New year, same needs

Toonink7250_YearInReview(ghoriz)

Another year is drawing to a close, but as COVID cases surge locally, and a community mourns the first life lost to COVID in our region, this New Year’s doesn’t feel like the fresh start many were holding out for.

There are glimmers of hope: Canada has two approved vaccines. It’s still months from reaching our region, but as we ring in 2021 under grey lockdown, we’ll take any glimmer we can get. Perhaps our brightest light is our unflappable commitment to each other. We’ve socially distanced, waited in lines, hopped from sticker to sticker at checkouts, worn uncomfortable masks and reinvented or postponed nearly every tradition we hold dear. I think most of us would have happily forgone it all, if the risk was only to ourselves; but we’ve endured it, to keep each other safe.

The human spirit across the District has shone brightly during COVID. Our food banks are full, despite an increased need. Adopt-a-Family programs and holiday drives saw record participation. However, as Christmas lights give way to winter darkness, we need to keep that inner glow alive, for each other’s sake. Getting back to normal could be a bumpy ride. The border may not re-open in time for our tourism sector. Businesses relying on stimulus spending may not survive as those programs are scaled back. We’re going to need each other’s support for some time yet.

Thankfully, lending a hand comes easy to our region.

Stay safe everybody, and we’ll see you and your mask next year.

Megan Walchuk
mwalchuk@fortfrances.com

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