Women making history during a global pandemic

I know that Halloween rules this weekend, and hopefully treat-or-treaters everywhere will be able to costume up and get out and gather bags of treats. However, I just discovered yesterday that along with Thanksgiving (in Canada) and Halloween, October in Canada is Women’s History Month.  Talk about keeping something quiet!  Come on, folks, we should have been told this in September and spent all of October celebrating Women in History.

I have discovered that there is even a theme for Women in History Month this year: Women Making History Now.  Great theme, but it needed to have been promoted, folks.  Please!

Anyway, better late than never.  When I read this theme last night, while watching an exciting Raptors game (go, Raps!), a group of women making history now came to mind immediately, our Chief Medical and Health Officers across Canada.

The list of women without whose help we wouldn’t have made it this far through this never-ending pandemic is a long one: female healthcare providers of all stripes, female support staff in long term care homes, female service workers everywhere, female educators who have had to figure out how to provide personalized education remotely and in hybrid modes, and more.  Too many heroes to name.  But for me the fact that fully half of our provinces and territories have women as their Chief Medical and Health Officers, as does the federal government of Canada, speaks volumes to the responsibilities women have taken on and have carried out in these unprecedented circumstances so capably and untiringly.

Most of us have seen these women on TV … often.  Because aside from working nonstop with medical and public health experts, virologists, immunologists, and research scientists to better understand the evolving characteristics of this virus and the best advice to give to their governments as the pandemic unfolds, they each appear virtually every single day at a press conference, usually with their political “partners”, to provide the daily update on current COVID conditions and any changes in protocols for their region of responsibility.  And answer questions. They have done this faithfully, without fail, since March 2020.  Many of them have endured verbal abuse and threats from people who wish things were otherwise, as have their families in some instances, and yet they carry on with patience, grace and determination.  These women are exemplars of public service, making history now.

Without further ado, please let me present these seven impressive women, worthy of our admiration and thanks:

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

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Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Chief Medical Office of Health, province of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health, province of New Brunswick

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Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Public Health Officer, province of Prince Edward Island

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Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Office of Health for the City of Toronto (largest centre of population after  the provinces of Ontario and Quebec)

WHM-EileendeVilla-TO

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health, province of Alberta

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Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, province of British Columbia

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Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer, Northwest Territories

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Women making history now.  Thank you for leading the way!

WHM-1

Image sources: cbc.ca, ctvnews.ca, globalnews

This entry was posted in History and Politics, Leadership, Women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Women making history during a global pandemic

  1. fgsjr2015 says:

    There was nursing home neglect in Canada (and America) before Covid-19, although the actual extent was made horrifically clear only after the pandemic really hit. Why is it that nothing is off limits to big business interests, even that which we all should consider sacred? As ‘communist’ as it may sound, long-term care homes should be state owned and operated, non-profit establishments.

    Maximizing profits by risking the health or lives of product consumers will likely always be a significant part of the nature of the big business beast. Therefore, families may still have reason to worry over their loved-ones being left vulnerable by measures taken by some long-term care-home businesses to maximize profits.

  2. heimdalco says:

    What a wonderful & much needed post about the accomplishments of these amazing women. A little bit off topic but, as a breast cancer survivor, I am always dismayed at “studies” done about mammograms suggesting that women need not get mammograms until age 50 & then every-other-year or that breast self exams aren’t necessary. Among the top reasons given in these studies is that women are unnecessarily stressed by the discomfort of a mammogram or unnecessarily stressed by a false positive mammogram. My response to that has & continues to be, “Hogwash!!!” Women are tough. They are heads of households, heads of state / countries, & hold official & unbelievably important positions. Don’t tell me we can’t deal with a few minutes of mammogram discomfort or the stress of a false positive mammogram. Those studies are archaic & sell women short. Just look at these PHENOMENAL women you just wrote about. I rest my case.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, heimdalco. And what a meaningful example of women’s toughness, a necessary attribute to succeed in life. Hogwash is right. I actually had never heard that given as a reason by those making decisions on how often to recommend breast screening. Incroyable, as we say in French! Perhaps this view was brought forward by a man, who never gave birth! Women have not only always been tough as well as capable, but also had to fight for every step towards independence they’ve made over the past 125 years or so, so that now we are able to stand on the shoulders of their successful battles.

  3. Great post, celebrating and appreciating our true assests ❤️

  4. Great post. Yep, I noticed quite some time ago that women were well represented during this pandemic. Kudos to them!

  5. BernieLynne says:

    Weird how it is so poorly advertised – maybe a man is in charge! Glad you found out about it and highlighted these woman who have worked so hard for public safety.

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