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Long-haul truckers say pandemic has left them out in the cold again

Trucker Terry Dunn poses for a photo with his truck on Thursday, December 31, 2020. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia
Trucker Terry Dunn says pandemic restrictions continue to make his job more difficult, especially when it comes to the basic necessities such as getting a meal or using the washroom. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia

Truck drivers moving goods during the pandemic say promises to recognize them as essential workers have fallen flat as restaurants and washrooms remain closed, and rule relaxations have ended.

Alberta truck driver Terry Dunn has been driving trucks all his adult life. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, he said “finding porcelain” has become a major issue.

“When COVID hit, it was just like they shut the door,” said Dunn. “They said, ‘Oh by the way, follow all these protocols and wash your hands and make sure you’re sanitary,’ but they don’t give you any place to go.”

He said many times, he’s been forced to do his business on the side of the road.

“It became easier to pretend you were camping than to try to find a bathroom,” said Dunn. “Some places put porta-potties out, but these porta-potties aren’t clean. They’re not sanitary.”

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Calgary senior has donated 3,500 homemade masks this year

To pass the time this year, 80-year-old Jobien Vandermeer has sewn and donated nearly 3,500 non-medical masks to help those in the Calgary community combat the spread of COVID-19. Photo by supplied

What started as a pastime at the beginning of the pandemic has resulted in the donation of nearly 3,500 homemade masks that 80-year-old Jobien Vandermeer has sewn from her retirement home in northeast Calgary.

Since April, Vandermeer has made 3,540 masks and counting according to her notebook, which she updates daily. She watches her favourite TV shows or listens to music from her desk while making an average of 20 masks per day.

“There’s not so much you can do right now, with the limited possibilities we have,” said Vandermeer in an interview on Dec. 29.

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