Download the Winter 2019 edition of the LKO newsletter.
Welcome to Lake Kashagawigamog!
Spring 2020 started a little earlier than normal on Lake Kashagawigamog. The ice was out on April 14th and already
one can hear the calls of the loons who are returning to their summer homes on the lake. The weather is warming gradually and, because of that, there has been little flooding in the area this year. We have had some wind storms which caused downed trees, power outages, and several dock displacements. All in all it is a pretty normal spring.
There is not much else in our lives that seems normal. We are all experiencing life in a global pandemic. Similar to the provincial government, Haliburton County and the four municipalities have declared a State of Emergency. All municipal offices and government buildings (including recreational facilities, museums, libraries) are closed. Essential services continue but some services are suspended. Check the websites of the municipality as this list is constantly changing.
As per the directives of the provincial government, most retail establishments are closed. Bars are closed and restaurants can serve only take-out meals (although a number have opted to close). Hardware and building supplies are working on limited hours and goods are available only through a call and pick-up. Similarly, pet food stores and pharmacies are using a call and pickup service. Beer and liquor stores remain open. Marinas are closed and cannot launch boats. Most public boat launches are currently open. Construction and renovations are very limited. There is a total outdoor fire ban in Haliburton County that is being strictly enforced. All cottage rentals are disallowed at this time.
The direction from health authorities and the provincial government is to remain in your principal residences and to
refrain from travelling to your cottages. There are a number of reasons for this. First, the local grocery stores have limited supplies at this time of year because they have not ramped up for the increased summer population. This has caused shortages and stock-outs.
However, the main reason across all cottage communities is the limited health care resources. This is especially important in Haliburton County with a large elderly population who are the most vulnerable to this disease. The hospitals, medical practices and long term care facilities in Haliburton and Minden are staffed by local doctors and some emergency room physicians who come in from other areas. The hospital has 14 beds and no ICU. Each emergency facility has two ventilators which are used to transport severely ill patients to larger centres with specialty care. These centres are more than one hour away and our limited number of EMS responders cannot manage the potential demand.
The hospitals and the Family Health Team have done an incredible job of organizing for COVID-19. They have created a drivethrough screening facility in a tent, they have increased hospital beds and they have segregated COVID and non-COVID as much as possible. COVID emergencies go to the Haliburton facility and non-COVID go to Minden. However, there remains a significant shortage of medical staff, equipment, and supplies. Any addition to the population risks increasing the numbers of accidents and medical emergencies which we do not have the resources to handle.
Your best source of medical assistance is near your primary residence. The rapid onset of COVID-19 may make it difficult to transit to the city if you take ill. Each of us is personally responsible for ensuring that our actions, wherever we are residing, are not responsible for spreading the virus.
It pains us on the Executive of the LKO to tell people to not come to our beautiful lake. While it is unlikely that it will be “business as usual” this summer, the LKO will be looking for guidance from health care officials and politicians in the coming weeks and months. It is too soon to speculate how long the current situation will last and what our lives will be like in the future but our hope is that firm resolve now will be rewarded with a return to “normal” sooner, rather than later. We all hope that sacrifices we are making today will ensure a return to enjoyment of our time with our families around Lake Kashagawigamog.
Keep well and stay safe. Sincerely,