Letter: There should be no return to the old normal

Remember front-line workers are always there

To the Expositor:

“We shouldn’t settle for a return to the ‘old’ normal. We owe it to the community to aim higher.”

Last year the people of Manitoulin had the rare opportunity to come to the Anchor Inn to listen to Peter Kenyan speak. Mr. Kenyan (B.A.N.K. of Ideas), from Australia, specializes and works with communities all around the world as well as speaking at conferences around the world about revitalizing communities.  Here is his take on communities and COVID-19:

“Around the world, every nation’s experience with, and emergence from COVID-19 is in a state of flux, however, the realisation that the world will never be the same again is starting to sink in. They say history repeats itself, but the one word that seems to have become synonymous with coronavirus is ‘unprecedented.’ What does this mean? It means that although the impacts of coronavirus are described as ‘unprecedented,’ so too is the opportunity to create a new and better world where we can intentionally and effectively address the glaring obscenities and injustices of our pre-COVID-19 existence. I love this quote from Quint Studer (‘Stronger Towns’): “Don’t expect the reboot to put your community right back to where it was before COVID-19. For starters, it’s not possible. I’ve read and heard this many times and I agree: When this is over, the world will have changed in many ways. But also, even if we could, we shouldn’t settle for a return to the ‘old’ normal. We owe it to the community to aim higher.”

After this pandemic, may our air stay cleaner, our waters pristine and our new knowledge on how to stay well continue on through all cold and flu seasons. It has been a hard lesson; let us all take heed so it never happens again. So, next year (or whenever this is over), stay home when you are sick. If you have to go out sick, wear a mask. We must continue good hand washing hygiene and most of all, consider how easily our elderly family members at home or in care homes can be made ill. Remember that those front-line workers are always there, and not to be recognized just now, but always. So maybe it’s time to set aside a day each year to recognize the front-line workers. We do it for volunteers, let’s do it for those who have kept us fed, well, and safe.

Barb Baker

Little Current