Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie is calling on the community to bring back some of that spirit the city saw during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the coronavirus pandemic first broke out last spring, there were lawn signs supporting front-line workers, there were drive-by celebrations and residents rallied around small businesses along with those less fortunate and seniors who were shut-in.
But the mayor said he’s not seeing that same mood as he did last year, now that a third wave of the pandemic has set in and another Ontario-wide state of emergency began Thursday.
“I think it’s either become just so common now and we’re not talking about, so it’s ingrained in our DNA. But I think we need to start publicly showing it again,” Guthrie said.
“This is a rally cry. I am trying my best to make sure that we pull together again and show this community will do what we have been known to do.”
Guthrie said he understands everyone is frustrated about yet another state of emergency and stay-at-home order from the province. He said he’s frustrated too but urges everyone to follow all public health guidelines and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“I want to acknowledge that frustration. To not acknowledge it is glossing over the emotion that all of us are naturally feeling,” Guthrie said.
“So let’s recognize the frustration, but as we recognize that frustration, let’s immediately turn it into action, into being kind, into being positive, into thanking people, into supporting local businesses. Let’s turn that frustration into positive action for our community.”
Guthrie added that the pandemic is on its last legs and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter every day.
As of Wednesday, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph reported that 20 per cent of the eligible population is considered vaccinated. The goal is to get to 75 per cent by June.
“We’re almost there,” Guthrie said.
“If we could just muster up that positive energy, then we can get rid of the virus for good and get back to what is normal.”