By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on June 24, 2020.
Last week Director of Emergency Management Marc Rathwell declared an end to the longest State of Local Emergency in the city’s history after 13 weeks.
And what a 13 weeks it was. From the early days where fear of COVID-19 drove trends like toilet paper hoarding and panic shopping, to the broad middle of the crisis where all the days seemed to melt together into one singular mass as people abandoned public areas and largely worked from home whenever possible, and finally to the near end when cases stayed low and local businesses began to reopen; to which last week’s formal ending of the State of Local Emergency, admittedly, seemed like an afterword.
It has been a roller-coaster ride and, of course, the crisis may not yet be completely over if people don’t continue to follow public health orders. None of us needs a second wave, and everyone must work diligently to ensure that doesn’t happen by taking personal responsibility for our own health, and the well-being of others, by continued sanitizing, handwashing and physical distancing.
But overall the COVID-19 pandemic is a good-news story for the City of Lethbridge and the South Region as a whole with few cases reported and no broader community infection in most municipalities. And, of course, we think of the Blood Tribe Elder Buck Many Fingers who lost his life to this disease, and send our condolences to his family.
On the same day the State of Local Emergency ended in Lethbridge word came that Dame Vera Lynn passed away at the age of 103 years. Queen Elizabeth II had recently quoted Lynn’s famous song “We’ll Meet Again” in her speech to the nation about the need for resilience as Britain and the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected over eight million people worldwide and led to nearly 500,000 deaths to date.
“We will meet again,” she said referring to the most famous British song from the Second World War. “Better days will return.”
Let us hope that statement continues to ring true in the weeks and months ahead, and those better days will return for all Lethbridge residents and Albertans as we struggle with the post-COVID economic trials we must now turn ourselves to contend with.
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