Weyburn community forum page set up to help navigate the pandemic

Anne Lazurko and Mary Shirkie have established a forum page on Facebook, the Weyburn Pandemic Community Support Forum, to help area residents get the resources or help they need to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The forum was set up over the weekend, just before new restrictions were put in place on Monday by the provincial government, closing everything from restaurants and chiropractic offices to personal service businesses like hairdressers, cosmetologists or tanning salons.

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“We set up this page as a forum for Weyburn and area citizens to share needs and/or offers of help, keep people informed with accurate and relevant information, and provide a social network to get us through the pandemic,” said Lazurko.

She had the idea after feeling grateful about being on the farm and having the ability to be out and about in the fresh air.

“As things have escalated and people are being asked to do more social distancing and help each other, I thought ‘what can I do from here, in reality?’,” said Lazurko.

After looking online and seeing examples of what people are doing in other communities, she wondered about setting something similar up for the Weyburn community.

She had a discussion with her friend Mary about setting up a platform where people could post ideas or information about how to do social distancing properly, or how to survive self-isolation, or helping people who don’t have resources.

The two women are also hoping that people will have ideas on helping those who are not on Facebook, including seniors who don’t have a computer or go on the Internet.

“There are ways to help each other without getting close to them. Right now there’s a lot of information, but we need to make sure to have information from credible sources,” said Lazurko.

“I’m hoping other organizations might want to post information here.”

The page is a forum for ideas, but they can’t really offer services, she added. “Hopefully this will allow us to help each other,” said Lazurko.

Shirkie added this is also intended to help people connect with each other or with groups who might be able to help.

“I think there’s been a pretty good response so far, since starting it on Sunday afternoon,” she added. “We’re just trying this to see how it will go. People can post anything, not just Anne and I. This is for the sharing of ideas and information.”

The site is designed for information, not opinion, so comments and posts will be monitored.

If there are questions or comments, contact Mary Shirkie at 306-891-9639, or Anne Lazurko at 306-861-1094.