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Our new normal

We have no other option but to stick it out. Times are tough and our children need us to be our best selves.

The reality we find ourselves in is so different than a few weeks ago.

All of us long for its return.

Some of us, who are fortunate enough to still be employed in a non-frontline role, begin and end our days at home. Our castle has become our workplace. We get dressed in the morning, but know that no one but our family will see us. Getting dressed is normal and we yearn to maintain some normal in our lives at the moment.

Our dogs are excited that we’re at their side all day and anticipate walks around the neighbourhood and a good belly rub. Our cats are confused and prefer the days of solitude.

Solitude is only a fantasy for healthcare professionals and other frontline workers that don’t have the option to stay at home and contemplate whether to dress themselves or not. These selfless warriors sacrifice their lives, and their family’s lives, to do their job to protect the rest of us and maintain the status quo in our world. We can rest a bit knowing that they have our back, but that incredible burden is tough to carry. We need to be there for them too.

The rest of us have no job to go to and the loss of income is crippling and uncertain. We’ve joined the million other Canadians who have applied for employment insurance and are forced to wait for a cheque. Trudeau’s government unveiled a $82 billion financial rescue package on Mar. 18 that will include $27 billion in direct financial aid to households and businesses.

Small businesses, the backbone and heart beat to Cochrane's local economy, might not re-open. The loss of ‘mom and pop’ shops will change communities forever. These reliable enterprises bring diversity and familiarity to our streets that might otherwise be occupied by foreign-owned conglomerates. Some small businesses are forging an online presence and might offer delivery options to quell their loss of income. Let’s not forget them and be there for them when we’re able.

In the meantime Cochranites are making due. Town council took place via video conference on Monday. Those of us that watched Monday’s meeting on YouTube or on the Town’s website had a unique glimpse into our elected leader’s lives as they sat comfortably in their spare bedrooms. Council approved several measures that would ease the strain on residents. COLT will be free until further notice, and the Town will waive late utility bill payments. These measures aren’t without consequence though as the Town will need to make up this money elsewhere.

We have no other option but to stick it out. Times are tough and our children need us to be our best selves. If you and your family are healthy, and you haven’t been exposed to coronavirus or have returned to the country recently, take a walk around your neighbourhood together. Get some fresh air and smile when you see others at a safe distance.

We're all in this together. If anything, that realization can bring us some comfort.