AusAble bayfield foundatoin qualifies for Gifts program
People can donate land in Ausable Bayfield watersheds. They can also donate land, or partial interests in land, throughout the historic area of the former Huron Tract. (Submitted photo)
People can donate ecologically-sensitive land through Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program (EGP). The Canadian EGP has officially welcomed Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) as an environmental charity eligible to receive ecological gifts.
“Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation is honored to be approved as a qualified recipient eligible to receive donations of land through this program,” said Dave Frayne, ABCF Chair. “Preserving land permanently is one of the most effective ways to protect water and habitat for wildlife.”
To learn about Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, including a list of eligible gift recipients, visit www.canada.ca/ecological-gifts. To find out more about the work of ABCF visit www.abca.ca/foundation.
People can donate land in Ausable Bayfield watersheds. They can also donate land, or partial interests in land, throughout the historic area of the former Huron Tract. That area includes parts of Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, and Perth counties. It includes Goderich in the north, Stratford and St. Marys to the east, Arkona and Parkhill to the south, and many communities in between. For a map of the Huron Tract area visit htltc.ca/map/
Anyone with questions about ABCF, or about making a donation of land or money, should feel free to contact the Conservation Foundation by email at email@example.com or leave a voicemail message by phone at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Canada’s EGP offers a way for landowners in Canada with ecologically sensitive land to protect nature and leave a legacy for future generations. Recipients ensure land’s biodiversity and environmental heritage are conserved in perpetuity. There can be significant tax benefits to landowners who donate land or a partial interest in land to a qualified recipient.
Over 200,000 hectares of wildlife habitat have been preserved since the program’s start in 1995 thanks to more than 1,500 gifts valued at more than $933 million.
Environment and Climate Change Canada administers the EGP in cooperation with other federal departments, provincial and municipal governments, and environmental non-government organizations.
Any individual or corporate landowner may donate land or a partial interest in land through the EGP.
pet health concerns addressed through telehealth consults
Dr. Robin Wiley (Submitted photo)
In response to concerns about COVID-19, Seaforth Animal Hospital has introduced telehealth consultations, enabling pet owners to chat with Dr. Kathleen Day Dunbar or Dr. Robin Wiley via video, messaging, or phone.
“We’re very pleased to provide in home assessment and advice for a variety of concerns; including skin problems, mobility concerns, and parasite control needs,” said Dr. Kathleen Day Dunbar, veterinarian and owner of Seaforth Animal Hospital. “We hope it will be an especially useful service for pets and people who have difficulty traveling to the clinic; and a great way for us to do a visual follow-up on surgical patients or ongoing cases at home. We can also assist with determining the urgency of a situation and deciding whether the pet requires treatment in the clinic or provide some management advice at home.”
Many people have already benefited from using telehealth consultations. The online telehealth platform from Seaforth Animal Hospital can be found at seaforth.smart.vet/ and is easy to use.
Here are the steps for using the telehealth platform:
1. Schedule an appointment - Select your preferred communication method (video, phone, or message) and select an available time slot. For messages, a time slot is not needed and the veterinarians typically respond in 24-48 hours.
2. Communicate with your veterinarian - The telehealth platform provides a high-quality, video chat with the veterinarian within the browser on the client’s phone or desktop; no need to install a separate app!
3. Consultation summary - After the consultation, the veterinarian provides a written summary of recommendations that is available for the client to view at any time.
Dr. Wiley recently joined the Seaforth Animal Hospital. She is an experienced small animal veterinarian who practiced in Clinton until 2018. She is excited to be working back in her home area again. She is available to see in clinic appointments and telemedicine consultations.
Seaforth Animal Hospital, located at 80205 North Line, is a full service, small animal veterinary hospital providing comprehensive medical, surgical, dental and diagnostic procedures for dogs and cats. In addition to housing an x-ray suite and in-clinic laboratory for blood testing, it also has an on-site groomer and carries pet food, litter, shampoos, and other supplies.
"Modern Medicine. Home Town Care” is Seaforth Animal Hospital’s motto. They have been caring for animals in Huron and Perth counties for over 40 years. For more information about telehealth consultations for pets and the Seaforth Animal Hospital visit www.seaforthvet.com.
Pride Month recognized in Huron and Perth counties
Mayor of St. Marys, Al Strathdee and Adrienne Adas, Public Health promoter for Huron Perth Public Health, raised the Pride flag for the first time at the St. Marys Cenotaph recently. (Submitted photo)
June is Pride Month, celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirited and more) community. Pride month is about celebrating sexual diversity, promoting equal rights and raising awareness of issues that the community faces.
