My name is Capt Leslie Anne Bailliu. I'm a medical officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.
I think initially I was quite surprised. I came back from my flight surgeon course. I was back at the clinic at Montfort for three days. When I left Friday afternoon, it was quite quiet. There was a bit of rumbling and then I was called Friday evening to say that on Monday, I would present myself to the COVID clinic here in NDMC and we are assessing all members of the Canadian Armed Forces that have any kind of symptoms of COVID.
We assess them, we'll swab them if needed. If it's not deemed to be COVID, we'll give them another diagnosis as well as treatment to help people's health.
So, I think I was mostly excited to be part of it. I think, truly, I enjoy caring for people, I enjoy being with people, I enjoy being in the midst of things. And I think my biggest fear was not just having COVID, but bringing it at home to my loved ones. We certainly had a discussion at home whether I should go in an Airbnb or rent something for the duration of this just to prevent my loved ones from getting it.
We don't see the COVID virus. It could be around us at all times. And I must admit, I was in Mali last year and we were in a dangerous area. I had my 9 mm that was loaded at all times, but I think I felt safer there than I feel safe here.
We're a group of people, we're the nearly same group of people that have been here since March and we've really grown on each other, supported each other. We've had a couple of members that had lost loved ones in long-term care. So, we were there to help support people.
I give a brief every morning, Dr. Micevski, my partner as well, gives briefs and we just help to support, to help understand and build their confidence. But it's nice. It's a way for us to sort of keep that family unit, that team functioning really well.
It's unfortunate that the pandemic happened and I know there are a lot of people that are infected, that are ill, that got... A lot of deaths, a lot of deaths in long-term care, but I chose to become a healthcare professional, I chose to become a medical officer that is really there to help people, to see them through, help them with diagnoses, help them with their mental health and continue on with that.
I think it's just realizing that life is precious. I think that's probably one of the things and we really have to enjoy day by day and yes, we can get stressed that we are gonna get COVID, but that's in the future, so it's really trying to enjoy the moment and whatever that moment is. Whether it's at the clinic here or being at home with my family, it's really... Enjoying that moment is so important.