The Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on March 20. And on April 3, Premier Stephen McNeil famously told us to "stay the blazes home," igniting a call to all Nova Scotians to work together by staying apart.
Much of those events are a blur now. However, one memory remains strong - seeing the Acadia community rise to meet so many challenges head-on. We worked together to see our university and community through this unprecedented, long-term crisis in an exceptional manner.
Who would have thought that we would still be dealing with this twelve months later and that only now can we see the light at the end of the proverbial pandemic tunnel?
By working with Dr. Robert Strang, government, and public health officials, we were able to open our doors in September by implementing strict protocols. This academic year, nearly 500 students followed travel quarantine rules, and 56 individuals self-isolated due to symptoms or exposure. Three members of the university community tested positive for COVID-19. All are recovered.
Our faculty, staff, and students have been wonderful in responding to this crisis, as has the local community. Despite the stress and sadness, we have found our way through it.
As we see continue forward, we must remain vigilant and maintain compliance with the provincial state of emergency and public health directives. We don't want to falter as we approach what we hope to be light at the end of the tunnel.
This one-year mark is also a time to honour the human loss caused by the pandemic both at home and worldwide. We remember those whose health has been severely impacted by the virus, and we grieve with those who have lost loved ones and friends. We also have compassion for many people, including those in our community who have suffered inequities, financial hardship, and mental health concerns during this difficult time.
The impacts of COVID-19 are stark reminders of why we must work together to ensure that Acadia is part of the post-pandemic recovery. We have to do our part to help our region and our province rebound from this pandemic and thrive into the future.