Here we are, three-quarters of a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Who thought, when we first hunkered down in March, we’d be entering the holiday season with uncertainty around family gatherings for the holidays?

In the past nine months, we’ve gone from avoiding almost all public places to safely dining in restaurants, Christmas shopping at local stores, and resuming some group activities with just a few minor bumps in the road. Municipalities have created ways for us to take part in activities, even though they don’t quite look like normal, while community groups and museums have mastered online meetings and fun get-togethers. Everyone in Huron/Perth has battled pandemic fatigue, a wavering belief in what’s truly necessary, and what’s expected of us from day-to-day, and now the light at the end of the tunnel is growing slightly brighter as we approach the release of the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re so close, yet there are days it feels so far away.

Yes, our cases are rising slightly as we experience the first real threat of it grabbing a foothold in our region. So far we’ve been the envy of the province, even being celebrated by provincial media. We managed to keep it at bay during tourist season, and we can stop it in its tracks now as we enter the winter season by continuing to social distance, keeping our bubbles small, wearing masks, and washing our hands.

In this issue, you’ll learn about why now’s a great time to plan that trip to New Orleans, the forgotten artist Jack McLaren, who called Bayfield home, how to prevent falls, prepare for retirement, and capture your family’s memories.

We don’t know where this winter will take us, but these could be long, difficult months for you, or your family, friends and neighbours. Check in on each other. Be patient with each other. Love each other.

Our communities are strong. Our people are hearty. We’re going to get through this.

Stay safe and be well.

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