Good news stories during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Written by Myrna Driedger
Published in the May, 2020 edition of Lifestyles 55
As many of you know, I began my career as a nurse. I loved every second of it and am so fond of the many memories I have. Working alongside other healthcare professionals within our healthcare system was a formative time in my life. I spent over 20 years as a nurse and I know that our healthcare system is one of the strongest in the world and it is one that can handle the difficulties ahead as we deal with COVID-19.
This COVID-19 pandemic is something that we have never experienced before. It is understandable that this new health issue is causing many people heightened anxiety. As a society, we must all adjust our lives in ways we’ve never had to before. Those who are able to are working from home, kids are out of school and daycare, many people are experiencing financial strain, and importantly, many people are worried for their health and the health of their loved ones. These worries are all valid and they are all important. With all the news coming out every day about the rise in the numbers of cases and the difficulties other countries are facing, it can become overwhelming.
I believe that it is important to also focus on the good news stories that are coming out. Manitoba is an amazing province and to see the people and the businesses come together to support each other during this time has been inspiring. I’d like to highlight just a few of these good news stories happening right here in Manitoba.
Months ago, when the news of COVID-19 first began to circulate, hand sanitizer flew off the store shelves. Panic buying created a serious lack of this important product to keep hands clean. Local distilleries have stepped up to the plate and converted their production to hand sanitizer rather than their usual product. These amazing companies include Patent 5 Distillery, Capital K Distillery, and Farmery Brewery. These are difficult times and I am so proud to live in a province that is home to these amazing and selfless businesses.
This has undoubtedly been a difficult time for many restaurants. That difficulty has not stopped many of Winnipeg’s amazing eateries from thinking about others, in fact, it has led to a beautiful generosity I know many people will remember for years to come. This is not in any way a full listing of the generosity of Manitobans, here is a small sample of just a few of our local heroes stepping up to the plate:
Carbone Pizza when first shut down sent its food provisions to Siloam Mission, Lighthouse Mission, and health care workers in seniors’ homes.
Pad Thai on Portage Avenue made up meal boxes to donate to front line workers.
Chef Ben Kramer organized a call for restaurants that had excess food upon closing their restaurants to donate it. He and other chefs turned the food into meals to be donated to Main Street Project’s food bank. This is an inspiring show of community coming together to help those in need.
Marion Street Eatery made bag lunches for Morberg House in St. Boniface to be given to those in shelter.
Zorba’s in the Forks market made meals to donate to ER workers at the St. Boniface Hospital.
As we all have seen, grocery stores and the workers within are incredibly important in insuring we have the food supplies we need. I would like to remind everyone that when socially isolating it is important to only go grocery shopping once a week. If possible, only one member of the household needs to make this grocery run. This is a great time to meal plan and use items in your pantry! I am grateful to all the grocery store employees who are working tirelessly. Metro, Loblaws, Empire companies, and Walmart all announced that they would pay their employees $2 more hourly. This is well-deserved for these brave workers navigating an unprecedented time.
Assiniboine Park Zoo
For many people socially isolating and staying home can be tough. It’s great that there are so many online resources to connect us to each other and to connect us to interesting community organizations. Assiniboine Park Zoo will be livestreaming fun videos on their Facebook page every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1:00pm. The Zoo is closed to visitors but check them out online!
As we all navigate this difficult time, I encourage everyone to be sure to notice the good that is happening all around us. Manitoba is an amazing province with a deep sense of community filled with generous, amazing people.