Some of the faces of those providing essential service in Potton

By Mable Hastings

Those providing essential services in Potton are facing some long days with added stress in light of the Covid-19/Corona Virus pandemic. As those who have travelled outside the country and those 70 and older are urged to stay quarantined with the directives being extended to all who can, the needs continue to grow for essential service providers. This has put added stress on employees, volunteers and managers. Potton, Bolton-Est, Saint-Etienne-de-Bolton and beyond see Municipal Mayors, Council Members, employees joining forces with community organizations and businesses to best serve the public while maintaining the health of all.
In Potton, the local FamiliPrix Pharmacy is collaborating with the Missisquoi North Volunteer Centre CABMN to deliver medications to those in quarantine with the help of volunteers. This service is being used and appreciated by residents. Sometimes four volunteers head out on four different routes to get the medication where it needs to go. The Pharmacy notes that as people respect the directives, the calls are increasing and this according to Pharmacist; Cathy Riendeau is a good sign that people are taking the directives seriously. Pharmacist, Riendeau who is a force of devotion and knowledge shares this statement with clients and residents of the small rural communities served.
“What we need for our region is to respect carefully the recommendations from our government. We will get through it, and will come out of this challenge stronger and standing together as a community,” she shared.
The Grocery Store in Mansonville, Epicerie Jacques Ducharme has seen a huge influx in numbers of clients coming in to stock up on essentials and to prepare in case the situation worsens. For Ducharme and his wife, their clientele is made up of friends and neighbours and they want to serve them as best they can. Of equal concern to the couple is the health and well-being of their staff who are working extended hours to meet the needs.
“We feel it imperative to stress the dedication displayed by our staff that put their own health at risk every day by coming to work,” shared Ducharme. “We all feel a deep desire to provide needed food and supplies to our customers as we want them to also be taken care of during this unforeseen crisis. We must make decisions based on what is best for all during this very difficult time being faced by people all around the world,” he added.
The Missisquoi North Volunteer Centre (CABMN) has continued to provide essential services: accompanied transport (medical), emergency food requests, creating with local Municipalities, emergency food reserves in local municipalities in preparation for needs that may arise, calls to over 350 seniors ages 70+ to check on them and determine possible needs while gathering pertinent information for the Municipal Preventionist and emergency services team. Calls have been made to families to check in on them, calls to volunteers and more…The Income Tax service has been maintained with adjustments being made to assure the safety of volunteers. Information postings are updating regularly on the CABMN website at
If you know someone in the area who is in need of food assistance, call the CABMN office at 450-292-3114.
“While our CABMN office has remained open to the public with severe prevention measures taken in the past three weeks,” explains CABMN President, Brenda Clark, “Likely, our offices will be closing to the public but our staff will still be working to maintain as many of our services as can be offered in the coming weeks until further instructions or the situation changes.”
The CLSC doctor’s clinic of the CIUSSSE/CHUS is working at full capacity with doctors, nurses, support staff and social workers on hand. Prevention measures are in place and these professionals are following instructions put forth from the Health Board.
Depanneurs, gas stations, specialty shops, community gathering spots and more are doing what they can as they can while all trying to respect social distancing and preventative measures. Destination Owl’s Head is working with the Municipality to determine where they can best help during this time.
Potton and surrounding areas are being closely supported by all resources possible. Volunteers, First Responders, Firemen, Doctors, support staff….the citizens and the well being of all are at the heart of every decision being made.

Published in the Monday, March 23 edition of The Record.

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