The Face Behind the Mask: Werner Schoeman

This week’s Face Behind the Mask is Werner Schoeman. Werner is an Emergency Physician who works in the ER at Powell River General Hospital. He is one of the friendly faces you may have seen if you have been in the hospital.

We appreciate all the front-line and essential workers in our community who, like Werner, are working hard to help and support others.

Q: If you had to describe your experience of the pandemic in one word, what would it be?

A: Challenging

Q: What is one way you have helped/reached out to someone else during the pandemic?

A: Arriving at our Emergency Room with all our other incredible medical staff and nurses for every shift. Even during the early days of this pandemic when we didn’t know what we were up against, all our staff and nurses and cleaners have shown great courage and determination in continuing to make the hospital function throughout.

Q: What is one way someone has helped/reached out to you?

A: So many patients casually say, “thanks for all the work you all are doing,” as they head out the door after a consultation. These seemingly minor remarks of gratitude have a huge impact on all our medical staff, making the whole situation so much more bearable.

Q: What would you say is the most important thing that is helping you get through the pandemic?

A: Exercise. Windsurfing. Playing with the kids.

Q: What has been the most difficult thing about the pandemic for you?

A: Social distancing and not being able to gather with friends.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is struggling?

A: Get outside. We live in one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Get on the seawalk. Get on the trails. Get in the sun. Everything seems much more normal outside. The squirrels and seagulls and eagles are all there like before.

Q: What is a good thing that has happened to you because of the pandemic?

A: I learned to juggle during some very slow ER shifts during the lockdown. I do it almost daily now.

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As of March 15, Vancouver Coastal Health will be offering a public vaccination site located on the upper level of the Powell River Recreation Complex.

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