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Ever since reading the letter you published on rotational work (Thoughts from a rotational worker, Nov. 19), I have wanted to reply.
It’s taken a few months (of a lot more tests and a lot more isolation) for me to clarify things to myself. There is no question that being a rotational worker is not great at times. I’ve been in a state of constant isolation since Nov. 17 and isolated in total almost 26 weeks in 2020. I can't see my friends, my family and I can't do some of my usual on-Island business-related activities.
Yeah, the constant testing both on-Island and off-Island is not fun (I think I'm on COVID-19 test No. 47 total now), but I think something needs to be made clear here. This is necessary, and is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make to be able to provide for my family while raising my kids on P.E.I., and keeps fellow Islanders safe.
Above and beyond all other considerations, the health and safety of my fellow Islanders is of a primary importance to me and my family. This is a sufficient condition. No other reasons are needed for all of the isolation, tests, etc. to be worth it to me.
There are many more benefits, however. While the vast majority of Canada is in various stages of shut down, we have open businesses here on P.E.I. Businesses that are critical to our society and well-being — from restaurants and breweries to photographers, and other critical small businesses. These businesses in other parts of the country are either shut down or are slowly succumbing to COVID-19.
Although I know the strain on these businesses here on the Island is great with the required restrictions, it brings me joy to continue to get the chance to support them (safely) as much as I can afford to.
There's no question that we rotational workers pay taxes (and a lot of them) on P.E.I. There is no question that being in this constant state of isolation, the testing and feeling like we are removed from society everywhere is a strain. But it's worth it to me, and I know it's worth it to a lot of other rotational workers. It’s a sacrifice I know a lot of us are gladly willing to make.
It'll be great one day soon to be able to sit on a patio with friends and family and have a beer and some amazing Island food; but, until then I'll be happily working, isolating, testing and doing all I can to support our Island.
Dr. Josh Mayich is an orthopedic surgeon working in Bathurst, N.B. as a rotational worker and is a co-owner of The Island Hop Company, a commercial hop operation in Mount Albion, P.E.I.