With the COVID pandemic largely behind us, it’s about time we all join together to support those things that bind us together.
One of the most common refrains during the pandemic was that we were all in it together. This July 1 Canada Day celebration will give us the perfect opportunity to all celebrate together.
But before we can celebrate, we should acknowledge the sacrifices that were made by so many and the more than 41,600 Canadians who have died from Covid. I’m hoping the organizers of this year’s O’ Canada celebration on Petrie Island will take a moment to do so, even if it is just a minute of silence and reflection during the opening ceremonies. And then, let the party begin.
Hopefully, for just one day, we can forget about runaway gas prices, the debate over COVID vaccines, the brutal state of the travel industry and escalating inflation.
Let’s celebrate the fact that we still have one of the best health care systems in the world. Let’s celebrate all the health care workers who have stood on the front lines and manned the ramparts against COVID-19 for the past two years.
Let’s acknowledge and celebrate the work our teachers have done in continuing to educate our children through the never-ending cycle of in-person learning and virtual classrooms.
Let’s embrace all of the Canadian artists who were unable to do what they love for two years and couldn’t perform in front of a live audience.
Let’s celebrate each other – our friends and neighbours and even total strangers – because we all got through this together. Let’s put our differences aside, or better yet bury them all together. The COVID-19 pandemic divided families, pitted parents against their children and vice versa. Debates over COVID-19 restrictions and whether or not you should get vaccinated strained lifelong friendships and ended some altogether.
And let’s take a moment to acknowledge how much we missed those things that we had previously taken for granted and what the pandemic with its many restrictions had taken away from us for so long – things like festivals, picnics, visiting grandma’s house, going to a movie theatre, dining out at your favourite restaurant or playing your favourite sport.
The past two years have been brutal. It’s time to move on and into a wonderfully uncertain future. But first, let’s party Orléans.
Happy Canada Day everyone.