With COVID-19 changing the way celebrations are held for now, parades and other Pride events will be replaced by virtual gatherings and social media campaigns.
In Huron and Perth counties, several municipalities have recognized Pride month and are raising the Pride flag. The City of Stratford has raised the flag at City Hall, the Town of St. Marys has raised a flag at the Town Hall, the Pyramid Recreation Centre and the Municipal Operations Centre. In Huron County, a Pride flag has been raised at the Courthouse in Goderich and also at the Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) office in Clinton.
This year marks the first year the Town of St. Marys has raised the Pride flag. Mayor Al Strathdee said, “We are pleased to raise the Pride flag to show that the Town of St. Marys supports all of our residents and strives to be an inclusive community.”
Medical Officer of Health for HPPH, Dr. Miriam Klassen added, “We all have to find unique ways of celebrating important occasions during this time. It is wonderful to see our Huron and Perth municipalities raise the Pride flag as a celebration of diversity in our communities.”
HPPH, in partnership with the Huron County Library, hosts LGBTQ2S+ GAB sessions, which are an opportunity for individuals in Huron and Perth counties to connect through meaningful conversations in a safe space. During the month of June there will be two GAB sessions held via ZOOM: Thursday, June 11 at 6 p.m. and Thursday, June 25 at 6 p.m. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HuronPerthPublicHealth) and on Twitter (twitter.com/HPPublicHealth) for more information on upcoming GAB topics and how to join the conversation.
Huron-Bruce moves to next stage of reopening on friday
Local MPP Lisa Thompson is applauding the efforts made by all residents and essential workers in the region as Huron-Bruce moves into Stage 2 in the province’s reopening plan.
“The statistics show that following the directions and guidelines of health officials, we can flatten the curve and move forward together,” Thompson said. “I am truly appreciative for the dedication of our frontline healthcare workers and I am sincerely impressed with how Huron-Bruce has handled this pandemic.”
“I know COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone,” Thompson said, “but we are doing this right and we are doing it safely.”
On June 8, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to
work and more recreational activities will be open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2. In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the government is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.
Effective Friday, June 12, at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.
Thompson added, “We now have an opportunity to demonstrate to our main streets and businesses throughout the riding that they have and always will matter! Once we are able - I encourage everyone to go and support your local businesses in your community!”
Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:
· Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
· Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlors, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
· Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
· Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
· Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
· Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
· Camping at private campgrounds;
· Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
· Drive-in and drive-thru venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
· Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
· Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.
As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on: child care, summer camps, post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate,
training centres and public transit.
At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.
Everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released more than 100 health and safety guidance documents at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to help employers in multiple sectors ― including retail, restaurant and food services and child care ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review these guidance documents and implement appropriate measures to help protect their workers and customers.
how the process of testing and tracing works in Huron Perth
In the four days leading up to June 4, Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) reported two new cases of COVID-19.
“During our contact tracing work on recent confirmed cases, we’re noticing that people are identifying more contacts and I’m worried that residents have become complacent about protecting themselves and their families,” said Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen. “Please ask yourself if your daily activities are in keeping with public health measures. If they are not, it’s time to reign them in and be vigilant again.”
Public health measures everyone should be taking include: keeping your physical distance from people outside of your household and do not share food or drinks; wear a cloth mask if you are not able to physically distance; wash hands frequently with soap and water; and stay home if you are sick.
Public Health staff are trained and ready to perform case and contact management with confirmed and potential cases.
Dr. Klassen explained, “We need to remind people that if you test positive, it is the law to cooperate with public health during the contact tracing process, including letting us know honestly about your activities and who your close contacts have been in the time leading up to your positive test result.”
When HPPH receives a report of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, public health staff immediately begin to conduct thorough contact tracing related to the case, which is a priority for stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Upon receiving a report of a confirmed case, HPPH:
• Immediately follows up to ensure the person diagnosed is self-isolating, and identifies the period in which they would have been infectious.
• Retraces the person’s actions from 48 hours prior to testing (for asymptomatic people) or 48 hours prior to symptom onset to assess who may have come in contact with the individual while they were capable of transmitting illness. Then public health asks what type of interaction took place in order to identify everyone who may be at risk of infection.
• Follows up with each person identified as being at risk. For those at higher risk, direction is provided including whether they need to isolate and for how long. For many, the risk is not high and those individuals will need to monitor their symptoms for up to two weeks to ensure they do not become infected. High-risk contacts typically have had face-to-face contact with the case within 2 M (6 ft.) for a prolonged period of time (greater than 15 minutes).
