Roundup: Another U.K. variant case in N.S., Desmond inquiry update, South Shore Public Libraries apologizes for posting article scolding ‘leftists,’ befriending birds during nesting season

Photo: Murdo Messer

Nova Scotia has 23 known active cases of COVID-19, with two new cases (in the Western and Central zones) identified in the latest government update. Health officials have also reclassified a previously known case in the Central Zone as the U.K. variant. Nova Scotia has had 18 known cases of the U.K. variant, and 10 cases of the South African strain.

Nova Scotian labs did 4,446 tests on March 30 and 303,341 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

As of March 30, health-care workers have dispensed 100,832 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the province, with 26,599 Nova Scotians getting the second shot that completes inoculation.

“As we approach a holiday weekend, I want to remind Nova Scotians of the importance of celebrating safely,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “Do your part by following the gathering limits, keeping a consistent social group, staying home if you are feeling unwell, washing your hands and self-isolating if required.”

Strang and Premier Rankin are scheduled to webcast an update today at 1 p.m.

Rabbi Yakov Kerzner

A fresh start for the faithful
As Easter and Passover approach, local religious leaders are reflecting on what the province has endured in the last year, and the hidden blessings of a pandemic.

“We consider ourselves lucky what we had was isolation, the need for social distancing but not [large-scale] sickness and death,” says Rabbi Yakov Kerzner from Beth Israel Synagogue. “We had a tough year, but we went on with life … You start to appreciate what you have so much more when it’s not a given. What’s important are the people closest to you; you could have these experiences and celebrations on a small scale and appreciate the marriage rather than the ceremony … Those are the things that draw people together, and we all learn from that, especially during times of hardship.”

Ameeta Vohra interviews Kerzner and Anglican Bishop Sandra Fyfe in this new Halifax Magazine feature.

Desmond inquiry update
The inquiry continues into the circumstances surrounding Lionel Desmond’s murder of his wife, daughter, and mother, and subsequent suicide.

New Brunswick firearms officer Joe Roper recently testified that he may have suspended Desmond’s firearms licence, if he had known of his run-ins with police and history of PTSD.

“I accepted his version,” he says. “He was pleasant on the phone and he was easy to deal with. I didn’t think he was as troubled as he was.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Troy Myers. Photo: Twitter

Library boss apologizes for post
The estate of Dr. Seuss recently decided to no longer publish six of the author’s books, citing outdated language and offensive illustrations. Many on the political right reacted angrily, falsely calling the decision censorship.

The South Shore Public Libraries recently shared one such view, reposting a National Post column castigating “leftists” for the private organization’s voluntary decision.

Outcry was swift and the library deleted the post. “We screwed up, we made a mistake,” says chief librarian and CEO Troy Myers. “We definitely want to learn and I feel horrible this happened. Moving forward, we are going to make sure posts are well thought out.”

Raissa Tetanish reports for LighthouseNow.

Befriending birds
Spring has sprung and the birds are nesting. Excited by their return, many people try to help them out in the spring, putting out food and nesting material.

“Did you know that offering the wrong thing can seriously injure birds?” asks Lynn Curwin, board member with the Cobequid Animal Rescue Centre. “If you want to help your feathered friends do well this season, it’s important to consider some dos and don’ts.”

Learn more in this new Hub Now post.

Editor’s Note: Look for the next edition of the Roundup on Apr. 6.

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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