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Opinion: Growing a sense of community in a time of uncertainty

'Over the past week, we have put aside individualistic thinking to foster a community-focused mindset to combatting this pandemic'
20191014  welcome to north bay sign cu turl
Jeff Turl/BayToday.

By Robyn Jones, North Bay.

To slow the spread of COVID-19 across Ontario, citizens are adhering to recommendations for physically distancing from one another, implementing extra handwashing and using hand sanitizer.

In North Bay, folks are going beyond the government's recommendations to do their part. Over the past week, we have put aside individualistic thinking to foster a community-focused mindset to combat this pandemic.

It takes effort to maintain connections and North Bay is putting in the effort.

Walking around the streets of North Bay you will be greeted (from a distance) by warm smiles and waves from dog walkers and families out for a stroll. Individuals have purchased coffee and snacks for the hardworking staff in the Emergency Department at North Bay Regional Health Centre. Able-to citizens are running errands for their elderly and quarantined neighbours. Many citizens are sharing online workouts, yoga sessions, and art classes.

It is this commitment to the community that makes North Bay special.

The majority of office-based businesses are exploring innovative ways to work from home. Vets and dentists are offering alternative virtual check-ins. Local fitness groups are encouraging healthy lifestyles by loaning equipment.

Stores are monitoring the number of customers coming in, providing hand-sanitizer, encouraging payments from tap and providing alternative shopping methods. Safe distances for checkout lines are being marked, purchase limits and seniors’ hours are already underway.

It is natural and okay to still be worried.

We face uncertainty about what the upcoming weeks hold. Many of us are already facing immediate financial and personal hardships. The value of remembering we are a part of a supportive community will become increasingly important in the upcoming weeks as restrictions on physical distancing gets tighter. Let’s help each other and continue to do our part to slow the spread.

Let’s remain strong together.