Not all whose lives were turned inside out by COVID are still with us.
In the emotion around vaccinations, in the anticipation of some kind of return to some kind of normal some time ahead, in the river of statistics about hospitalizations, active cases, ICU admissions and positivity rates, there is one statistic that, today, makes us pause.
22,335 Canadians have died in the pandemic. 1,928 Albertans have died. 980 people in the Edmonton zone have died.
“I am reflecting on the Albertans who aren’t with us today because of this virus, and of those who died in our city, which was hit disproportionately hard in spite of all our collective care and diligence,” said Mayor Don Iveson.
Today in Canada is the National Day of Observance to honour the memory of each person who has died.
At City Hall in Edmonton, the flags were lowered to half mast at sunrise.
Tonight, the High Level Bridge is lit in white lights.
Of the 1,928 deaths in Alberta, more than 64 per cent were people aged 80 or older. Albertans aged 60 and older have accounted for 94 per cent of COVID deaths.
There has been everyday heroism, too.
“I’m also reflecting on my overbrimming gratitude for all the front-line workers, including so many civic employees as well as health care professionals who have put themselves in harm’s way to protect life and help keep our essential services running,” said Iveson.
On this National Day of Observance we stay for a moment with the memory of those who are gone, and commit to recovering from this ordeal in a spirit that honours them, and the heartbroken people they have left behind.
Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post shows flags at half mast in front of Edmonton City Hall on Thursday, March 11, 2021.