Dear Dr. Hinshaw:
We’ve never met. But I feel like I’ve known you for years.
I’m sure when you went to medical school — which, by the way, I want to thank you for that — I bet you didn’t invest much studying on how to stand in front of a podium, on live television, giving daily updates on a global pandemic.
I’m sure, though, you did discuss informing the public in university. I could well be wrong, but I highly doubt such a subject would be the efforts of a well-written thesis.
Yet, Dr. Hinshaw, you appear as a television news anchor with decades of experience.
You tell us — Albertans who are scared, curious and are at a loss with all this free time on our hands — what really is important.
But … your delivery is extraordinary. It really is.
You can, very eloquently, mix calmness with up-to-date facts, which can be downright scary.
It comes across in waves of compassion which — very gently — slows down, almost on cue, ripples across on a sandy beach before, very gracefully, coming to a stop.
That compassion compels us to take what you say very seriously.
You also practise what you preach: when you, yourself, had symptoms that suggested COVID-19, you did what you told all of us.
You stayed home.
And through the magical wizadry of technology, you gave your daily update from home.
It was exemplary on so many levels. At that time, countless of us were, secretly, flirting with working from home — but never considered it to be a serious relationship.
But, Dr. Hinshaw: you showed us — again, through example — how we can work from home and be productive through such uneasy and turbulent times.
I am so blessed in the position I have. Through being a journalist I have the opportunity — something I never take for granted — to pick up the phone and ask for an interview for a Sun column.
I did that Friday.
I called your office and made my request. The accommodating voice at the end of the phone line said she would pass my ask on to the deparment’s communications office.
Within an hour, Tom McMillan, assistant director of communications with Alberta Health called me back and asked how he could help.
Honestly, Dr. Hinshaw, I was hoping to write a profile on you so we all could get to know you more.
Tom, to his credit, indicated you would not be conducting profile interviews at this time, and — most politely — asked if I would like to be added to the waiting list.
I think that speaks to your resolve that, unselfishly, you do not want your story to be shared now.
What is important is keeping Albertans informed, which, ultimately, leads to our safety.
For that, madam, I tip my hat to you.
We’re going to get through this.
And, when we do, I hope we can meet so I can thank you personally for the information, the trust, the love and the hope you give every day.