A Chatham-Kent Councillor says the Municipality has an opportunity to provide leadership in order to help the community adjust and adapt to the “new normal” stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic “from a human, social and community standpoint.
“COVID-19 has changed the everyday lives of people in communities all across Chatham-Kent,” Councillor Melissa Harrigan said in a notice of motion, which she entered at the Monday, June 15, electronic Council meeting.
“There is a need to understand the human, social, and community impacts of COVID-19 and how we can move forward as individuals, households, and communities,” she said.
Harrigan’s motion is set to be on the agenda for the next virtual Council meeting, scheduled for June 29, 2020.
The West Kent Councillor is hoping for Chatham-Kent staff to work with the United Way of Chatham-Kent, and other local partners and stakeholders, in order to engage community members “to identify key recommendations to mitigate the negative human, social and community impacts” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is also looking to direct staff to prepare a report and provide recommendations on the issue. Harrigan is looking for the staff report to consider various elements, including:
– The impact closures and isolation has had on missed health care visits, including, missed childhood immunizations and seniors with multiple chronic diseases.
– The mental and emotional toll COVID-19 has had on everyone and every community in Chatham-Kent, including ongoing support for individuals, families and communities
– The impact of COVID-19 for the homeless, and those in precarious housing.
– Helping people be emotionally ready to return to work, school, regular daily activities and ensuring access to child care and eldercare as needed.
– Financial stability during the recovery from COVID-19.
Harrigan said the recommendations should also consider any “gendered, socio-economic and racial disparity” of the impact of COVID-19 within Chatham-Kent.
She is also looking for staff to organize, plan and schedule a strategic planning session with Council before the end of September, in partnership with the United Way of Chatham-Kent.
“To discuss the human impacts of COVID-19,” Harrigan said in her notice of motion.
The June 29 meeting will be held electronically starting at 6 p.m.