Chief Public Health Office receives ‘shocking’ remarks during pandemic

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Since the start of the pandemic, Dr Heather Morrison, Prince Edward Island’s chief public health officer, said her office had received negative comments, in some cases threats, from Islanders regarding COVID-19 rules in the province.“There are people who weren’t happy and they expressed it,” Morrison said at Tuesday’s briefing.

Without fully describing any of these interactions, Morrison said she understands why people might react negatively to the health protocols in place in the province.

Morrison said that while these decisions were made to protect Islanders, she knows it might not be easy for people to get used to.

“These are not always popular decisions and they have an impact. And I think when you combine that with fear and anxiety in the middle of a pandemic, some people react to that, ”Morrison said.

“I think whenever there is a threat of any kind it can certainly be upsetting for the staff, for my family or for me personally,” she said.

I think a lot of people disagree and have expressed their disagreement – some louder than others– Prime Minister Dennis King

Morrison said that doesn’t reflect the majority of Islanders – that most people have been overwhelmingly positive as the province deals with COVID-19.

“We said it week after week here. Islanders care for each other and want to take care of their families and communities.

Emotional time

This is not the first time that COVID-19 rules have broken out.

In May, RCMP were called to the home of Premier Dennis King after someone, upset by the province’s decisions during the pandemic, arrived on the property. King was not home at the time, but his wife was. King said the individual said something that made his wife feel threatened.

At a media availability in May, Premier Dennis King answered questions about the RCMP’s call to his home. (Ken Linton / CBC)

The RCMP said no charges were laid in this case. King has since said that while he has had a lot of conversations with people who do not share the same opinion as him, he has not had more incidents like the one in May.

“I really didn’t feel personally threatened. I think we had a lot of people who disagreed and expressed their disagreement – some louder than others. But I didn’t feel personally threatened along the way, ”King said.

But to hear that Morrison and his office have been the target of similar negativity is upsetting, he said.

“I’m a little angry and disappointed because I don’t know of anyone who worked harder and gave more than Dr Morrison through this, who worked so hard to try to find the delicate balance in very difficult times. difficult.

Most have been respectful

King said he thinks the Islanders have been generally respectful, even though they disagree with the decisions the province has made.

“There have been isolated incidents, of course, that maybe not everyone is proud of. And I am certainly disappointed, ”he said.

But King and Morrison have said they don’t want to dwell on these isolated incidents and instead hope to focus on the positivity they’ve seen and heard from Islanders.

“People have been overwhelmingly very positive,” Morrison said.

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