Who would have thought any of us would have been living through a pandemic. Well, we have for the past six months here in Canada. On March 13, WHO (World Health Organization) declared that Covid-19 was a pandemic, and that was the day that everything changed for a lot of us.
When you look back and think about how things have changed in the last six months, there are a lot of things that changed, and I am going to be talking about some of what happened here in Ontario for us.
- Schools - were going into March break, so they decided that they would extend the break by an additional week. That March break turned into online learning for the rest of the spring, and then finally students have started to go back to school in person in the last week. For this year parents and students could decide if they wanted in person learning or online learning so that is happening. Masks are mandatory for in class learning.
- Colleges/Universities - they also started to hold most of their classes online in early April, and they continue to hold most classes online. Of course, there are some courses that need to be in a lab, etc and those are the ones that are being held in person. Masks are mandatory for in class learning.
- Businesses - a lot of businesses as soon restrictions were starting to be put in place asked staff to work at home as much as possible. I know that some businesses couldn’t operate with staff at home, but the businesses that could are still working remotely. Masks are essential when you work in an office unless you are at your desk and able to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.
- Retail – a lot of businesses if they were not considered essential closed their doors in late March and slowly started to reopen in June through now. Yes, there are still a lot of restrictions about how many people can be in a store at once and how you pay for your purchases. A lot of stores are now debit and credit where possible, and some are NO cash. Masks are mandatory for entering a store.
- Restaurants – these also closed their doors in March and were only providing drive through or take out where possible. Finally, in early August some restaurants were able to open and have table service on patios, so that was a nice change. Later in August limited in restaurant dining was allowed but with a lot of restrictions such as masks until you are at your table.
Yes, things have changed a lot over the last six months and things continue to change. The number of people that you can have in a private home for an event change depending on the number of cases that we have in Ontario.
A lot of municipalities have put by-laws in place making it mandatory to wear a mask in any public place. This by-law also means that people living in apartments and condos are also required to wear a mask outside their units. This can sometimes be a challenge, but it is best for everyone. Also for apartments and condos they are recommended limits to the number of people in an elevator at one time, so that creates its own challenges. Apartments and condos with a lot of families with school age children now have to figure out ways of getting their kids to school on time.
I know that there have been some challenges through these last few months but if we all do what is necessary by social distancing, wearing masks and limiting our contact with others maybe one day we will be able to get back to seeing our friends and families again.