I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about COVID-19 and its lasting effect on everything from those that become infected to how we live our life each day. It seems incredulous to think that “The Greatest Generation” fought in world wars, and baby boomers built strong economies which we enjoy. But at the same time, some of us in the “ME Generation” are unwilling to take the precautions that are outlined by Health Canada or Alberta Health, and don’t take this pandemic seriously. Not just for themselves, but how it may affect others around them.
In the US, we’re seeing what happens when you disregard those precautions and ignore science. They are in big trouble. This being “unprecedented” or “uncertain times” is an understatement, but it is true. Things are evolving as science catches up to what this virus does. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, wear a mask. It’s not a movie where the rogue scientist figures it all out at the eleventh hour, and then is able to mass produce the vaccine in hours – all with no testing or trials. Real life is obviously much more complex, and everything takes longer for it to be safe. Not to say there’s not some progress being made, new drugs and vaccines are being developed for trials every day.
But the bottom line is, it’s not going away in a few weeks or a month like perhaps we once hoped for. Perhaps it’s more like a year, or three. We will have to deal with the ramifications of this pandemic for some time to come. Hundreds of thousands of people have died from it, and millions more infected, but there is hope, and we will beat it. It won’t be the zombie apocalypse after all.
Financially, it’s been very difficult for a lot of individuals who have lost work, or those that have had their livelihoods affected or their businesses suffering. Those that can help, should. Shop local as much as you can, and support those local businesses that offer so much to our community, not only due to their commitment to sponsorships and or donations to your non-profits or sports organizations and events, but also what they offer the community through their goods or services. Each time we lose a business, we may lose a family, or multiple families from the local schools, and the money they spend locally goes down. It’s a negative spiral and we need to do our part to slow it down.
Government programs like CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit) has helped many, as many as eight million applicants, with over $61 Billion dollars being paid out to Canadians to make sure that they’re not on the street. Alberta has had over 1 million applicants alone. That’s nearly 25 per cent of our population. The hill looks steep, but it is climbable and things will settle down. Now if only the oil prices also would rebound for Canadian crude…
The government CEBA (Canadian Emergency Business Account) has offered interest free loans to businesses that qualify which allows for up to $10,000 be forgiven, if paid back before Dec. 31, 2022. If not, then the loan will be paid back over 5 years at a stated interest rate. Those CEBA loans are available through Encompass Credit Union, if you are a member and use Encompass as your primary business account. Contact your business account manager at Encompass and they can help you through the process.
So, take precautions for both yourself and those around you. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. Socially distance and wear a mask when you go out. If our previous generations were willing do fight and die for our freedoms, shouldn’t we all do our best to honour that and protect each other? The ME generation needs to become the WE generation.