As co-operators, we are well-positioned to be and lead the change

Submitted by: Audrey Aczel, Communications and Event Manager, OCA

The most recent state of emergency declaration and province-wide shutdown was a necessary, albeit difficult step to try and reduce the toll that the new COVID variant is taking on frontline workers and hospitals across Ontario.

We have come so far in a year and a month, and yet it feels more like we’ve taken a huge step backwards and that the end to all this “pandemonium” is even further from our reach.

It certainly doesnt help to see the endless supply of news stories about how far Canada has lagged behind other countries in its vaccination rollout, issues with some of the vaccines themselves, or how fast and mercilessly the new variants are spreading across the province.

The reality is, people are dying and businesses are closing. People are stressed, depressed and bored. We are all missing something that gave us joy in our previous lives. We all feel uneasy, a bit frightened and nervous about the day to day, let alone what the new normal is going to look like after we are all vaccinated and created enough herd immunity to kill off most of the virus.

But for now, as we cycle through this third wave, frustrated and tired as we are, now more than ever, we must “come together” (just not physically!) and do our part individually and collectively, so we can beat this thing to a pulp and get on with our lives. See our friends and family again, play our sports, travel — whatever makes us happy and feeds our souls.

As co-operators, “autonomy and independence,” “education and information,” “co-operation” and “concern for community” are in our blood. We have the perfect DNA and value system to boot, to get us through this pandemic. Let us be the change and lead by example, always putting people and our concern for our community and the greater good before all else. #TomorrowNeedsUs.

In the meantime, remember to support local and shop co-op when possible! If your business is seeking financial support, check out the current government programs and rebates available.

For more stories and information on co-operatives in Ontario, join our newsletter.

Our mission is to develop, support, educate and advocate for Ontario's 1,500+ co-operative businesses.