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Publisher's Pen

I hope you and your family are doing well, staying safe and healthy. We have NEVER missed publishing an issue in over 26 years and we were to publish an April/May issue to promote our Family Fun & Learning Fair that was to be held on April 19th at the Manitoba Museum. Of course, that was postponed, and we are hoping to now host it on September 13th. After much consideration knowing that most of advertisers are closed and pretty much all our distribution points are closed, we are publishing our first ever ONLINE only May issue. We still want to reach you with our helpful and heartwarming information. We hope you will share this issue with friends and family.

How life has changed since our March issue was published and distributed! Our March issue was printed and distributed, and I left the country on a holiday that I had been looking forward to for many years. We were finally going on vacation with our whole family which we had not been able to do in 10 years. Our son and daughter-in-law had moved back to Winnipeg after living in Australia for almost 9 years and our other son and his girlfriend live in Toronto. We had planned this holiday last summer and as the world was starting to take notice of the spread of the Coronavirus in China and beyond, we sat on our beach chairs, glued to our phones stunned as we heard that the NBA, NHL and MLB had suspended their seasons. This was surreal! We watched over the week as the US and Canada start to take action and knew when we returned that our lives would be much different than when we left. When we boarded our airplane home, some people wore masks. We wiped down everything around us on the plane and cringed when other passengers coughed or sneezed. We were thankful to return home, safe and healthy, sequestered to our homes where we stayed for 14 days.

At first, its a novelty to be at home all the time but I have always worked from home so that was not different. But I usually leave home daily to teach fitness and yoga classes at the Rady JCC, do daily errands and visit my Mom who lives in an assisted living community. I could do none of that now. Going to the grocery store was different and I am so impressed with the way the grocery stores are trying to keep customers safe and how most of us are following the many new rules. The essential staff that continue to work are relieved they are still working but, they are still very concerned about being in contact with people daily and that they might get sick and bring it home to their family. The fear is real.

I am so grateful to all the people still working to keep essential services going. THANK YOU! I am grateful to the teachers still teaching in these extraordinary times, to the Fire, Police and Paramedic and Hospital staff. THANK YOU to the staff in assisted living and nursing homes caring for our elderly. I am grateful for the social workers and support workers helping fragile humans through what is likely the most stressful time in their lives. I hope we will keep these heroes on a pedestal even after this pandemic is over... when ever that may be.

Our stress is real. It is normal to feel anxious and uncertain during these unfathomable times. There is help if you need it. Check out our directory for Co-Vid19 help numbers in this issue. I hope when we return to the "new normal" that we will do it with great appreciation for the things we have missed. Simple things... going out, human connection, smiles, being together... but at a distance. It is going to take a long time to return to the way things were.

Be Well, Stay Safe!
Susan



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