COVID-19 Roundup: Racing to Northwood’s aid, new MLA hits the ground running, another small-biz casualty

Katie Nickerson and Lisa MacKinnon.

Yesterday, April 21, Nova Scotia recorded another COVID-19 death and 16 new cases. There have been 10 deaths and 737 confirmed cases overall. There are currently 11 cases in hospital, three in ICU.

Nurses rush into the heart of the storm
Yesterday’s death was at Northwood, as the Halifax long-term care home has become an infection hot spot. Officials have been bringing in workers from across the province to help care for residents. Among them are New Glasgow nurses Lisa MacKinnon and Katie Nickerson, who start work today at Northwood. “It didn’t take long to make the decision,” Nickerson tells The Pictou Advocate. MacKinnon agrees: “I knew I had to. I am just a small piece of the puzzle. I am going there positive, ready to work and to help overcome and conquer this.”

New MLA forced to learn fast
Just 12 days after Dave Ritcey won the byelection to become MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, the pandemic threw Nova Scotia into a state of emergency. Often newly elected MLAs enjoy a relatively gentle transition into their role, with lots of support from both their party and the legislature. For the rookie Tory, it’s been a very different experience. “I started during a time of crisis and now we’re in tragedy,” he says to Hub Now reporter Raissa Tetanish. As the community staggers from both pandemic and senseless violence, he worries about the toll on frontline workers: “They’re seeing this day in and day out as they care for these people.”

Turn the page
As with so many businesses, the pandemic has hammered local bookstores, especially the small independent ones. One casualty is Lexicon Books in Lunenburg, which was noted for its popular Salon Series, bringing writers and musicians together. Lighthouse Now reports.

Nova Scotia’s first woman doctor
Just a few generations ago, Canadian medical schools wouldn’t accept women. So Haligonian Maria Angwin packed up, took her savings, and studied in New York. She could be forgiven for turning her back on the province that didn’t want her—but instead, Dr. Angwin came home to Halifax and devoted her career to underprivileged women and children. Dorothy Grant shares her remarkable story in this new Halifax Magazine report.

Slow steps back
As Nova Scotia waits for the worst of the pandemic, neighbouring New Brunswick has taken a few faltering steps towards reopening. Last week, all-terrain vehicle trails reopened for one day, but according to the Saint Croix Courier, officials closed them the next day, after realizing it would be impossible to ensure users were physically distancing.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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