jjablkowski's blog


The BC Cancer Breast Screening Program will resume screening mammography services in select screening centre sites in June. The introduction of screening mammography will occur in a measured, phased approach: each site will work with downstream diagnostic services to ensure there is capacity for follow-up procedures, as well as sufficient personal protective equipment on hand before resuming services.

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In the early 1970s I received a small grant to conduct a consultation on the air with a volunteer couple in Victoria. This was something very new. I was broadcasting from a room at the BC Tel (now Telus) office in Vancouver, and the couple was receiving to and responding from a similar technical set up in Victoria. In those days TV transmissions had to be line-of-sight (i.e., the transmitting and receiving stations had to be in view of each other).

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A few days ago we celebrated Queen Victoria’s Birthday, though she was actually born on 24 May 1819. She was a reigning monarch for 63 years, 7 months, and 2 days. When the Queen died in 1901 Canada’s parliament officially named the second last Monday in May Queen Victoria Day. Over the years that day has been celebrated with picnics, parades, sporting events, fireworks, and cannon salutes.

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Yesterday, a lovely couple landed in our swimming pool. After a few minutes of frolicking in the water they retired poolside, their heads lovingly intertwined. He was a beautiful Mallard duck, with shiny, virtually fluorescent green markings on his head. She was much more demurely and simply feathered Mallard, as if in a travel outfit. I am not sure if they were the same ducks that visit us each spring, but they looked the same. As they snuggled together I thought of our current state of physical distancing when outside our homes, and being cooped up at home. 

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We are living in a difficult time. It is wonderful to hear the heartfelt thanks for the heroism of our medical, nursing, and other health care colleagues, and the work of our health care system in the fight against our invisible viral foe. It was in this context that I read about Dr Hamlin’s death and I am not ashamed to admit that I ended up with tears in my eyes. In Ethiopia she was called “Mother.” 

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