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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Socializing in the new reality

BY Will Nicholls Apr 24, 2020

This our third issue since COVID-19 changed our ways of being human. Mankind is a social animal and now we’ve been forced to stop socializing for our own good. For many it’s been difficult, both personally and professionally. The pandemic has raised questions about the limitations of keeping in touch, whether with friends, family or the wider community.

So, when I read about the Mistissini Easter Egg Hunt for kids that took place April 12, I was concerned and had questions. 

Was the person who collected and hid the assorted treats for the kids been tested for the virus? How about social distancing? Was it enforced, and by whom? And how could excited children racing to scoop up their sugary treasures even be separated? 

After all, the kids are searching for the goodies. It’s unlikely they would be thinking about social distancing when sweets are involved. 

Let’s not forget that daycares and schools are disease vectors as the children intermingle and bring home the latest version of the flu and colds as well as other health problems.

I know we don’t want this to affect our lives but taking chances and hoping for the best does not seem to be acting in a responsible manner when it comes to this serious pandemic.

Another concern I heard is that some parents are allowing their children to visit their friends. Again, this is a possible source of transmission of COVID-19. We should remember that many people who carry the virus don’t display any symptoms. Others have very mild symptoms, making them believe it is only a cold. None of us know. We shouldn’t panic but following the recommendations of medical experts on social distancing is the only way we can beat this problem.

Please take care, because our Elders and young children are the most vulnerable to this deadly virus. It would be heartbreaking to see some of them die because we didn’t take it seriously enough.

On a positive note, it is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Because of the pandemic there are far fewer airplanes, road vehicles or other transportation means producing carbon. You can already see changes in our Mother Earth. In Montreal, the sky is clearer and smog pollution is way down. The planet is taking advantage of the amount of social distancing and healing itself. 

Perhaps some of the lessons we will learn is not to make such a negative impact on our world. We need to respect our environment and our place in it.

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Will Nicholls is a Cree from Mistissini. He started his career off in radio and is still one of the youngest radio DJ’s in Canadian history, having a regular show on CFS Moosonee at the age of 12. Will was one of the founding members of the Nation, and has been its only Editor-in-Chief.