A Christmas Season to Remember

Last Christmas we were just starting to hear about a flu called COVID-19. We had been made aware of various flu bugs in the past and did not initially realize that we were on the verge of a pandemic. Of course, we would always be able to connect with family and friends over the holidays, enjoy large social gatherings at numerous venues, wander around shopping without masks or concern any time someone sneezed. The Stanley Park Christmas Train would ride forever, VanDusen Garden would always light up the night with Christmas joy, and families would not have to remain sealed in their cars to partake in Christmas activities. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Pushing ahead to Christmas break 2020 and we see a society that has made numerous adjustments to address our current circumstances. Bonnie Henry continues to keep us calm as she advises us to keep our bubble small to contain the devastating impact of this virus. We all realize how much we took for granted, the simple things life provided before the onset on this pandemic. A challenging time but one that has also brought home numerous lessons.

We realize even more just how little we need in terms of material items to bring us joy. For some, working from home has meant less time on the road and additional savings in our pocket. These times have also made us generous and mindful to provide a portion of these savings to those facing economic challenges. Greater time enjoying outdoors has reminded us to treat our planet better. We have also come to realize that we need to take better care of our seniors with respect to living conditions and social connections. In addition, no travelling has meant we can enjoy our own local and provincial backyard. A pandemic may mean we have to do things differently but it should never rob us our human spirit, the ability to work collectively, and retain the traditions that are important to us.

The bright side is that a vaccine has been developed and is starting to be dispersed throughout Canada. We can weather a few more tough months before ultimately returning to some sense of normalcy. However, let’s hope we do not need to go through another pandemic to us remind us of what really matters in life.

Wishing all of you a healthy, safe and happy holiday – all the best in 2021!

Gord Stewart

Superintendent of Schools