As the snow begins to settle, St. John’s state of emergency has officially entered its fourth day. The blizzard which has surprisingly not yet been named, provoked federal involvement and the deployment of military to aid in the relief. There were many heroes who have risen to the occasion during the province-wide storm including the reservists from across Canada who arrived this week and the mother who, despite going into labour during the snow storm, rode her SKIDOO to the emergency room.
However, one other group deserves particular mentioning; the Memorial University Dining Hall staff. On Sunday, the staff received a standing ovation from students living on residence for their commitment to continuing to operate the cafeteria during the storm. MUN Provost and Vice-President Noreen Golfman shared a video of students’ tribute to the staff:
Dining Hall stands as one of the few (if any) consistent places providing access to food as the SOE continues to effect residents of St. John’s and elsewhere. Limited operation has been permitted in a handful of outlets early this week. As the government maintains its restrictions on businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies, some begin to wonder how dire conditions may spiral, should the stores remain closed. Despite the city-wide pause in St. John’s, administrators in Mount Pearl and Paradise seem to advise Newfoundlanders to keep calm and carry on, temporarily lifting the SOE and enlisting private contractors for snow removal.
Even with the involvement of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan it remains uncertain how long the conditions will remain in effect, however it seems unlikely that public transit will resume anytime soon.
Despite these challenges, it appears certain that the staff at MUN’s D-Hall are resilient to the near biblical weather that’s hit St. John’s this week. While some may say, “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”, the Dining staff at Memorial seems to be able to take up the challenge at any temperature.