Clearwater Times editorial by Stephanie Hagenaars

Early spring welcomed after a weird winter

Our famous future-predicting rodents have called it: An early spring for 2021.

Last year was filled with surprises, and it seems 2021 might have a few more.

While the groundhog may have missed his shadow, the superstitious sign of an early spring, winter never really came to the North Thompson — at least, not in the way we had expected.

Those over at the Farmer’s Almanac predicted above-normal snow over the B.C. interior, as well as colder than normal winter temperatures. Thier nickname for the West was “wet, white and wild.”

Well, it’s definitely been wet and wild.

We haven’t had enough snow to open the ski hill, there’s been much debate on whether the lake is frozen enough for ice activities and more times than I’m sure is normal for a North Thompson winter, we’ve woken up to rain.

And now we might be hearing the singsong of birds a bit early this year. Instead of skis and skates, we can start planning our gardens and think about getting our boats summer ready.

But, the call for an early spring also seems quite symbolic for where we are in this pandemic.

The groundhogs have been cooped up inside, under ground in their little holes, awaiting the day they can finally come out and get some fresh air and some sun.

On Tuesday morning, groundhogs across Canada emerged from their dens and, apparenly, failed to see their shadows.

Much like these den dwellers, we’ve been sitting inside, aching for something to do, while respecting the public health orders that have been in place since early December (well, most of us).

It’s too warm for winter activities and too cold for summer ones. Gathering restrictions have cancelled numerous outdoor events, like Winterfest and Snowarama. Chances are, many of us won’t be spending Valentine’s Day on a dinner date for two, or taking part in traditional Family Day activities.

As the days get warmer, and longer, the threat of COVID-19 might subside, much like last summer. It’s hard to say right now how that will effect public health orders and restrictions the province will put in place — or relax.

Either way, as this pandemic fatigue continues to wear us down, and we crave to be outside and socialize as we get closer to spring, we must remember to keep vigilant. We wouldn’t want to put our hard work to waste.

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