What a year, indeed!
Early in 2020, when we first started to hear grumblings about the Coronavirus and COVID-19, we really did not know the extent to which we – and, in fact, the entire world – would be affected by this public health emergency.
“Pivot” has become not only a word we use in our language, but a way of life, as we navigate the strange, tumultuous and sometimes volatile road that this global pandemic has us traversing.
Through all the uncertainty, the work has continued. The SLRD team was very quick to respond to the challenges of working in this new environment. Most of the staff have been working remotely since March, with a core team remaining at the office, in Pemberton. Our meetings have moved from the boardroom to YouTube, with technology like Zoom allowing us to stream and store the meetings on our website. And while we all look forward to one day hosting in-person meetings again, there is no question that there has been a benefit to hosting our meetings virtually, in that it opens up the SLRD Board, and its decisions, to a wider audience than ever before. The safety of our staff and the public remains our priority, but making our meetings more accessible is something we’d like to continue, even after in-person meetings resume.
We know we are not out of the woods yet, and the pandemic will be with us for some time. But news of the first vaccines making their way to British Columbia gives us hope that we will, eventually, be able to put this all behind us. But even so, it does beg the question: what does the “new normal” look like, moving forward, beyond the pandemic.
There are still many questions that remain – we don’t know the details around the long-term health affects of COVID-19, let alone the economic impacts as the pandemic drags into 2021.
At the SLRD, the Board will be reviewing its strategic priorities and adjusting its five-year plan in the New Year.
This will, undoubtedly, involve a great deal of reflection. While we don’t know what the “new normal” entails, COVID-19 has us all examining how we did things before the pandemic, and how we will do things after the pandemic.
While 2020 was a year of upheaval, perhaps 2021 will be the breaker switch– the year we reset ourselves.
Moving into 2021 it will be more important than ever, to refocus with every bit of clarity we can find, in these most trying and uncertain times.
The SLRD Board of Directors wishes you all a safe holiday season.