It is as if we have a new common era demarcation line, with March 2020 being the month that separates a past for which we yearn and a present we desperately hope continues to resemble a more “normal” way of life.
We have false starts to a post-pandemic world fresh in our memories.
We tossed our masks last summer and felt life was almost back to normal, only to have Delta arrive and remind us the virus was not quite ready to retire. When that wave eased, there was another optimistic sense in the late fall of 2021, with return-to-work plans formulated and vacations being considered. Then came Omicron.
It seems the coronavirus roller-coaster would never end and, while we are still not in a post-pandemic world, it does appear we are as close to possible to that dream.
As the 2022 Progress magazine hits the street, the COVID-19 situation in Kamloops and B.C. is as encouraging as it has ever been.
Despite fears that Delta and Omicron would overwhelm the province’s health-care system, such a scenario never developed, with high vaccination rates credited by medical-health professionals as being a crucial reason for that good news.
In March, mask mandates were dropped and, in April, the vaccine passport in B.C. and test requirements for travellers flying back to Canada were set to be discontinued.
Now, as we do emerge from the pandemic (they said with fingers crossed), it is time to assess the three aspects that form the Progress theme: Connect, Innovate and Grow.
Within these 80 pages are numerous stories and advertisements that tell how various businesses and organizations have kept connected, how they have innovated and how they plan to grow.
Here are KTW, we know all about pivoting during the pandemic so we can continue to connect — with our readers and advertisers and amongst ourselves. And keeping that connectivity, as with elsewhere, requires innovation of all kinds.
This year’s Progress magazine, like the 2021 edition, was created by KTW staff working from home and communicating over the Internet via various methods, employing remote practices that would have seemed oddly futuristic.
Another year of success on the Progress front is evidence myriad sectors of the city have confidence as we march forward.
Venture Kamloops executive director Jim Anderson sums it up well on page 16: “The number of existing Kamloops businesses that are ready to expand and seek help from Venture Kamloops has essentially doubled from pre-pandemic levels. There is a surge in interest from outside the city, as well. This will only intensify as new census data has identified Kamloops as one of the fastest-growing centres in the province.”
While there remain numerous challenges to be faced — pandemic and non-pandemic-related — we are all working hard to find our way to the other, preferred side of that demarcation line so we can focus on non-viral issues that need our attention.
We look forward to connecting again in Progress 2023.