Roundup: No new COVID, StFX cases unconnected, retirement in a post-pandemic world, self-care for families

As of yesterday (Jan. 18), Nova Scotia has 25 known active cases of COVID-19, with no new cases reported in the latest government update.

“I want to thank all Nova Scotians for their hard work in keeping our case numbers low,” says Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release. “I also want to remind everyone that we can’t let our guard down. We still have provincewide restrictions in place.” McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, COVID continues to rage in neighbouring New Brunswick, which for most of the pandemic had infection figures even lower than Nova Scotia’s. Health officials report 292 active cases in that province, with daily double-digit new cases.

Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher. Photo: Submitted

StFX COVID cases unconnected
Two recently confirmed COVID cases at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish aren’t related to each other or other cases in the Eastern Zone, say public health officials.

Last semester, StFX (the only university in the province currently having mostly in-person classes) avoided any outbreaks, but did have several instances of students cited for flouting gathering and distancing rules. Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher isn’t worried though.

“Our community has done a very good job at following the public health guidelines,” she says. “As we move into the winter semester, the town remains committed to working with the county, StFX, and our local health care providers.”

Drake Lowthers has details for The Reporter.

Self-care for families
For parents, much of the last year has been spent helping their children deal with the tumult of an unpredictable new world, as lockdowns and working from home have played hobs with families’ routines.

Dealing with the daily disruptions is important, but you won’t always be able to shield your kids; it’s key that they learn to manage their own stress and anxiety.

“Developing a self-care routine is just as important for kids as it is for adults,” says Starr Cunningham, president and CEO of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. “Instilling these habits at a young age allows kids to better manage the stressors that life throws at them.”

Learn more in Cunningham’s latest column for Our Children magazine.

Jane Biggs. Photo: Submitted

The life aquatic
Not long after immigrating to Dartmouth, Jane Biggs tried scuba diving for the first time. Her beginner’s dunk into Halifax Harbour ignited a 50-year passion.

“It was in March and it was a bitterly cold day, and we were dressed in old awkward wet suits,” she recalled a few years before her death in 2019. “It was an unforgettable moment in my life, and I don’t remember feeling the chill of the ocean water, and later, on shore as I sipped a bowl of hot soup, I realized I was hooked.”

During her time in the sport, she tallied a remarkable 2,000 dives in waters around the globe. Dorothy Grant shares her story in Halifax Magazine.

Retirement after COVID
If you’re on the brink of retirement, the pandemic and its ensuing economic turmoil probably have you agonizing over your plans. That’s why Chris Pelham has organized Redefining Retirement, a series of workshops aimed at helping impending retirees plan wisely.

“COVID-19 has changed us in many ways, but in particular it has forced us to sit with our thoughts and think about what is important to us,” he says. “At the same time, it has changed our perception of what may or may not be possible during retirement, and with travel being restricted, people are beginning to re-examine how they can engage with their own communities.”

He has more in this LighthouseNow column.

Need to know
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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