Roundup: Gov offers vax booster but urges patience, kayaker embarks on epic journey, simulated crashes teach young drivers, acclaimed musicians coming to South Shore

Violinist Marie Nadeau Tremblay is scheduled to perform in Blue Rocks on July 17. Photo: Submitted

Plus: What makes a Nova Scotian, and when do you stop being one?

Nova Scotians age 50 to 69 will be eligible for another COVID-19 vaccination booster next week, the government announced yesterday. But Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health, says you don’t need it yet.

“We recommend people hold off from getting a second booster dose until the fall,” she says in a press release. “Our advice is to wait because the first booster still offers strong protection against severe disease for most people in this age group. COVID-19 activity is currently relatively stable, but we expect that we will have a resurgence later this fall or winter … The ideal timing for a booster dose is in close proximity to the next surge of disease to best protect people from both infection and severe disease.”

Deeks offers little rationale for government offering the vaccination now if she recommends against getting it. “The choice is ultimately up to the individual,” she says. She also doesn’t explain why younger Nova Scotians aren’t offered the same choice.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reports that COVID continues to spread around the globe, tallying 183,475 confirmed new cases in the last 24 hours. 

So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,325,785 people, including 41,363 in Canada and 421 Nova Scotians.

Kayaker embarks on epic journey
In 2018, Mark Fuhrmann completed a 6,000-km kayak journey from Oslo, Norway to Athens, Greece. That would give most people enough laurels to rest on for the remainder of their lives, but the 64-year-old from Antigonish County has embarked on another, more daunting expedition.

This time, he’s doing what paddlers call “the Greater Loop,” a 10,000-km journey to the Great Lakes, through the American river system to the Gulf of Mexico, and up the eastern seaboard back to Nova Scotia.

The 64-year-old aims to raise money for Doctors Without Borders, but says he’s mostly just doing it because he can. “In life there are small windows of opportunities to do things,” he says. “You never know what’s around the corner; you never know where life is going to take you. And if you have the opportunity to do something, then just do it.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for the Reporter.

Teaching young drivers
First responders and educators in Pictou County have resumed a training program for young drivers that shows them the simulated effects of a vehicle crash. New Glasgow police spokesman Ken Macdonald is happy to see the program return from its pandemic pause.

“This hasn’t been done since 2020,” he said. “Our message hasn’t changed … What’s important is making safe, responsible decisions, not just here but later in life.”

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Jack Florek

What makes a Nova Scotian?
Several years ago, writer Jack Florek immigrated from the U.S. to Nova Scotia, working for a time as columnist with Halifax Magazine (Unravel Halifax‘s predecessor). About seven years ago, he moved on to Ontario. He still thinks often about the province he once called home, and often meets similarly wistful expatriates.

He recalls a recent conversation: “One friend, born and raised in Halifax, still considers herself to be true-Bluenose despite moving to Kitchener, Ont. On a visit home to attend her sister’s wedding, a former neighbour flatly disabused her: ‘Honey, if you moved away five years ago, you are not a real Nova Scotian.’”

That got him thinking: What does it mean to be a Nova Scotian? When do you stop being one? Read more in this recent Unravel Halifax guest column.

Acclaimed musicians coming to South Shore
The Musique Royale concert series has two shows coming up that are sure to interest classical-music purists, showcasing compositions by Bach, Haydyn, Prokofiev, Michael Lambert, and Girolamo Frescobaldi.

On June 30, solo pianist Lucas Porter takes the stage in Mahone Bay, and July 17, baroque violinist Marie Nadeau Tremblay joins guitarist and singer Kerry Bursey in Blue Rocks.

Kevin McBain has more for LighthouseNow.

Spread the word
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

Editor’s Note: The Roundup is taking a brief summer break. Look for our next edition on July 11.

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