A prominent doctor shares that she has hope for Winnipeg, but people need to do their part.
Dr. Gigi Osler is an ENT surgeon in Winnipeg and the former president of the Canadian Medical Association. She is also now a budding TikTok star for her efforts educating Manitoba's young people on COVID-19. Her video explaining health care capacity ending with a positive message has over 51,000 views.
Listen to Dr. Osler's advice and learn why she is staying positive here:
On Monday, Osler shared a video to TikTok explaining why Manitobans need to step up. She says the province is at a tipping point for medical capacity as ICU beds are filling with COVID cases.
"There are a few lines we do not want to cross," she says about healthcare system capacity. "We are not at a time to panic, we are not at a time to lose hope but we really are at a time when it is time to really get serious."
She says she wanted to share why this was important for young people to understand.
"I wanted to be able to provide people with 'what are the numbers our government is watching as a sign of how strained the healthcare system is."
She says the strain is also being felt with the number of healthcare workers getting sick.
At the end of her TikTok video, Osler shared a message of hope. The doctor says she did this because she herself has hope for her home of Manitoba.
"I love this province. We have got our long, cold winter coming and just like everybody else, I want us to be able to enjoy it without worrying about COVID."
No stranger to social media, Osler used other media but wanted to use TikTok to give young Manitobans accurate information in a short and precise video. She has been doing this since the spring. Her spring messaging focused on things such as "how to wash your hands" and other fundamentals.
"There is a lot of COVID-19 information and a lot of public health information that is out there, being released every day. And along with that is some misinformation," Osler says.
Osler says that Manitobans have the ability to help by doing some simple things themselves, such as getting their flu shot and staying home when ill.
"It may seem like small things, but I think individually, we can each do some of those small things and follow public health advice. We can turn our numbers around."
She wanted to target a specific group of people with accurate COVID-19 information in a way they would want to listen to.
"I have been listening to some of the press conferences and hearing how recently, some of the age groups, people in their 20s and 30s, were a lot of the new COVID cases."
Knowing that younger people were moving to TikTok, Osler started making videos.
She says that her videos, compared to others, are not as high quality and she "doesn't dance and there is no lip-syncing" but that they have reached tens of thousands. Osler says it is normal for people to tune things out but wanted to draw attention to the situation.
"I wanted to find a way to use those videos to deliver those important public health efforts to people who do not watch the daily press conferences with Dr. Roussin."
Her infectious positive attitude is inspiring others. On her post, she has received comments thanking her for the video.
"Thank you for your calm and measured response," says one user. Another writes her to say "thank you for all you do."
A local business replied saying "Thank you for making these videos! We need to make you Winnipeg TikTok famous, to which Dr. Osler replied with "We need Winnipeg to become famous for better reasons."
Osler says she wants people to remain positive that Winnipeg can get through the current strain.
"I am hoping the message that is coming across is not to lose hope, not to panic, and to understand that a lot of the things we do in our day-to-day life will have an impact on the virus."