First of all, Happy New Year to all of you. I hope that you had a great holiday season given the circumstances. I am excited that 2021 will be a different year and that ultimately it will be the year remembered as us turning the corner on this virus and conquering it in a way that we can all resume those loved activities that many of us look so forward to, such as travel, recreational sports, weddings and other social gatherings.
But first at this time, it has become quite clear that the second wave of the virus is/will be worse than the first. We are seeing an increase in numbers that are putting a significant strain on our hospitals. We have some short term hurdles to overcome before the light at the end of the tunnel becomes clearer.
I must say, we in Haldimand-Norfolk have taken the approach of managing this COVID with the respect that it deserved. For that, our experience and numbers have been better than many other places in Ontario. Unfortunately, we are within the boundaries of the most populated area of the Country, let alone the Province, and so we will be a part of the next steps the Ford government takes to prevent the further spread of this virus. In the coming days further restrictions will be forthcoming and it will have an affect on us all.
While I cannot begin to imagine all nor explain here the tolls that this pandemic has had on each of our residents and businesses, I am aware of many personal circumstances, and no one situation is more dire than the other. Whether it is the kids missing out on quality education, or graduates having little to no job opportunities, or small businesses forced to shut down. Our elders in retirement homes with no connection to families or friends; our first responders working day and night with little to no rest in between. The examples go on and on.
I continue to ask where possible: help a friend, help a neighbour, help your local business, be a positive beacon for those around you. Misery loves company and yet it serves nothing but more anxiety.
For those of you that have fear, know you are are part of loving and compassionate community. Our community is second to none when it comes to helping our people out. I truly believe that within us all we have the capacity to ensure that no one is left alone in this difficult time. My cup is half full and I see the promise of a much better future for Haldimand-Norfolk and I hope that you can help share that message.
Update on Caledonia protest coming soon..