By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on April 9, 2020.
It is hard to believe that the last time I wrote an article most of us barely knew what COVID-19 was, let alone imagined the impact it would be having on us now. >The changes to our everyday lives have been immense and I am sad to say but we will likely be here for many months yet. While the full scope and ramifications of COVID-19 globally are still yet to be seen, there are some things that we should be aware of and preparing for.
There are at least two significant impacts, or waves, that we will feel as a result of this pandemic, the first being the health wave – we have heard much about “flattening the curve” of cases and testing modelling as well as social and physical distancing measures. The second wave is the economic impact. Our response and preparedness to both is crucial. We are working diligently to find the best possible solutions to the many challenges that have and will arise.
Being prepared and responding to the first health wave has been challenging. We have had to make sure that we have enough supplies without giving way to fear and hoarding or price gouging. >We are dealing with self-isolation measures, social and physical distancing and limitations on group gatherings. >This has brought forward some amazing stories of people reaching out to loved ones in creative and unique ways.
Acts of service and compassion build unbelievable hope that we will truly “get through this together.” For example, we have heard of numerous charities, organizations and individuals providing food and lunches for those in need, as well as clothing and toiletries and others calling seniors or others who have been shut in by distancing measures.
The second wave will hit us economically and may be even more challenging. This second wave will have an even broader impact on every single one of us. The current likelihood is that many businesses will remain closed, despite our optimism, and that some individuals will be unable to get their jobs back. >This increased occurrence of financial hardships will bring with it the emotions of pressure, feelings of anxiety and of loss. We must remember that these feelings of loss and anxiety are as real and just as “hidden” due to finances as they are to a virus. Building back our community by shopping local and working together, we will be able to get through these trying times. We will be stronger, and >have an even deeper understanding of support than ever before.
As we have seen in the first wave, we will need to have a strong resolve and practise patience and understanding during the second wave. We will need to remember that this, too, will feel like a marathon, not a sprint. >It will be the virtues of kindness and compassion that will serve us best as we all work to rebuild our lives post COVID-19. > >
Nathan Neudorf is the UCP MLA for Lethbridge East. His column appears monthly.