Few people would have ever imagined living through a global pandemic in their lifetime.
As some people began to come out of isolation in June, the Comox Valley Community Health Network (CVCHN) invited people from the Comox Valley to come together in two virtual “debrief” sessions – What Just Happened? And Where Do We Go From Here?
These community conversations were designed for people to connect with each other by having meaningful conversations. Conversation participants shared their experience of the pandemic, made sense of the times, and shared ideas about how people in the Comox Valley might support the health and wellbeing of people and the environment during the next phases of the pandemic.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for members of our community who might not normally be included in a traditional ‘After Action Report’ of the pandemic to have their voices heard,” said network facilitator, Lindsay McGinn. “These conversations were an opportunity for us to collect stories and experiences from many different people.”
A final report of the main findings from these conversations has been created and will be shared with CVCHN partners, participants, local government and community leaders. The common themes from the conversation were connected and caring communities; caring for vulnerable people; addressing mental health, and; building community resilience.
“We heard that many people in our community are questioning the value of going back to ‘normal’ because the pandemic helped them see with new eyes how iniquity impacts health,” said network co-chair Betty Tate. “Many expressed hope for a just social and environmental recovery to support community health, wellness, and resilience.”
The CVCHN will be hosting six additional virtual debrief conversations with specific groups of people with unique experiences of phase 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The focus of these additional conversations will be:
· Frontline workers
· Non-profit outreach workers
· Long term care residents, staff and family members
· Caregivers of people with disabilities and/or elderly people
· Caregivers of school-aged children, single parents
If you or your group/organization are interested in participating in one or more of these conversations, or would like more information about hosting a conversations of your own, please contact McGinn at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 250-650-5819.
The final report is now available and can be found at www.cvchn.ca/documents