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Let's Stay United

Adam Sun
Grade 10
We’ve faced strange times in the past decade, but none quite like this. 2020 greeted us with a pandemic that’s challenging leaders and health officials to innovate and adapt. Many of us are altering our lifestyles in drastic ways as we comply with social distancing measures, watching our healthcare workers save lives on the frontlines.

These events can cause chaos and disunity - some are worried about a large deficit, while others are concerned about the lives at stake due to COVID-19. While we anxiously wait for a vaccine, many wonder about the possible protests that could arise. Indeed, a few disgruntled protestors gather occasionally around Queen’s Park, spreading unfounded conspiracy theories in an attempt to end social distancing restrictions.

However, despite mild hostility, Canadians stand in solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic. United in our journey to maintain physical distancing, many of us have hung posters thanking frontline workers and essential service workers. Inspiring reports from the CBC detail volunteer projects between long-term care facilities and students across the country, and chalk art lines our sidewalks with colourful messaging, reminding us of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s wise words: "Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe." We’re also seeing this impact at Burnaby North Secondary. Our Student Government has introduced VikingsTalk, which informs us of current events in a positive manner. Included are the kind actions of our community - the initiatives of our Leadership program, student-run clubs, and our supportive teachers.

These actions reflect our commitment to support our leaders who must handle the pandemic. Data from polling firms show widespread approval of provincial premiers across the political spectrum. The Angus Reid Institute, for example, reports that 69% of people approve of the Premier of Ontario’s performance, and that 71% of people approve of the Premier of British Columbia. Trust in the Canadian government’s actions is also high: A poll from Léger found that 72% of Canadians are satisfied with the response given by the federal government relating to the outbreak.

These details tell us that we’re reacting to this pandemic in the right way. Instead of panicking, we’re taking actions that will make a difference in our community, while allowing qualified officials to provide positive critiques relating to the COVID-19 response. We still face challenges - discriminatory attacks continue to be a reality in our communities, and a few hate-driven groups are compelled to blame others without evidence. Yet these challenges have served only to lead us together. Bowinn Ma, MLA of North Vancouver-Lonsdale, has promoted a positive message of the core strengths of our diversity, leading the way to a coalition of MLA’s that have denounced racism. Students are inspired to act on social media platforms, understanding that the path forward requires unity.

We must continue making a difference by practicing physical distancing and supporting those who need it most. While we may be far apart from each other, if we remain united, this pandemic will have begun a movement of solidarity.

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