Grade 10 Tyler McGovern receives help from Jenn Abbott left and Shannon McCracken to find formal clothing for a past semi-formal at Make Dreams Come True on Saturday Dec. 1 at Castle Antiques. Make Dreams Come True is a community initiative that accepts formal clothing donations that then go to students from Grade 8 to 12 who are attending a formal event. /DARREN LUM Staff

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By Sue Tiffin

ONE DAY WHEN we look back to this time in our his tory Ontario residents might best be able to describe what it was like with that symbolic head turn that is characteristic of those watching a ten nis match.

Don’t wear a mask we were told. Wear a mask we were told. Go away for March Break we were told. Stay home we were told but go to your cot tage we were told. Avoid gatherings we were told. This large group social izing at a park cannot be controlled we were told. Beaches are closed we were told. And also open we were told. Definitely wash your hands. That message has stayed consistent.

For numerous reasons the COVID- 19 pandemic has resulted in an ever-changing flurry of information that is difficult to take in even for those well- versed in critical think ing. With informa tion easy to access from regions where the spread of COVID-19 is more under control and also from areas devastated when it was able to flour ish as well as sometimes conflicting messages from different levels of government or last- minute provincial announcements that leave municipal staff and business owners scrambling to rearrange opera tions and organize it is understanda ble that many residents are now opting to make the best choices they can based on their own situation. Inevitable as that is after months of self-isolation and mixed messages it is essential that as we do that we consider how our own actions can affect the local community.

“The message is COVID-19 is not going away and will continue to appear periodically” Dr. Norm Bot tum of the Haliburton Highlands Fam ily Health Team said last week in response to a question about what the message to Haliburton County resi dents is at this time. “We don’t know when or where usually so we all have to do our part to minimize picking up or spreading the virus i.e. social

distance hand washing wear a mask when shopping.”

If you are choosing to go out or if you have to go out be as safe as pos sible. Think of others. Understand that asymptomatic carriers can still be superspreaders. Celebrate that we have had few confirmed cases in our area and let’s be mindful of how we live our lives to keep it that way.

“It is not the most sick patients we have to worry about they will be sick at home or in hospital” said Dr. Bot tum. “It is the least sick who mini mize their symptoms and continue to be active in our community and una ware.”

Chandra Trem blay of the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit asked that besides resi dents remaining dili gent the public should prepare for another pos sible influx of COVID-

19 infections.

“People also need to prepare for an antici pated second wave of the virus in the fall” she told the Echo this week. “The province public health and local health partners are putting plans in place in anticipation of the second wave which could be a challenge given the fall is typically the beginning of the influenza season.”

As the province reopens there are ways we can help support each other without forgetting what accurate and helpful information we have learned throughout this health crisis. Continue

to look out for neighbours friends and family. Help support local busi nesses in whatever way you are able to – be it curbside or takeout or purchas ing a gift certificate for later use if you can. Think of others. Be mindful and be kind. These are the same messages shared within our community before

the pandemic and will continue to get our vibrant little spot in this world through it.