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Letter: Left behind by COVID

"I was lost in the COVID pandemic and no one is looking for me."
NB Aquatic Centre 1
As soon as COVID restrictions were lifted, Dillon Prescesky re-applied for his old three-hour-a-week job and was told it did not exist anymore.

Dear Editor

My name is Dillon. I have had cerebral palsy for all my life and have also been legally blind for my entire life. Getting a job was a dream that I never thought I would see. I worked for three years with various employment agencies, but could not find anyone willing to give me a chance. In 2015 I found someone willing to give me my dream come true and I started working for the City of North Battleford as a water slide attendant.

My big dream was to work at the front desk as a customer service representative. My boss decided in 2018 to promote me to a support CSR. This would be my opportunity to shine. I answered phones, answered questions that the patrons had, scanned memberships and built many close relationships with customers. Many of them would tell me that they would wait for the day that I was working to come in just so they could have a visit with me. I had worked for six and a half years with no issues or customer complaints and kept on learning and growing.

Despite my loyalty to my job, it appears as though I was lost in the COVID pandemic and no one is looking for me. On Nov. 24, 2021, when the city mandated COVID shots, I was forced to make the decision to resign from the job that gave me purpose in life. With the many health issues that I have, I was terrified to go and get the shots for fear that it would make my condition even worse and I could not afford to take that chance. The option to test was not an option for me because the cost of testing would have been more than I made in my three hours per week of working.

After many months of waiting and hoping, as soon as the restrictions were lifted I re-applied and was told my job did not exist anymore. I was told by my friends at work that many of the long-time customers, who I had built relationships with, repeatedly asked why I had not returned. I thought the word of my employer would be enough, but sadly for me it was not. For many people, three hours per week does not mean much, but to me it gave my life purpose and something to look forward to every Thursday. I’m not sure what I will do now. I sincerely hope that this has not happened to anyone else. It took many years to find one person to take a chance on me so I’m not super hopeful I’ll be able to find another. 

Dillon Prescesky


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