• HPPH connects with both high-and medium-risk contacts of a case to complete teaching and continues to monitor them until they are no longer infectious (approximately 14 days).
Testing is available now for the following:
• All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms.
• People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
• People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).
There are testing sites operating every day of the week across Huron and Perth. Testing is available by appointment so that the staff at the testing centre can be prepared for your visit and to also reduce potential wait times. In Stratford, the testing collection centre operated by the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) moved on June 4 to the West Building Outpatient Clinic Entrance (under the canopy) off West Gore Street, and will also offer a drive-thru option.
How to Get Tested in Huron-Perth:
• Complete the online assessment tool (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/) or call your local healthcare provider.
• If you do not have a family doctor, contact HPPH (1-888-221-2133 Ext. 3267) and have your Health Card number ready.
• If you call HPPH during our regular business hours, you will be sent for testing that same day. If you call after hours (past 4:30 p.m.), we will call you back the next day, even on weekends.
• Once you have been assessed, an appointment will be made at a testing centre convenient for you.
“Remember that the COVID-19 test is a snapshot in time, meaning the results are valid on the date that the test was taken,” said Dr. Klassen. “A negative test result today does not rule out the possibility of a positive test result in the future. If you develop symptoms after a negative test, you should be tested again.”
For more information please visit www.hpph.ca/coronavirus or call the health line at 1-888-221-2133 Ext. 3267.
People can Hike for Hopice wherever they happen to be
Hike for Hospice is moving to where ever their participants happen to be. The hike will be held “virtually” on June 14.
“Traditionally Huron Hospice has held hikes on Huron County trails, including, beautiful Bayfield Trails, and that was our original plan for this year. However, COVID19 made it impossible to host large gatherings. We decided that we would hold our hike “virtually” so that people can walk safely in their communities and still help Huron Hospice. Hopefully, we will be able to hike the trails and beaches safely soon but while we wait patiently for trails to reopen, Huron Hospice needs your support,” said Christopher Walker, a hospice volunteer.
The hike is one of Huron Hospice’s most significant fundraising events. Organiers hope to raise $40,000 this year. The funds raised stay in Huron County and are used to fund the essential, compassionate care that Hospice staff and volunteers provide. There are no costs for Hospice services.
“Events like the hike do make great things possible here at home. Now more than ever, we need Huron County residents to join us. You can hike safely on the streets of your home town. You can walk around your yard. You can ride your bike. You can even hike the distance from Bayfield to Varna on your treadmill in the basement,” Walker said. “I am walking in Bayfield. I am dedicating the walk to the memory of my Father, who so loved living in Bayfield. While I would like to walk down to the harbor, I am not thrilled with the return trip. It is, after all, aptly named Long Hill Road. I am staying on the flat streets this year.”
Organizers are asking that families hike for Huron Hospice or raise money any way they can. Families could ask parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends to pledge their support by email or over the phone.
“They could even invite people to hike on the same day in their community and help raise funds for Huron Hospice. All anyone needs to do is send the link to their contacts and ask for their help,” said Walker.
To learn more, visit www.huronhospice.ca. To make a pledge or to create a fundraising team visit:www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/huron-hospice-volunteer-service/p2p/Hike2020
“Think of it this way; you may not need us today or even tomorrow. However, someday a family member or a friend might. It is essential that we are here in Huron County to provide these vital services. Hiking for Huron Hospice is a fun family activity that helps ensure that important palliative services are available close to home when we need them,” concluded Walker.
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated daily with confirmed case counts received within the last 24 hours.
“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.
For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit: www.hpph.ca/en/health-matters/covid-19-in-huron-and-perth.aspx
With the expanded testing guidelines for COVID-19, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) would like to remind residents of Huron and Perth that appointments for testing must be made.
Testing for COVID-19 is available at all four sites of the HPHA (Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital and Stratford General Hospital) and while anyone is able to be tested, it is recommended that people seek testing if:
• You have at least one symptom of COVID-19, even mild symptoms.
• You are concerned that you have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
• You are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through your employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).
Residents of Huron and Perth are encouraged to continue to use the Virtual Assessment Model that has been created which involves completing the province’s online assessment at
covid-19.ontario.ca/ and if indicated, calling their family doctor to be assessed and sent for testing. Those without a family doctor, can call Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) at 1-888-221-2133 Ext. 3267. Those who are candidates for testing will be referred to HPHA’s Assessment Centres.
