Demand increases for moving services in southern Alberta

While the COVID-19 pandemic is halting business in many sectors, moving companies in southern Alberta are as busy as ever.

“Our demand has not diminished. In fact it’s actually increased,” said Francois Dodier, a foreman with 1Up Moving and Delivery in Lethbridge.

Dodier adds although business is booming, they aren’t being lackadaisical with sanitation.

“We’ll put on our gloves, put on our masks,” he said. “We’ll greet the client – of course not shaking any hands.”

He says they haven’t had any clients in Alberta who have shown symptoms of COVID-19.

“As long as the government doesn’t shut us down, we’re still planning on doing all of the services that anyone needs to do.”

Jeff Lockridge, manager of media and public relations with U-Haul Rentals, says its 22,000 locations haven’t been impacted yet, and it’s aiming to help college and university students stuck in limbo.

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“They’re forced to go back home,” Lockridge said.

Lockridge encourages students with valid identification to consider applying for free 30-day storage.

“We know how they’ve been impacted by these university schedule changes,” he said.

Being able to physically move personal items may not be an issue right now, but several real estate agents have stopped in-person showings to increase social distancing.

Lethbridge resident Cayleigh Duffield says this could be an issue for those looking to rent.

“It is kind of hard because it can kind be sort of deceiving when you look at pictures so it’s hard to tell what a place looks like.”

Duffield considers herself lucky, having started the moving process before the pandemic took hold of the industry.

“Just stay calm about the whole situation,” said Duffield. “That’s just how I’ve been taking it.”

Peak moving season in Lethbridge typically occurs between April and September.

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Coronavirus: Unemployed workers lining up outside Service Canada locations in Winnipeg

Lineups have been forming outside Service Canada locations around Winnipeg, as the COVID-19 global pandemic leaves many unemployed.

A group of about 15 people, lined up outside the Service Canada location on St. Marys Avenue Wednesday morning, told Global News they had been waiting for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Omow Atiku says she came to the physical location because she was having trouble applying for unemployment insurance through Service Canada’s website, and the webpage wasn’t loading.

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“I was trying to fill out E.I. only and it’s just been completely impossible to do that right now, so I just came here to see if I could get help,” Atiku said.

“The website is not loading at all right now, so you couldn’t even get to the page to apply.”

She says it’s frustrating to have to come to the physical location, when she should be practicing social distancing.

“I just hope this whole system could just get simplified soon,” Atiku said.

Service Canada was not available for comment on Wednesday, but signs on their doors said they were limiting the amount of people allowed inside due to COVID-19.

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Ontario care homes find creative way to connect amid COVID-19 lockdown

As COVID-19 continues to spread, drastic measures have been put in place to protect those most vulnerable.

Nursing homes and senior care centres across the country have been put under lockdown, which means visits with family and friends have been put on hold.

But that hasn’t stopped long-term care residents near Kingston, Ont., from connecting with family and friends.

Residents at Helen Henderson Care Centre in Amherstview, and Gananoque’s Carveth Nursing Home have written personalized messages on pieces of paper which were then posted on social media by centre staff.

“This project was just a way to connect the residents with their families and friends. The families are very much missing them,” says Shannon Buell, the activity director for Carveth Nursing Home.

Buell said she saw the idea on social media and decided to try it with her residents.

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