A year ago, it was the hottest day of the year.
The air conditioning was on, and the heat was so oppressive that it caused a severe headache for Kelly Miller.
Miller was the chief operating officer of the New Westminster Public Health Agency.
She worked in one of the city’s busiest hospitals, which is where Miller got her first job in 2017.
The job was an opportunity to help patients who needed it most.
Miller says she had a lot of confidence in the way the system worked.
“We were in the middle of a major crisis, and I thought we were going to get the work done, because we had been in that position before,” she said.
Miller had never worked in a hospital before.
She had never been to one before.
But she felt confident and knew how the system would work.
“I knew what I was doing, and so I went into the building and was kind of a ‘gotcha moment’ because you didn’t know where you were going, so I just kind of had to be patient,” she explained.
Miller came out of that moment with a new perspective.
She was used to the pressure of the job.
“It’s just like working in the big city, I think,” she remembered.
Miller didn’t get a lot to do in New Westminster.
But after years of waiting for an answer from the city, the city of New Westminster offered her a job as a public health liaison.
Miller said she accepted the offer with a mixture of pride and trepidation.
She said she was nervous about how the job would work, and that she was more than happy to work with other city staff members.
“The people that I was going to work for, they were all volunteers, they weren’t government employees,” she recalled.
Miller quickly became the city health officer.
She also had to deal with some of the most stressful work of her career.
She spent many hours on the phone with nurses and other health care workers, but was also constantly reminded about the importance of communicating and keeping people safe.
“People are dying, and it’s just a fact that you’ve got to get a phone call that’s going to put them out of the hospital,” Miller said.
“So I was pretty much like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not going to have time to have that conversation.'”
As the months passed, Miller became more and more frustrated with the lack of information coming from the province and the federal government.
As Miller grew frustrated, the government had a plan in place to help the province address its problems.
The government put forward the Emergency Management Assistance Package (EMAP) in December 2018, which aimed to help New Westminster with the spread of pandemic-related illnesses and deaths.
The package included: an increase in emergency department staffing, increased funding to assist hospitals, increased health promotion, and a new emergency plan.
Miller’s job became more complicated by the time she was able to take her first public health assignment.
In March 2019, the province announced that it was reopening the city centre.
Miller began her job immediately, with no knowledge of how it was going in terms of how the city would be managing the coronavirus pandemic.
Miller remembers thinking, “Oh my God, this is so strange.”
She didn’t have much information about what was going on in the city at the time, and she wasn’t sure how much she was expected to do.
“And then when I started, I realized I was the only one who was working on this at the moment, and we had to keep our heads up,” Miller explained.
“Because we’re the ones who are supposed to be making sure the city is prepared, and then when the pandemic starts, and they’re like, we need all the help we can get, then we’re like ‘No, no, no,'” she said, laughing.
“But it was definitely stressful at the same time.”
Miller said that the city was very busy and that staff were doing their best to get as much information as they could.
“They had the most information they could get, but we didn’t,” she added.
Miller, who works from home, said that she had to go through a lot during the coronatocalypse, and now that she has the job, she is grateful that the system is in place.
She has a new understanding of how she should be communicating with the public and how she needs to be interacting with people who might not have been expecting to be with her for the duration of the pandemics.
“Now, I just know that I need to be able to tell people what’s happening,” she laughed.
Miller also knows how important it is to stay up-to-date with the government and to keep people informed about the situation.
“You need to keep up with the updates,” she advised.
“If there’s an emergency or something is going on, it’s the most important thing that you’re going to do right now.” Miller