COVID-19 Roundup: Plans to revive tourism, volunteers helping local students, pandemic doesn’t stop new brew pub

Arthur B. McDonald

Yesterday, May 12, Nova Scotia recorded one new confirmed case of COVID-19, raising the provincial total to 1,020, with 48 deaths. The province has had 34,204 negative test results. Northwood in Halifax currently has 157 residents and eight staff with active cases. Provincewide there are nine people in hospital with COVID, including four in ICU; 864 people have recovered.

Tourism’s road back
With travel at a standstill and millions out of work, the pandemic has virtually eliminated the tourism and hospitality industry. But stakeholders are already making plans for a recovery and they’re betting heavily on local support.

“Nova Scotia tourism department officials are convinced there is potential for local travel recovery in 2020,” writes Jim Gourlay. “They’ve mapped out a recovery strategy that hinges on local support. It will heavily promote staycations… ‘It’s time to rediscover Nova Scotia.'” Founding editor of Saltscapes, Gourlay is a tourism veteran; in this exclusive Halifax Magazine report, he talks with industry experts about what a recovery will look like.

Helping local students
Rebeccah Raphael felt helpless when the pandemic began. She was just finishing high school and suddenly life seemed to be on pause. Looking for a way to occupy her time, she hit on the idea of offering free tutoring for housebound students. She recruited a few volunteers and now there are 30 of them, including English tutor Blythe O’Connor. “I’m mostly motivated by helping the kids,” she says. “They should be getting this support and the system is kind of failing them and not giving them what they need to thrive and find success… There’s a lot of anxiety that comes with all of the uncertainty, and to be able to provide some security and stability in their day is awesome.” Chris Stoodley reports for Halifax Magazine.

Breathing easier
Nobel-winning Canadian Arthur B. McDonald is heading a team of physicists and engineers working on an international project to develop an easy-to-build ventilator for COVID-19 patients. It’s called the MVM Ventilator Project and they’re relying on donors across the country to fund the work. One such supporter is Pictou County philanthropist Donald Sobey. In this recent Pictou Advocate story, he talks about McDonald’s work.

New brew pub proceeds despite pandemic
George Anderson, the president of Lightship Beer and Cider, says plans for a new 5,000-square-foot brew pub and cidery in Lunenburg are going ahead, despite the pandemic. “We have confidence that things will return to a more normal situation in Lunenburg County,” he says in this Lighthouse Now story by Gayle Wilson. “Tourists will return and… some day this will be a distant memory. And then, when it is, we want to be ready.”

Get in touch
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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