COVID-19 Roundup: Another Northwood death, the end of the beginning, rural businesses moving online to reach customers

Yesterday, May 4, Nova Scotia announced 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the provincial total to 985. There was also another death at Northwood in Halifax. The long-term care home has been harder hit than any other area in the province, seeing 32 of the province’s 37 pandemic-related deaths.

Miles ahead
As the pace of new cases slows and governments take tentative steps towards loosening restrictions, it’s tempting to imagine that we’ve put this nasty business behind us. A reminder: Canada still has 60,772 active cases of COVID-19 and Nova Scotia has more cases than the rest of Atlantic Canada combined.

There is still no vaccine and experts don’t know how much immunity recovered patients have, or for how long. “COVID-19 is a serious health threat and the situation is evolving daily,” warns this update from the federal government. “The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.”

Where the customers are
While businesses in urban Nova Scotia have many associations and groups to help them market and reach their now-elusive customers, for rural operations, there is far less support. Marketing agency Forward Creative in Wallace Bridge is now offering pro bono services for local businesses, helping them reach customers online. Gillian and Michael Forward operate the business with their daughter Mary Ellen Makhlouf. “I was seeing on Instagram different businesses and how they were struggling,” Makhlouf explains. “They didn’t have websites developed … I said ‘We have to do something. We have to support them in some way.'” Raissa Tetanish reports for The Light.

Battle of the Atlantic memorial
Normally, the annual Battle of the Atlantic commemoration is a large public event, with large crowds and a great deal of pomp. This year, observances were more subdued, held online and often individually. In this story from The Pictou Advocate, Chaplain Mike Simmons from the Pictou branch of the Royal Canadian Naval Association explains how members marked the occasion at home.

Reach out
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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