Our community has faced a lot of hardships over the last several months as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have also been so many nice things that I don’t think would have started if we hadn’t all suffered through this pandemic together. I hope these things don’t go away any time soon:
1. An overwhelming support for local business
During the period when almost everything was closed, our community rallied together to support our local businesses. Many of these local businesses bravely pivoted to adapt to the changing circumstances of COVID-19. Businesses who didn’t have websites quickly got them up and running, they provided inventory lists on websites and social media pages, they offered private consultations over the phone or Facetime in their shops, they offered curbside pickup and free delivery. They did anything and everything they could to make the lives of people in our community easier, even if it made their lives harder. Thank you to our local businesses for stepping up to the plate and providing such incredible service, and thank you to our residents for supporting them in their time of need. Local businesses are the backbone of our economy, making Brantford unique for its residents and visitors alike.
2. Unique birthday celebrations like car parades
Happy Quarantine Birthday to all of you who have celebrated quietly since March! Born out of a feeling of guilt for our loved ones who didn’t get to have a ‘party’ or big celebration, the quarantine birthdays have actually been quite special in their own right. On a typical birthday, you might get a heap of Facebook messages, a number of calls, and then a special visit or two. If you were one of the lucky few to have a car parade in honour of your birthday, I’m sure you can attest to the fact that this embarrassing display of love and affection is quite simply…lovely. The first parade I witnessed was for a neighbor on my street and it brought me to tears. We celebrated Easter this way with seniors in our family, and basically used any excuse we could think of to do these parades or “honk parties” as my daughters lovingly called them.
3. Helping loved ones with pick-ups and drop-offs
In the past, I’ve only felt responsible for shopping for my own family. Throughout the pandemic, if I had to leave my house for any reason at all, I reached out to family members to see if they needed anything. They all did the same for us. These simple gestures, and the way that we all worked together to limit how many times we had to be out in public, were collectively so meaningful. I hope that, going forward, as we begin to feel safer, we try not to forget these little gestures that save others time and show we are thinking about them. Thank you porch droppers.
4. Spending time with loved ones
The last few months, while certainly challenging, have also allowed us to spend a lot of quality times with loved ones. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be homeschooling my 5-year old by the end of the year, I would have laughed. However, this experience gave me a better understanding of what happens in her classroom and, by taking part in her learning, I was blown away with what she was able to learn (and what she had already learned). To be part of that learning experience made me feel incredibly proud of her and it’s certainly one I will never forget.
I am certainly not trying to diminish the hardships everyone has endured over the last few months. It’s not been easy, that’s for sure. My parents have always raised me to, “look on the bright side,” and for me, this list was the bright side of the pandemic. I hope you can share in some of these, but either way I hope you are finding the light in the darkness.