Roundup: 3 new COVID cases, Desmond inquiry finally resumes, new charity aids firefighters w/ medical bills, DIY garage solutions

Illustration: James Bentley

Nova Scotia has 12 known active cases of COVID-19, with three new cases (one in the Western Zone, two in the Central) announced in the latest government update. One person remains hospitalized in ICU with the disease.

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 1,381 tests on Feb. 15, and 183,213 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

Health care workers have administered 23,140 doses of COVID-19 vaccine; 8,225 Nova Scotians have gotten the second dose that completes the inoculation process.

Source: Government of Canada

Nationally, the latest federal government figures show 35,669 known active cases across Canada, with outbreaks continuing to rage in Ontario (11,604 cases), Quebec (9,399), British Columbia (5,961), and Alberta (4,993).

Helping firefighters in need
Martin Walton, a captain with the Lunenburg fire department, has teamed up with his first-response colleagues to create a new charity. The Nova Scotia Firefighters Benevolent Fund aids firefighters and their families with the costs of illness and medical emergencies.

Although many firefighters are covered by provincial workers compensation, that coverage is often inadequate.

“For many men and women, this meant covering the cost of these unexpected out-of-pocket expenses,” Walton says. “Dealing with health issues is challenging enough without the added worry of how you are going to pay for fuel, parking, meals, and other costs incurred travelling to appointments or treatments.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Lindsay Ruck. Photo: WFNS

The power of one
As a child, Lindsay Ruck faced racism daily. She came from a biracial family and her classmates never let her forget it.

“It was always ‘you’re not Black enough, or you are not white enough,'” Ruck says. “You could never please someone so that feeling of other, even ticking a box ‘other’ on some form … there’s always that judgment of not being on that one side or the other.”

She didn’t see people who looked like her in schoolbooks, but her grandfather’s stories of Black heroes from the First World War sparked an interest in our region’s untold history. The result is Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians, a new book sharing 50 stories of achievement, courage, and perseverance.

“While their stories are very different, there’s an underlying theme, and that is overcoming, that is beating the odds, standing up and saying ‘we’re not a fan of the status quo, we’re going to do something about it,'” Ruck says.

She tells Ameeta Vohra about it in this new Halifax Magazine interview.

Desmond inquiry finally resumes
Last March, the pandemic forced a pause to the Desmond Fatality Inquiry. It was scheduled to resume by May, but Justice Warren Zimmer wanted to wait until he was confident the inquiry could proceed safely. That apparently took 11 months.

It’s been more than four years since army veteran Lionel Desmond killed his wife, mother, and daughter, then took his own life. The inquiry’s madate is to explore whether Desmond and his family had appropriate access to mental-health and domestic-violence intervention services.

Drake Lowthers has more for The Reporter.

DIY solutions—organize your garage
There’s nothing like a winter of maneuvering around shovels, bags of salt, and the snowblower to reinforce the notion that your garage could probably use a thorough reorganization. It’s simpler (and less expensive) than you might imagine to transform it into the slick and tidy space of your dreams.

Find DIY solutions aplenty in this Heather Laura Clarke article from the free East Coast Living archives.

Need to know
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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