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Dr. Mercer concerned about aggressive and negative comments toward Public Health staff

'There is never an excuse to bully or abuse anyone – including Public Health staff:' Dr. Nicola Mercer
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Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday file photo

The region's Medical Officer of Health is asking for people to stop bullying Public Health staff.

In an open letter to the community, Dr. Nicola Mercer says there has been an increase in the amount of aggressive and negative comments directed at Public Health staff.

"In recent weeks, we have noticed a growing number of aggressive and negative comments directed toward our staff over the phone, via email and through online comments. The stress, fear and pandemic fatigue we all feel is real. Most of us are exhausted after a year of living in uncertainty and change," Mercer wrote.

"When we feel stressed or scared, our first response may be to translate those feelings into anger and frustration. However, there is never an excuse to bully or abuse anyone- including Public Health staff.

"Our team will continue to do everything we can to support you and tackle COVID-19. As we do, please exercise patience and kindness if you are engaging with Public Health staff for any reason. Treating each other with compassion and empathy is the only way we will get through this pandemic. "

She said that supporting the community during the crisis has been "at the heart of everything Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has done over the past year" and that staff continue to work very hard to ensure that the pandemic ends as soon as possible.