“By making an appointment for COVID-19 testing, this will allow our staff to prepare and help in reducing wait times,” said President and CEO of HPHA, Andrew Williams.
An increase in testing volumes has resulted in testing at HPHA’s Stratford General Hospital to move to a drive-through model. Since June 4th this testing has taken place at the West Building Outpatient Clinic Entrance (under the canopy) off West Gore St. Those who do not have access to a vehicle will also be accommodated.
Residents that are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are sent for testing, will be told to self-isolate at home. Any close contacts who were in contact with the symptomatic individual in the 48 hours before symptoms started will also be told to isolate and to contact HPPH if they develop any symptoms. Those who are not sick, but are being tested as a close contact of a confirmed case, will be directed to self-isolate for 14 days to ensure they do not develop symptoms.
Those who are not sick, and are being tested for reasons other than being a close contact of a confirmed case, will self-monitor for symptoms and be asked to avoid public spaces and places where they cannot easily separate themselves from others if they become ill. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate immediately and contact HPPH and their family doctor.
“Testing is an important part of an overall strategy to detect and stop the spread of COVID-19,” added Williams. “Public health measures are also a vital part of this strategy. Please continue to maintain physical distance, wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you are sick.”
For more COVID-19 updates and information, follow the HPHA on Twitter or Facebook, or visit our website at www.hpha.ca.
HPHA COVID-19 Assessment Centre Locations and Hours of Operation:
Please remember, testing is by appointment only, these centres do not accommodate drop ins/drive ups.
Tests are available Monday to Friday at the Emergency Department at Clinton Public Hospital, 519 482-3440 Ext. 6240 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.); St. Marys Memorial Hospital, 519 284-1332 Ext. 3328 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.); Seaforth Community Hospital, 519-527-1650 Ext. 4268 (8 a.m.to 10 p.m.).
To arrange a test at the Stratford General Hospital, call the booking office 519 272-8210 Ext. 2747, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tests will be conducted at the Drive-thru set up at the West Building Outpatient Clinic (under canopy) off West Gore St., Monday to Friday,10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Hospitals across Huron County are being given an injection of more than $1.1 million in additional funding as part of the provincial government’s commitment to small and medium-sized facilities.
This hospital investment takes into consideration incremental growth to support flexibility, annualizing 2019-20 in-year investments, and ensuring all publicly funded hospitals receive a minimum of a one per cent increase.
“Our government recognizes the long-standing funding inequities for small and medium sized hospitals,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson. "To provide continued financial stability and relief, we have annualized the $68 million investment from 2019-20 for small and medium sized hospitals as part of this funding.”
Seeing a two per cent increase are: Clinton Public Hospital, $205,000; South Huron Hospital (Exeter), $157,700; and Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (Goderich), $358,300. Receiving a 1.9 per cent are Seaforth Community Hospital, $153,500; and Wingham and District Hospital, $270,100.
The provincial government is also investing $341 million in hospitals across the province to ensure their ongoing readiness to care for an increasing number of COVID-19 patients. This includes funding for up to 1,000 acute care beds, 500 critical care beds and assessment centres.
“Our goal has been clear,” Thompson said. “We are going to protect the health of Ontarians. Our government’s action plan will help us continue building a sustainable and connected health care system and equip hospitals to immediately tackle COVID‑19.”
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Grand Bend and Area Chamber of Commerce has undertaken various efforts to support local business, this latest effort, “Shoreline ToGo”, crosses all local municipal and county “borders” to support local food and beverage providers with a single online hub of delivery and takeout options open to residents.
Launched Apr. 20, Shorelinetogo.ca already has 32 food and beverage businesses listed, a number that grows daily. Published with address, phone number, takeout-delivery menu and hours of operation, restaurants, farm-gate operations and craft beer, wine and cider producers are ready and open to serve. Residents in Lambton Shores, South Huron, Bluewater and North Middlesex can check out the offerings online, order takeout or delivery, and help support the same businesses who have contributed so much to these communities over the years through donations and sponsorship.
Restaurants, farm-gate and beverage producers throughout the market area – Bluewater - Lambton Shores, South Huron, North Middlesex - are encouraged to visit ShorelineToGo.ca to register and showcase their delivery or takeout options. There is no cost to any business to participate and the process is the completion of a simple online form. Any business needing resources or assistance can contact Chamber Manager Susan Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout this area, restaurants, farm-gate and craft beverage providers have contributed hugely to the local economy and the livability of towns and villages. Recovery from the Covid-19 crisis will be in large part energized restaurant owners, chefs, kitchen staff and servers, and the support of local customers.
garbage bag tags
The Bluewater Recycling Association has now launched their Wheelie Bin program in the municipality.
