COVID-19: One year anniversary

This week we mark the one year anniversary of a global pandemic that has forever changed our lives. It has been a challenging year and we have all faced great uncertainty and tremendous changes.

Although we recognize the stress and weight of the pandemic, the changes and challenges we had to adapt to have allowed us to reflect on how we have endured such times with resilience, compassion and care for one another and ourselves.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

After months of eager anticipation, members of the public are finally starting to receive the COVID vaccination as the provinces’ COVID-19 immunization plans move into our communities. This makes the light at the end of the tunnel seem closer than ever and instills a sense of hope that a return to normalcy is right around the corner. But it’s important to remember that while the end is near, it isn’t here yet. To get there we must continue to maintain current safety measures such as wearing a mask, hand washing, and physically distancing – even after receiving the vaccine.

After more than a year, many – if not most – are likely feeling a normal amount of pandemic fatigue when it comes to taking precautions. The truth is your actions are making a difference and – in conjunction with the vaccine – are the answer to overcoming the virus.

But why is it important to maintain these precautions now and after you’re vaccinated? Put simply, until everyone is vaccinated we’re all still at risk. The vaccines are highly effective at preventing someone from getting a symptomatic case of COVID but scientists are still analyzing the data to see what level of protection they provide against new variant versions that are emerging.

We all want to reach the end, but to do so – and to do so quickly – we need to stay the course.

As we reflect, let’s acknowledge the impact COVID-19 has had on each of us and recognize and appreciate that everyone has had their own unique experiences. As part of these reflections, please continue to consider ways you can support your mental health and well-being and that of your loved ones. Think of daily actions, even if they are small that you can do everyday to support your positive mental health and well-being.