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It’s Summer, Once Again

The skies are blue, the temperatures are rising, and people are once again eating on patios and walking the streets all over Canada. Ontario is the last stronghold of pandemic life. Soon, we too will be able to hug our friends, walk into any store we want and sit inside a restaurant; what a concept.

Before you know it, we will be able to visit Florida and see what our vacation homes look like, get on airplanes and travel to those bucket list destinations and maybe, maybe, walk around without a mask. This means shaving will become a part of daily routines again.

Pondering the future made me wonder what I will do differently, based on what I have experienced over the past eighteen months. First, let me congratulate the world of healthcare and science for keeping us relatively safe and working diligently to provide an antidote for this awful virus. So, what can I take away from the past year and a half?

For the most part, everyone I meet is friendly, but more important, quite understanding. Certainly, there are always those who find fault with everything and complain because they need to. Still, the majority of us are genuinely sincere. I believe we always were, but it takes a common enemy to bring it out in people.

I have a newfound respect for our politicians. They have taken us through uncharted territory, thrust upon them unexpectedly, and certainly not something they signed up for. Typically, we live in a society where we find fault with every politician we elect. But thankfully, that same society allows those who do not like the way things are to put their names forth and join the political arena in an effort to change the world.

I have been given an enormous education in the history of our country, especially as it pertains to the members of the First Nations. I cannot even begin to understand what that type of suppression means, but I do know my views going forward will include learning and becoming more aware of all people who live in this country, no matter what their origin or history is comprised of.

In short, the pandemic was the most dreadful experience we have witnessed on a global scale, but from it came an education and understanding of how insignificant we are as individuals. And how important it is to work together to save our planet, live peacefully with our neighbours, and be grateful for the opportunities we have.

Enjoy the summer, obey the rules and stay well.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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