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  • Nikki Mantell

We anglos sure need our‘Angels’


After a year of living in hiding, anxious, and isolated in the shadow of the pandemic — a ray of light.

Starting the day after this paper’s publication, the vaccination campaign begins in earnest at the local level, with the first inoculations to the general public being administered at the Wakefield community centre. And a giant collective exhale of relief was heard across the Gatineau Hills — yes, it’s really happening.

With this good news, kudos must go out to the Des Collines Health Foundation for its “Be an Angel” initiative — a super idea to provide crucial and much-needed help to the most vulnerable segment of our population. The first rounds of vaccinations rightly prioritize the octogenarians, many of whom will need help not only booking the appointment but finding the means to get to the vaccination site. Everyone who can should pitch in and help get their friends, neighbours and relatives to their appointment for the jab.

Our seniors are going to need the help — especially since Quebec’s vaccination campaign has been confusing and riddled with communication problems from the get-go.

Case in point: my own mother. Last week she – and (hopefully) all the other Gatineau Hills residents aged 80 or over – received her letter in the mail informing her that she is eligible to book her appointment, preferably online, but also by phone.

As her computer had just gone to computer heaven the day before, she put in the call to the 1-877 number on her government-issued letter. She managed to connect to a live human being, but his English was so bad that she had difficulty understanding most of what the man was saying. The back and forth went on for some time — so long, in fact, the provincial employee gave up and hung up on her.