Is it July already? In some ways, it feels like we have been living in the pandemic times for so long, and in other ways, it's surprising that summer is already here!

As we move into phase three of opening up in the Province, Options clinics are also opening up to deliver our full complement of services. We are still minimizing the number of folks in our space and following all BCCDC guidelines to ensure that everyone is safer.
I am sure that we all have had some ‘who knew?’ moments since our shift in behavior started in mid-March; whether it has been how much you miss hugs, how creative you could get with your pantry contents or a new appreciation for people who have to wear masks. One of our great ‘who knew?’ moments was the speed with which our amazing clinical team could design, implement, and support telemedicine! The old adage that necessity is the mother of invention is very accurate. Telemedicine is something we had been exploring for a while; the pandemic created the right set of circumstances to work with our physicians to support clinics – all clinics. What this means for some of our rural and remote clinics is that every evening, our incredible nurses can access a physician for consults and care. This has been a game-changer and will continue to be a part of our service delivery moving forward.
Another area of necessity has been our participation with Feminists Deliver, a grassroots collaboration of BC-based Two-Spirit people, non-binary folks, Indigiqueer, trans women, lesbian women, and cis women and girls, and the organizations that support them. Since its inception in February 2019, we have been working on issues that affect cis and trans women in the province like poverty, housing, childcare, and reproductive justice. During COVID 19 it became evident that women and in particular Indigenous, Black, and folks of colour, were being disproportionately affected and that this must be addressed. 

Now that you have the background and understanding of our involvement, I am excited to share that Feminists Deliver has submitted a report This Economic Labour Hurts the Arch of our Backs: A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for COVID19 to the Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin, Premier John Horgan, Minister Carol James, and to the BC Economic Recovery Task Force and have requested to meet and work together. 

The document mentions recommendations for diversifying and reshaping the economy, which includes calls to: 
  • Fully incorporate support for community-led gender-based violence prevention in the immediate response and long-term recovery
  • Reorient our economy away from tourism and extraction, and towards a caring economy   
  • Redress critical economic inequities to promote women’s financial independence, which is a basic condition for recovery and liberation from gender-based violence 
  • Support displaced workers through an adjustment fund for re-training and professional mobility
  • Fund social entrepreneurship approaches to new economic investment in women entrepreneurs by individuals, groups, social enterprise, and start-up companies 
  • Build the Province's social infrastructure (child care, housing, public transit) 
  • Provide free, universally accessible contraceptive of choice  
  • Provide stable funding to community service.
As an organization grounded in feminism, inclusion, and choice, we are proud to be included in this work with Feminists' Deliver and look forward to the future collaborations we may take on to improve the lives of women and girls in BC.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out- I'm here for you!

With gratitude,
Learn more about Feminists Deliver
A glass display panel from an art installation called The Ripple Effect. This panel shows the words Reproductive Justice: The fight continues with an image of a uterus giving the middle finger.
COVID Comfort Corner
One of our Sex Sense staff members, Robin, shared their COVID Comforts with us- and we are so happy to share them with you! We hope these help inspire and bring joy to your day!

Creative Comforts

Creativity has been very therapeutic for me during COVID. I have participated in several Instagram photo prompt projects and virtual choir sessions and done more writing, crafting, and artmaking than in a long time. In cleaning out my cupboards (quarantine cleaning!) I found some old art that I then left around the neighbourhood, in places like community bulletin boards and book exchange boxes, for other people to find. I hope it cheered someone up, as finding other people’s art around the city did for me.

Cribbage COVID Style

I’ve also enjoyed finding creative ways to stay connected, including sending lots of snail mail, zoom living room dance parties, and finding ways to play games on the phone or over video. Here are a few sites that have been fun to use long distance with family and friends:

COVID Cooking 
Of course, like everyone else,

have also been comfort baking. This super simple cinnamon bun recipe has become a go-to and I’ve been adding some extra magic to it by integrating powdered wild rose petals in honour of summer:!

On my pandemic playlist is:
The Return by Rose Cousins. The incredibly moving video looks like it was made to celebrate frontline workers (nurses in particular), but it was actually released before the virus spread. I've also been listening to this often: Bittersweet Escape featuring Mr. Jukes, Nonku Phiri, BCUC, from the Africa Express album EGOLI.

Books are always a place I turn to for comfort. Some I’m currently reading are: 
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. And I’ve just started A Song Below Water, by Bethany C Morrow.

Poetry has also really helped me during this time. I’ve often returned to Pandemic, by Lynn Ungar, and Adrie Kusserow’s rewrite of Mary Oliver’s famous poem “Wild Geese” for Corona Times.

Looking for COVID-19 resources?
  • Our website is being updated regularly, sharing what we are doing to continue to provide access to services.
  • Looking to support folks in need during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Check out our Support Choice during COVID-19 campaign
  • We are booking telemedicine appointments for those in communities without access to services. Call 604-731-4252 to book an appointment.
  • Youth Co. has COVID-19 funds for youth living with HIV and/or Hep C.
  • BCCDC has information on COVID-19 for individuals and health care workers.
  • Public Health Agency of Canada has up to date information and resources.
  • NYC Health has shared some guidelines on safer sex during COVID-19 pandemic.
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