By Maggie Hua, Lifestyle Columnist
We, human beings, are not unfamiliar with epidemics or pandemics. From smallpox, polio, and malaria, to plague, H1N1 and its variants, our bodies fought for us. We lost, we quarantined, we survived, and we are now here.
It has been quite an interesting couple of years. Did we ever imagine life would turn out this way? March 22, 2020, the date we all remember – Nova Scotia declared a provincial state of emergency. Then, lockdown started, and no, it was not just two weeks as most of us thought it would be. These past two years have been unbearable; however, now that restrictions are easing in Nova Scotia and the weather is getting nicer, we are just happy to have some sort of normalcy. It is all about the balance of life. Looking in the rear-view mirror, many things have happened in the past two years.
First, the stock market crushed; then, toilet paper went out of stock. People wore all kinds of protective gear and face masks to the stores (some were ridiculously funny). “Stay the blazes home” became a thing, followed by social distancing rules; we went crazy on hand sanitizer and the mandatory mask requirement started. Housing prices started to skyrocket, and that was just 2020.
2021, new year new variants. Vaccines were available to the public. Joe Biden became the president of the United States. Prince Phillip passed away. Lockdown did not ease; bars were still closed. Brittany Spears was freed, and we had a new Premier of Nova Scotia.
Historically, as we go through pandemics, we became part of that history. Lots of sad things happened, but a lot of good things happened too. For example, in the mid-19th century, when doctor Snow found the source of the Cholera outbreak, it led to a global effort to improve urban sanitation and protect drinking water from contamination. I always try to view things from a more positive prospective as our brains tend to get stuck and go down a rabbit hole if we focus on the negatives. So, did anything good come out of this pandemic?
Working from home or the hybrid mode becomes the new way of working for a lot of us which saves time on commute and is cost-efficient. Many people now can live in different parts of the country or live closer with our families in order to spend more time together. Life has slowed down just a little bit, in a way that we appreciate the present moments more. We spent more time with nature. We realized what is more important in life, to each their own.
Our province is investing more than $1.5 billion in healthcare, facilities, and equipment, which is an unprecedented investment in capital spending, most notably the modernization of healthcare facilities. We came to realization of how crucial mental health is which has been long neglected in the past.
Technology has been embraced in new ways. Virtual consultations, Zoom meetings, online learning, curbside pickups, home deliveries, drive throughs, and more. Businesses became more creative and adaptable in this everchanging and disruptive environment.
We have a renewed gratitude to our essential workers and healthcare heroes! We have come together this far by helping one another, our neighbours, our elderly, and in some way, I feel humanity has been restored. People are the society! We have good, generous, kind people in Nova Scotia which makes us who we are. So, let’s keep doing what we are doing, and show the rest of the world who we are! It’s the little things that matter.
Photo by cottonbro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-holding-white-paper-with-pandemic-covid19-text-3952234/