Pandemic crisis bringing out the best in Prince Edward County

For the most part, it seems Canadians generally and Prince Edward County residents specifically are getting the message of social distancing, proper hand washing and staying home as much as possible. To those outliers who aren’t getting the message or flouting warnings, please take heed.

On the national front, our federal government took all of the night Tuesday and many wee morning hours on Wednesday to come up with a national strategy to keep our country rolling in these most tumultuous times. Brief political gamesmanship aside, a unanimous vote on a negotiated pact in the House of Commons early Wednesday is strong signal that MP’s and their parties can come together for the common good.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s serendipity Canada has a minority government in this time and place in our history so both sides of the House had a say in our path forward through this darkness.

Provincially, Premier Doug Ford has provided a profile in leadership during this pandemic. And that’s coming from someone who has been largely critical of the Ford government from the very beginning.

His actions in the past two weeks do not excuse what’s transpired over the last couple of years, however, it seems Premier Ford is taking new and better strides every day to reassure Ontarians.

Consulting experts, doctors and scientists and making the tough-but-correct choices have been a mainstay in Ford’s mantra and, for a populist Conservative leader, a sharp contrast to what we are witnessing in the United States. For a guy who said he likes Donald Trump, Doug Ford is certainly not acting like the 45th U.S. President and, for that, everyone in this province can be greatful.

Your humble scribe is certainly guilty, as evidenced below, of taking an afternoon stroll with camera in hand along Rotary Club of Wellington Beach on Friday in order to stretch the legs, walk the dog and enjoy some seldom seen sunlight-all within the limits of what our new normal is.

As long as you aren’t feeling the symptoms of COVID-19 or aren’t under the constraints of self-isolation due to recent travel or close contact with someone suffering the coronavirus, periodic outings without much by way of human contact are a way to at least get some exercise and reconnect with nature. But limit your outings to low density areas. Keep your distance. Stay home if you develop symptoms and feel unwell.

Also be sure to visit the Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health website daily for new daily developments.

Here in Prince Edward County, I know we will get through this pandemic.

We don’t have too look past what’s happened in Italy to know there is sickness and pain coming to our community over the next month but as a community, we will endure.

I know this because our community on this spit of limestone and soil stuck out in Lake Ontario was founded by Loyalists that had the common bond of fleeing the colonies to recreate a nation loyal to the crown. In order to survive the desolation and distance, our ancestors counted on one another. You didn’t last too long in the 1800’s in Prince Edward County without getting a helping hand from your neighbour and vice versa.

That spirit of togetherness, unity and helping your neighbour permeates whether you showed up to Prince Edward County last year or have UEL behind your last name. It’s in the soil we turn, it’s in the rocks we step over and it’s in the air we breathe. The tellings can be seen at the grocery stores, the community organizations and in the heart felt messaging from our Mayor Steve Ferguson and county council.

Through good times and bad, our spirit has and will continue to define this community.

-Jason Parks

PICTURING OUR COMMUNITY

SURVIVING THE SURGE High westerly winds on Friday afternoon created a spectacular ongoing series of waves at Rotary Club of Wellington beach. The Wellington channel lighthouse stood firm amidst the torrent, providing a sight of inspiration to visitors who took the opportunity to practice proper social distancing, bask in the sun and shake off cabin fever for a few hours. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)