From Gloucester-South Nepean Councillor Carol Anne Meehan

This Stay at Home order is different than the first two

By Councillor Carol Anne Meehan

For the third time, Ontarians are living under an Emergency Stay at Home Order.

We’ve had to endure for more than a year now is not normal, but for many, it is necessary.  Since COVID-19 became public enemy number 1 in 2020, we have had to make many changes – how and where we work, if we work, how kids are schooled, how we shop and socialize.

Many people are distressed, anxious and perhaps, angry. However, unlike the first and second Stay at Home Orders, this time is different.  

We’ve got vaccines now, and with each passing week, the supply is getting better and more people are getting vaccinated. Additionally, education campaigns seem to be working, so the vaccination hesitancy rate is dropping. 

This is all encouraging. 

It’s not an exaggeration to say the world is fighting a war with COVID-19 and its variants.  We have been doing battle with an invisible enemy – which has made it hard, I think, for so many to understand the enormity of what we are facing.   Like other wars, we have seen many images of the harsh reality of COVID. Stories of first-hand accounts of the horrendous toll the virus and variants are taking are everywhere. That’s challenging in a world that is now so reliant on 24-hour news. 

Having said this, not everything is doom and gloom. Many believe governments have bungled the COVID pandemic response.   It’s true, some mistakes have been made, sure, but that’s always the case in every emergency situation.  Nothing is deliberate, and everyone is learning.  What is important is for everyone to see the many positives that have come out of this. I’ve heard from many residents, family and friends that COVID has allowed them to refocus their time and attention to where it should be. Spending more time with family, recentering activities around our homes, such as walks around our neighbourhoods and local parks, family game nights, renewed interest in gardening, whether that be vegetables or flowers, maybe both! COVID has been challenging, but one thing for sure, at least with me, I’ve had to make many changes, much of them positive. Keeping a positive attitude is important and doing what we can to maintain a healthy mental attitude goes a long way.

It is up to us all to do what we know works. Stay at home, except for absolute necessities.  Meet your friends and family online.  Wear masks, wash hands and physically distance where needed.   There is no such thing as being too cautious; the variants are proving to be even more formidable than COVID itself. 

And, of course, get vaccinated!   I have my appointment booked and can’t wait to take the next step in protecting me and those around me.  

While we are in the same place as this time last year, there is reason for optimism.  We can defeat this awful virus with a little more time and resolve to be personally responsible for our health and those around us. Find positive things to fill your days and to help others safely.  Let’s pull together as a community, so this is the last Stay-at-Home Order we’ll be forced to endure.  If you need any assistance, please reach out to my office. We are here to help. Stay safe and enjoy the warm weather!