January 25, 2022 Message to the Membership
Posted on January 25, 2022 in Message to the Membership
Last week’s message seemed to strike a chord with many of you, so I thought it best to perhaps continue down that path for yet another week. For those who missed it, the gist of last week’s message was that COVID has been extremely challenging to many in terms of mental health and wellness.
With Bell Let’s Talk Day being recognized this week and Blue Monday (the third Monday in January, which is supposedly the most depressing day of the year) a not-too-distant memory, mental health is more prominent at this time of year. And thankfully so because the more you talk to people, the more you realize it affects nearly everyone – whether it be in their own family or circle of friends – in some way, shape or form. This was the case even before COVID, but it seems more pronounced now.
Indeed, gone are the days of mental health being considered a taboo subject but rather, acknowledging it is helping to spur healthy doses of preventative medicine. In that vein then, in today’s COVID-conscious world, it only makes sense that whenever we can do normal things such as work, go to school and participate in extracurricular activities – safely and with appropriate (healthy) levels of caution – those activities can be considered preventative medicine.
Granted omicron, by virtue of its transmissibility, is wreaking havoc on those options but nonetheless we have the ability to do those normal things here in Saskatchewan. As was confirmed by Premier Moe and Health Minister Paul Merriman on Monday, Saskatchewan is not implementing any further restrictions at this time.
And with that in mind, we are doing our part here at the NSBA by holding a luncheon – our first in almost two years – this Friday, January 28, when my professional coach, and now good friend, Jenn Minor Johannson takes to the stage to speak about mental health and addressing the challenges we face today.
In doing so, we realize that we are a little out of the norm when it comes to holding in-person gatherings. But as (re)confirmed as recently as late last week at our monthly NSBA Board meeting, we will continue to follow provincial health guidelines when it comes to our events.
Therefore, onward we will go.
We also recognize that certainly not everyone will agree with this plan, nor will they be comfortable in a setting such as this. But you know what? That’s OK. Because these days to get consensus on almost anything is next to impossible.
Obviously, we don’t expect anyone of that mindset to be joining us this Friday, but for those who are more inclined to appreciate the opportunity to live as normal as we can – again with all health and safety protocol in place – we will provide just that.
It must be stressed that our reason for doing so is to give people hope and optimism, and to likewise ward off the darkness that mental health issues can bring. We’ve all been living with COVID for nearly two years now and the peaks and valleys have been excruciating on all of us.
During that time, however, we’ve managed to put on all but one of our major events over the last two calendar years. Ironically, it was our outdoor one – our Golf Classic in 2020 – that was the lone one to be shelved due to COVID concerns. But with that one exception, we’ve been there for you when you were comfortable to come to us.
Certainly we’ve been fortunate in that we’ve had no outbreaks at any of our events, but I have to think that it’s far more than luck involved. Our partners at the various venues we work with take this very seriously, of course, as it’s their livelihoods at stake. Like us, they want to go above and beyond in making you feel safe and comfortable.
As hosts, we ensure that each attendee is well aware of and understands the expectations we have of them to ensure a safe time is had by all. This includes proof of vaccination, no flu-like symptoms, no close contact with COVID etc., and now that’s bolstered by our request to conduct a rapid test before coming.
If all the pieces fall into place, collectively – you and us – have done our part, and at the risk of jinxing it, we will be good to go for Friday’s luncheon.
Come on out if you’re ready, willing and able, and if not, that’s OK. Maybe we’ll catch you next time. We’ll be there and hopefully soon you will be too.
Until that next time, be safe, be smart, be considerate, be well, but most of all, be kind.