OHS Canada Magazine

From the editor: Reflections on 2 years of COVID-19 coverage


February 25, 2022
By Marcel Vander Wier

Health & Safety COVID-19

Reporting on a global pandemic from an OHS perspective has been an incredible journey

It took living through a global crisis first-hand, but today our nation is better positioned for crises of the future, with an increased supply of domestic PPE production, increased political commitments to health-care infrastructure, and a wider adoption of remote-work arrangements. (tuastockphoto/Adobe Stock)

Two weeks have turned into two years. In many ways, COVID-19 has been an incredibly difficult journey.

Restrictions. Lockdowns. Masks. Vaccines. Mental health concerns. Hospital capacity issues. Business and school closures. Political confusion. Protests. Sickness and deaths.

As I reflect on the years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is not much to celebrate, aside from the enduring fortitude and incredible resilience of the human spirit.

From the initial pandemonium of March 2020 to the unfortunate protests across the country in February 2022, there have been plenty of lessons to learn and ponder upon when it comes to emergency management, crisis leadership and empathy for others.

In 2020, we experienced an initial coming-together of Canadians that saw businesses overhaul manufacturing processes to assist in the need for hand sanitizer, face shields and masks.

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In the months that followed, Canadians persevered through various waves of COVID-19 variants, contact tracing, physical distancing, pandemic fatigue and widespread vaccine campaigns in an effort to keep our health-care system functioning and available to those who needed the help.

It took living through a global crisis first-hand, but today our nation is better positioned for crises of the future, with a healthy supply of domestic PPE production, increased political commitments to health-care infrastructure, and a wider adoption of remote-work arrangements.

Waking up to a brand-new world

This is my last editorial for OHS Canada. I am moving on to a new career opportunity providing communications support at a respected business law firm in downtown Toronto.

Looking back, it’s safe to say that the past two years will never be forgotten. Reporting on a global pandemic from an OHS perspective has been an incredible privilege and I’m fortunate to have done it.

Restrictive measures are finally beginning to ease and the case has been made for a safe return to work — many office positions in a hybrid format. Experts believe the tide is starting to turn and we’re finally ready to start living with COVID-19 as an endemic.

As I take my leave from this position, I wanted to thank those who came along for the journey, shared their expertise, worked on the front lines, continued to trust, and genuinely cared enough to kindly serve colleagues and neighbours by complying with various workplace health and safety protections through the global crisis that was COVID-19.

In a world that seems to spin a little more out of control each day, you are the true heroes.

Marcel Vander Wier is the editor of OHS Canada.

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