As a result, the Municipality of Bluewater will issue a refund for unused Municipality of Bluewater garbage bag tags from now until Dec. 15. Tags returned after Dec. 15, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. will not be refunded. Any tags purchased prior to amalgamation have expired and will not be refunded.
Please note that refunds must be requested from the Municipal Office directly, not from tag distributors in the community or from the Stanley Landfill. Email requests will not be accepted as the physical tag(s) must be handed in to the office.
Tags may be returned in-person at the Municipal Office when it is open to the public. In person requests between $3-30 will be reimbursed cash. Tag returns totalling more than $30 will be reimbursed via cheque in the next scheduled cheque run.
Tags may also be returned by mail to: Municipality of Bluewater, 14 Mill Ave, P.O. Box 250, Zurich ON, N0M 2T0. Mail-in requests will be reimbursed by cheque in the next scheduled cheque run.
The Municipality will not mail cash. Mail in requests must be accompanied by the following information:
• Mailing Address
• Tax Roll#
• Phone number
Known vendors who purchased tags from the Municipality will be refunded $2.75 per tag providing vendor accounts are current. Reimbursement to vendors will be processed in the same manner as noted above for individuals.
Questions may be directed to: Rebecca Hawkins, Administrative assistant for Public Works and Facilities, by calling 519 236-4351 Ext. 238 or via email at email@example.com
Landowners in the Main Bayfield watershed are now eligible for an enhanced cost-share program that offers $30 per acre, up to 100 acres, for planting cover crops.
“If you have been wanting to try cover crops, this is a great opportunity,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds technician with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).
The grant is thanks to the enhanced Main Bayfield Cover Crop Boost Program. Agricultural producers in the Main Bayfield watershed can receive a total of up to $40 per acre, when the Cover Crop Boost grant program is paired with funding from the Huron County Clean Water Project.
To find out more about grants to plant cover crops contact Brock via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nathan Schoelier at email@example.com, or by phone at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Funding is limited and some restrictions apply. Application intake deadlines are June 30, July 31, and Aug. 31.
Cover crops have many benefits to the farmer and the community. They help to protect water quality and build soil health. Cover crops help to reduce loss of nutrients and topsoil, reduce the amount and speed of water running off of land, and reduce wind speed at ground level which reduces wind and water erosion and the speed of water runoff. Those are just some of the benefits.
Anyone who may need some help to decide what to plant should contact their local cover crop seed supplier, talk to a neighbor, or contact their certified crop advisor. People may also want to use the cover crop decision tool here: decision-tool.incovercrops.ca.
The Main Bayfield watershed stretches from Varna west to Bayfield east to Vanastra and north to Clinton. For Main Bayfield Watershed boundaries consult the Watershed Report Cards at abca.ca at this web page: www.abca.ca/watershedreportcard.
The Cover Crop Boost program in the Bayfield area is made possible thanks to funding from Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.
Coping through Covid-19
Bayfield resident, Eugene Dufour is a clinically trained Individual, Marital and Family Therapist, Bereavement Specialist, Compassion Fatigue Educator and Therapist and a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Facilitator. He presently works as a Psychosocial Spiritual Care Clinician with the Huron Perth Palliative Care Outreach Team.
Dufour was approached by several organizations to provide them with “Reflections” to offer coping techniques through the COVID-19 crisis. He was kind enough to submit these to the Bayfield Breeze and we hope to share them here as space allows.
This week we include one that speaks to the ancient art of giving and receiving blessings.
The COVID-19 crisis has allowed us to become involved in many forms of work: providing care to our families, the work of physical isolation, staying home and safe, the work of virtually being connected to family and friends, the work of caring for our community, and most importantly, the work of coping with the fear of this virus and the unknown.
Today’s reflection is a celebration of how we have radically changed how we work during this crisis and how we stay motivated to keep this momentum going. John O’Donohue, the Irish Poet, has brought back the ancient art of giving and receiving blessings. Take a moment to reflect on the importance of the many facets of your work or presence during the COVID-19 crisis.
Heartful Work Brings Beauty - A Blessing – By John O’Donohue
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work that you do with secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you, wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises. May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.
It is good for me to remember that my work and presence is guided by my soul – that vital breath that comes from deep within. Let our “vital breath” guide us through the next phase of this marathon of loss.