Commentary – Will we have more fun in 2021?

Richard Froese

That’s the big question everyone wants to know as another new year is underway.

Will we have more fun in 2021?

What restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic will be relaxed in 2021 to allow people to gather in large groups and get closer to their family, friends and community?

Although the end of the COVID restrictions remains unknown, one thing is certain. Voters will go to the polls Oct. 18 to elect municipal councils and school boards for a four-year term.

Let’s hope the longer nomination period will spark more and earlier interest than in the traditional two -hour nomination window in September.

The nomination process has extended to nine months, from Jan. 1 to Sept. 20. In previous years, nominations were accepted only on nomination day, the third Monday in September, from 10 a.m. to noon.

When I lived in British Columbia, the nomination period was two weeks. It generated lots of interest as candidates frequently announced their nomination even before as reporters daily contacted returning officers to get names of those who tossed their hat into the ring.

As more names were announced and candidates presented their platforms, it caused even more people to consider taking a run for elected office.

New people and ideas are always good, instead of the same old, same old.

Elections could be more interesting as municipalities and school divisions face big challenges caused by the economic downturn in the oil and gas industry and restrictions during the pandemic.

Who will make the most effective leaders and serve their communities in the best interest of everyone? Start talking to the best candidates and show your commitment to your community and the future.

Let’s hope by October that COVID restrictions will be relaxed enough to allow all-candidates forums where candidates and citizens can gather in one room to focus on the future of their communities.

Health restrictions related to COVID-19 took away many fun times and events in 2020 that were cancelled.

Nobody wants another uneventful year like last year.

When could Albertans and Canadians start to see their way of life getting back to normal is some way? Larger gatherings of up to 100 or 150 people may be considered by health officials as the number of people vaccinated rises and the numbers of cases and deaths fall to figures recorded in the spring.

Major events will likely be put on hold for another year to help control COVID.

It’s better to be over-protective to get COVID-19 under control to reduce the risk and spread than to back off on the restrictions sooner and have to wait longer to get back to normal.

“We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” several public health and government leaders have expressed in the past five or six weeks.

When more people get the shot in the arm, health and medical officials are optimistic the risk and spread of COVID-19 will be reduced and controlled.

Everyone and all community groups must still continue to follow the health restrictions and orders to help control the virus until the restrictions are relaxed for the safety of all.

Everybody is waiting for the days when restrictions are minimal, the pandemic passes and we can all be back together.

Let’s get back to some kind of normal that is acceptable to most people.

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