One year ago today, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
The Prime Minister announced that the Government of Canada is designating March 11, 2021 as a National Day of Observance for COVID-19 to “commemorate the people who lost their lives and the significant impacts we have all felt because of COVID-19.”
North Grenville Municipal flags will be flown at half-mast today in honour of the 22,000 Canadians who have lost their lives from the deadly virus and the 2.5 million people worldwide.
Let us also give thanks to all of our frontline essential workers and caregivers, who have gone above and beyond to care for the most vulnerable members of the community, and who, in many cases, put themselves at risk.
Health care workers continue to work long hours and as vaccination efforts ramp up, and we thank them more than ever.
I recognize that this past year has been very challenging and often disorienting, to say the least. Communities throughout the country have endured unprecedented challenges, and residents and businesses have made significant sacrifices as a result of COVID-19.
Working and learning from home arrangements were often less than ideal, especially in the face of unreliable rural broadband. Extended families were kept apart, grandparents lost valuable time with their children and grandchildren and many seniors became extremely isolated.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders confronted constant uncertainty and disruptions. Many businesses were forced to pivot in ways they never thought possible in such a short period of time.
Through it all, North Grenville rallied and, as a community, we remained remarkably safe with consistently low COVID numbers throughout the past year.
Our local public health unit rose to the occasion every step of the way, adapting to an ever-changing environment, all the while protecting the health of our community.
Residents demonstrated significant support and kindness for one another, especially those who were isolated and vulnerable. While we are not in the clear yet, more people are getting vaccinated each and every day, and there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.
Today, let us pause and reflect on the past year and honour those who have lost their lives as a result of the Coronavirus, and support their loved ones who will hold their memory in their hearts.
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