Cassidy Dankochik is the editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer. (Photo by Tracey Roberts)

Cassidy Dankochik is the editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer. (Photo by Tracey Roberts)

COLUMN: Lessons from a year of COVID-19

Editor Cassidy Dankochik gives thoughts on what can be learned from COVID-19

It was nearly one year ago today I, along with the rest of Canada, first heard about this new disease in Asia called the “novel coronavirus.”

While it would be a few months before COVID-19, as the style guide suggests we call it, would shut down events across the country, the seeds of what would become a world changing pandemic were already planted.

One year marks the transition in my head from “too early” to talk long term changes. Now is the time for reflection and thoughts on what changes COVID-19 forced we should keep.

Many groups I spoke to used the pandemic as an opportunity to evaluate how they did things, and look for improvements.

For example, the Sled Dog mail run in Quesnel is looking to make a permanent move to February moving forward.

Those kinds of audits in organizations are great and it often takes an outside force to push us to make them.

The biggest change I have made, and I hope other people make, is to de-stigmatize staying home when feeling sick.

How many people have I personally infected with a flu or a cold because I tried to push through to go to work? How many times has a boss called in a sick person because “we need you here today?” Too many times.

If there’s one thing this virus should teach us, it’s to leave those kinds of behaviours in the past. If you’re sick, make choices to reduce the chances of infecting other people with your illness (including wearing a mask if you have to go out while sick). Be it from a flu, a cold, or COVID-19.

I think those two small changes have a chance of happening, and I’m clinging to any kind of silver lining I can these days.

Cassidy Dankochik is the Editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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