COVID-19 Staff Stories

Chris Witkowski

I’m out in Halifax for the last couple of weeks and hearing about the weather this morning almost made me miss Toronto.  Almost.  Weather has not been great out here, we’re just outside of Halifax in Waverley.  My wife and I just finished 2 weeks of isolation in our house so we finally get to go for walks, get groceries, visit her sister who lives in the house next door, and this is what greets us!

I want to thank Adam and the Executive team for doing an amazing job of keeping us going, keeping up our spirits and especially Adam sharing with us.  I really enjoy Adam’s emails and it’s the first thing I look for in my Inbox in the morning.

I really appreciated the one on balance, and others where he commented on anxiety and stress.   I suffer from periodic episodes of severe anxiety about every 5 years (started when I was 40 after a reaction to getting my wisdom teeth pulled) and I’m just about over my last one. However, with COVID-19 I was concerned about it sticking around longer than usual due to many factors – worrying about family, friends and work, etc.  But Adam has done such a great job with Delvinia and managing this that it was never really a concern, and I want to thank him for that (so does my wife).

I am thankful for being brought into the Delvinia family.  I always thought my previous place of employment was a great place to work, and it was because of the people.  But I had been there for so long it’s hard to picture anything else, or being anywhere else.  Being here brought me a whole new perspective.  The people here are great, but it’s also the atmosphere of going forward, getting better, doing more, and doing it together that really inspires me. It’s like night and day. In hindsight, getting laid off was one of the best things that happened to me, especially as it led me to a much better environment to work in and more great people to collaborate with. Also, kudos to Frank as he has been great guy to talk to about my anxiety when it started in January. 

Adam’s email about Zoom just touches on how much of a godsend this technology is.  My step-daughter turned 28 yesterday, but she is up in Yellowknife as a CBC reporter and all on her own, so her boyfriend in Toronto organized a virtual Nova Scotia kitchen party for 19 of us from across Canada last night  (if you look for Danielle d’Entremont on CBC and you can see some of her pieces she did on the shooting in NS and its impact up north,  as well as stories on COVID-19). Last week my wife was pretty down about the incident out here, so I set up a surprise Zoom call for all the kids who could make it (we have 7 together) which really cheered her up.  I don’t think there was anything else that would have done the trick.  And I have even used it to talk to my therapist (I’m trying CBT to see if that can help).  Not the same as in person but it still helps.

My wife recently cut my hair using the scotch tape technique, and we made a video of it (this was a week before hair cutting was big in the news, so we should have posted it, I could have been a star!). We are thinking of doing one where we experiment on different ways to dye hair as my wife has a lot of grey coming in (I didn’t tell you this) but she will use me as the guinea pig. 

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