Message from our President Don Mooney
The Covid-19 Pandemic has been a struggle for all nations and all people. We are all grateful for those in our hospitals who have worked tirelessly through multiple waves of hospitalizations of people suffering from the effects of Covid-19. For those living in India where the surge of cases has been unforgiving and relentless, our thoughts and prayers are with you. While many may not have been positive with Covid-19, I can confidently say we have all witnessed the negative affects on mental health first hand with our personal wellness along with those around us. This third wave has been hardest for many as we are now over a year of lockdowns, home-schooling, loss of jobs and extra pressure of trying to support family members and simply pay their bills. Recently I talked with a friend whose partner was suffering through depression and a cry for help was given loudly as their partner quietly talked about suicide. My friend of almost 20 years felt helpless. I searched for help online and provided a 1-800 number for a suicide prevention hotline. They called the number and were given advice on how to help their partner. I believe my friend knew that danger was not imminent however with no social contact and working from home their partner needed tools. With that one phone call tools were provided and help given on how to work through the struggle of depression.
During my call, there was a moment in that conversation with my friend where I felt helpless. You see, being a professional Concierge I have always been able to fix all different kind of situations. At work I remember being called Mr. Fix-it. I have learned that no matter how positive, or how much I care or try I can’t fix mental health. I can be an advocate, I can share resources, I can cry with you if you need it. I give great hugs (of course virtual this year). However, I can’t fix it. I am not able to replace the experiences my children miss from not being in school with their classmates, no matter how hard I try I am not able to recreate a great birthday, even for our oldest sons second Covid birthday (April baby). I am a fun Dad however I cannot compare to a bunch of 7 and 8 year old’s.
So here we are in the middle of May and I can do the following. First share with you that Mental Health is at the top of the list for all of us and I want to make sure that I am mindful with those that I am talking with. I have tried hard to stop saying “how are you doing” and instead ask “how are you feeling”. I think most people will say ‘oh yeah things are good’ or something non-committal, I know I do. Now I make sure to find out how you are feeling. This last week by doing this it opened a real conversation with my friend and this situation came to light. I know I feel more aware of what resources are available. Second, I am committed to more conversations about mental health and want to make sure I am sharing more (hence today’s message). Third I want to focus on promoting Vaccinations! My title reads “Save Tourism Get Vaccinated” Working in tourism I have watched countless colleagues being laid off and then be brought back to work to later be laid off again. Many have left the industry all together. While maybe it is self-serving for my industry to use that hashtag; I truly believe that as our lockdowns are ended through mass vaccinations this will of course be great for tourism. More importantly it will help our collective Mental Health as everyone can reengage in society, our children can play with their friends and go back to school. Extended families, friends can get together, we can go for a drive on the highway and not worry if we cross a provincial border. I believe that the guests I have been able to serve this year and the experiences we created helped them feel normal, even if for just a couple of days. So #SaveTourismGetVaccinated which I will know will help our Mental Health #SaveMHgetvaccinated. We all have the power to get Vaccinated, do not delay. I am proud to share that I have been vaccinated
In Service Through Friendship,
LCDC President, Don Mooney
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