In normal times you would see our dragon boat team, Sunshine Dragons Abreast, hard at work in Sechelt Inlet. But our twice-weekly practices for exercise and preparation for summer competitions are, of course, on hold. We continue to connect on land through Zoom and on the water in kayaks and canoes. No longer physically shoulder-to-shoulder in our dragon boat, we are a team, committed to each other socially, and many of us have taken up other forms of exercise. As breast cancer survivors we know the vital importance of social support and exercise in our recovery.
We also know firsthand the vital importance of early detection of cancer to ensure the best outcomes of treatment. We are alive today thanks to mammograms and other early diagnostic screenings. We are concerned that COVID-19, which has disrupted so much of our life, might be disrupting regular medical checkups including screening.
We hear from family and friends that they are reluctant to make screening appointments. We understand these concerns. They include not wanting to burden an exhausted system and worries about risks of exposure to COVID-19 in health-care settings. We have heard from Health Minister Adrian Dix that screenings are down in parts of the province. There is concern that post COVID-19 we will have increased rates of certain preventable diseases including cancer due to this reluctance. So talk to your doctor. Keep up with your screenings.
And think about joining our dragon boat team. We will be back on the water late summer or fall. It will be a short season but an important one. We are planning to race in New Zealand in 2023. We want you with us as we prepare and plan. We will be writing two more articles on breast cancer and dragon boating in the months to come. If you want to talk to someone, call Laurie at 778-462-2170. Paddles up!