July 20th, 2024

A challenging Christmas looms

By Lethbridge Herald Opinion on December 11, 2020.

Focusing on the positives can help us get through these times
This Christmas season probably won’t look like any other Christmas we can remember, nor could we have ever foreseen our present circumstances. Festive gatherings, Christmas markets, carollers and concerts, all the things we would usually associate with the holiday season just aren’t on the program for this year.
One of the biggest differences will likely be felt in the absence of traditional Christmas dinners with extended family and friends. I know that last item is something that many people are heartbroken about right now. The time we share with our loved ones at Christmas is often among the most precious memories we make each year.
I’m not going to try and tell anyone that this isn’t hard. The ways we do life, operate business and engage in social activities have all changed drastically this year. I doubt that any of us expected 2020 to look like this. It’s hitting each of us in different ways and it’s not easy for anyone. Some people are struggling with depression and loneliness and some are wondering how they’re going to make ends meet. Many have lost their livelihoods – a job or business that they poured their heart into. There are people uncertain about whether they should pursue school, plan any vacations or apply for a new job. Lastly, I think it’s safe to say we’re all sick of Zoom!
Everything is hanging in the balance to some degree and I know many are feeling stressed, frustrated and fearful about the future. I don’t think there are words to adequately express the losses that so many have experienced this year.
However, in the midst of all this, we need to remember what we do have.
There’s not one person alive right now who has all the answers. We are all doing our best in whatever position we happen to be in. Politicians, pastors, business owners, students, parents, health and front-line workers… we are all taking what comes our way and, hopefully, endeavouring to do something good with it. This is not a time to politicize, be antagonistic or take sides. It’s a time to protect each other. And when I say protect, that goes far beyond wearing a mask, washing your hands and being responsible. The most powerful impetus for change within a society is the individual. Let’s be individuals who protect each other by looking for ways to band together, support each other and bring a smile to someone else’s face.
Hug your spouse and tell them how much they mean to you. Remind your kids how important they are. Call a friend to check in and see how they’re doing. Find out if a senior in your area needs groceries picked up and delivered. If there are people you don’t see eye to eye with, look for common ground. Thank a front-line worker. Shovel a neighbour’s driveway. These are the things that give life its meaning – and that’s not a statement only pertaining to 2020. Every year is a good year to show love towards others, to count our blessings and to pick something to smile about.
Yes, we may have to get extra creative this Christmas. We may have to make some new traditions and miss out on some old ones. But it’s still Christmas and we still have much to be thankful for. I would encourage everyone to look for the things you can do and look for the things you do have.
For anyone struggling with mental health, please don’t fight it alone. I’d encourage you to call our 24/7 confidential mental-health helpline at 1-877-303-2642 for information, support and referral.
In closing, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Treasure the people you have and the moments you make this season.
Nathan Neudorf is the UCP MLA for the Lethbridge East riding. His column appears the second Friday of the month.

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Southern Albertan

And, if the Kenney UCP had followed the advice and significant requests of Alberta doctors and front line health care professionals to establish stricter measures for COVID in November, or earlier, Christmas may have been ‘saved.’ Not only this is on the Kenney UCP but so are the increased COVID rates and deaths from not getting ‘stricter’ sooner.
So when journalist Sammy Hudes mentioned to Premier Kenney that his health plan had failed and asked whether he was going to take responsibility for the increased in illness rates and deaths, Premier Kenney’s first response was that Hudes’ query sounded like an NDP media clip….an absolute, unconscionable, shameful abdication of admitting responsibility for the COVID mess in Alberta. Are there, any, credible, humane, taking-of-responsibility thoughts about this within the UCP, et al? There was a firestorm of suppport for Hudes on Twitter. One comment there with regard to Kenney’s shameful response was “Jesus wept.”


 “We are all doing our best in whatever position we happen to be in.” (emphasis added)
Who is this ‘we’?

  • those directly impacted by UCP policies and who now find themselves unemployed?
  • those with COVID fighting for their lives in an ICU?
  • front-line health care workers?
  • teachers and support staff?
  • students of all ages, some of which have spent time in or are currently in ICU?
  • individuals who have had COVID and are now part of a cohort known as long-haulers?
  • grieving families and individuals who are mourning the loss of someone who had much more life to live?

Moreover, Mr. Neudorf wants his constituents to “protect each other”, to “band together”, to “support” each other. In other words, Mr. Neudorf is asking his constituents to take ‘personal responsibility’ in contrast to a premier who refuses to accept responsibility for doing too little too late.
How is it that we don’t have Mr. Neudorf writing about how he has spent hours lobbying the premier, the minister of education and the minister of health to fund and support a carefully planned strategic response in the early and ongoing days of this pandemic?
It is also disappointing that Mr. Neudorf’s entreaty glaringly fails to acknowledge other festivals and holy days being celebrated in his constituency throughout the Holiday Season.
“Get creative” in the face of rising daily numbers of COVID cases and deaths? Way to go, Mr. Neudorf.


Tough one for sure coming up!


Over the last 24 hours, 1,738 new cases were identified on 21,000 tests. The positivity rate is at 8.3%.
There were 18 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours.
There are 10 new cases reported in the Hat, with eight new recoveries reported…active case count is at 93 active cases. There have been 253 recoveries.
There are 12 active cases in Cypress County and five active in Forty Mile. There are two deaths listed in Forty Mile and zero in Cypress County.
There are 232 active cases in Lethbridge. Brooks is at 30 active cases.
There are 6,228 active cases in Calgary. There are 7,805 active in Edmonton.
There are 20,161 active cases in the province. There are 684 active hospitalizations, with 123 needing ICU.
The death total is at 684.
Reported by Medicine Hat News