As we rigged our sails to embark on a new journey this 2020 Covid-19 sailing season, WCAX caught wind of our pivot and had a few questions for us. Here is an excerpt from the story.


Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 8:29 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 2:19 PM EDT

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – The coronavirus pandemic has caused waves of anxiety and stress for health care and other essential workers. Now, the Burlington nonprofit Healing Winds is back on the water to help.

“We have had a slow and thoughtful and mindful start to our season, so we have decided because cancer patients and their doctors may not be comfortable being in the boat we’ve reduced our program,” said Sylvia Oblak, the group’s executive director.

Oblak says last year they were able to make 64 mission sails with cancer patients. But since the coronavirus is more dangerous for those at high risk of infection, taking cancer patients out on the water just didn’t seem safe, so they decided to adjust their mission for more smooth sailing.

“We have pivoted because we understand that stress is a huge factor for our health care workers and we want to say, Healing Winds wants to say thank you to the health care workers in our community,” said Oblak.

They have decided to offer tours to health care workers who work with cancer patients, whatever their role may be.

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Healthcare Heroes