Lending 40 trailers to health care workers started with a Facebook post.
A nurse who wanted to protect family members from the COVID-19 pandemic, but didn’t want to be too far away from them, was looking for a place to stay — either a hotel room or a small trailer.
John and Anna Petrie of Niagara Trailers in St. Davids knew they could help. A trailer in the nurse’s driveway would be a better solution than a hotel room, says John, so they offered to have one delivered.
Since then, they have placed 40 units, about the maximum they can manage. “We don’t have that many that are small enough to fit in a driveway,” he says.
Although this would normally be a busy time for the local business, it isn’t this year, and staff have volunteered to prepare the trailers to be used, and to deliver them.
“It’s pretty much a group effort,” says John.
Niagara Trailers has customers across Southern Ontario, and the trailers that have been lent out pretty much cover that area, he says.
They’ve gone to emergency room nurses, and those who work in long-term care homes, where the spread of the disease is likely. Most of those looking for accommodation outside their home either have senior parents living with them, or a spouse with health issues that make them more vulnerable to the disease. They don’t want to stay under the same roof and risk infecting them.
“They’re making very difficult decisions to isolate from their families,” says John. “In some cases they are isolating away from their kids.”
They go where there is the most need, he says, including to one nurse in NOTL who is living with elderly parents.
“Everyone has a story, and we feel they’re doing a lot more for us than we’re doing for them. This is nothing compared to risking their lives to look after us on the front lines.”