Hometown stories

It’s Tuesday (production day) again. With the four-day weekend it indeed was a short week and a bigger challenge gathering content. I realize I do go on about this topic, but now more than ever, let’s share our victories, issues and ideas.

Indeed, this past year has been a challenge for everyone. For me it’s my on-going love-hate relationship with social media and finding out amazing stories after the fact. I get it, social media is instantaneous – but when you rely solely on – for example Facebook, you are leaving out a huge part of the population. Whether it is sharing a story or an upcoming event.

Yes, people are interested.

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Is Cancel Culture effective?

Centuries ago, it was tarring and feathering. Today, it’s a hashtag. It’s evolving, but is cancel culture effective? Mob mentality. A modern social justice practice. An impediment to free speech. A platform for marginalized voices. Call it what you will. Cancel culture is a concept so hotly debated that it remains in limbo, much like many individuals’ attitudes toward it. Everyone seems to agree that cancel culture involves taking a public stance against an individual or institution for actions considered objectionable or offensive. But is it an effective way to hold the authors accountable, or is it punishment without a chance for redemption?

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Still riding the storm

At first it seemed like it would last only a short while. Then it just became the way things were.

As the novel coronavirus lost its novelty, we reinvented how we eat, mourn, work, cope, dress and entertain our-selves. The changes — some great, some trivial — played out differently for everyone.

A year ago, we couldn’t imagine how we would respond to a manipulative risk. How masks and social distancing would keep us safe, but faceless and apart. Time and space, once definite and real, grew abstract. Each day resembled the last and the next, each room became the backdrop for a video call, each in-person shift an opportunity for infection.

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Coming together to help the community

As temperatures rise and the snow melts the reveal isn’t pretty. Last spring our community cleanups were cancelled. And the way things are looking, the well organized “over 100 people take part” community cleanups won’t be happening again this year.

Having a clean, well up-kept neighborhood benefits all members of the community. With the warmer weather just around the corner, and with the province’s colour coded framework for keeping Ontario safe still in place, we will still be spending more time outdoors.

Besides being an eyesore, litter can disrupt the ecosystem of your environment because it can attract many different insects and rodents, and can carry diseases. This can become harmful to animals or children, who might pick up dirty trash, step on it, or even ingest it. This trash — especially cigarette butts and flammable materials — can also start fires. Food waste can pollute area waterways and harm wildlife, as well as making our water unsafe to drink.

As this past year has shown, our neighbourhoods are not short of helping hands.

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Vaccines are imminent

Vaccine rollout – oh, the frustrations. As Ontario is transitioning to Stage two rollout it is encouraging that a third vac-cine has been approved – AstraZeneca, and Canada has se-cured access to 22 million doses of the vaccine, most of which are slated to arrive between April and September.

Last Wednesday we learned that Ontario’s online portal to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment will be launched on March 15, allowing people 80 and over to register first. This according to the province’s plan will take us until the end of March.

Retired Gen. Rick Hillier, the head of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, made the announcement on February 24, saying that the province is “furiously working” to launch the online and telephone booking system in order to start vaccinating people in the general population.

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