Last year when I wrote my holiday wishes I talked about 2020 being a year like no other; we were in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic with many areas of our country either shut down or headed in that direction. While 2021 did offer some promise with the role out of vaccines and the level of comfort they offered, as a result we did see things open up and life appeared to be headed back to some semblance of normal. Well folks, sadly it appears as we approach this year’s holidays we are once again faced with new challenges.
The latest mutation, the Omicron strain, which appears to be the most contagious strain to date, is ravaging our country and once again leading to shutdowns. Restrictions are again being imposed, many community and sporting events are once again being cancelled, family gatherings are suggested to be limited in size, and travel is being limited and advised against. Even with the challenges we face again at this time of year, it is important that we take the opportunity the holiday season provides to get some much-needed rest and spend time with our families the best we can, and as safely as we can.
One serious side effect of the pandemic, and it continues to worsen as time goes on, is mental health issues that have risen to crisis levels across Canada and the world. The additional stress that the uncertainty of these times causes, the financial strain many have experienced, and the isolation that has brought many people to their breaking point. So please if you need help, seek it! If you know of someone who may be struggling, please reach out, a simple phone call can go a long way.
Last year I said I could not be prouder of how all of you have stepped up, met the challenges, and showed the world exactly what the IBEW is about, and this year is no different. I want to thank you all for what you do and your loyalty to the IBEW.
On behalf of myself and the entire IBEW First District staff, I wish you all the best for the 2021 holiday season, and again look forward to improved conditions for 2022. Please enjoy your holidays and please stay safe. I look forward to working with you and your continued support and hard work in 2022.
International Vice President, First District (Canada)