Recommended Reads
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Recommended Reads: Welcome to 2022
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Recommended Reads: Welcome to 2022

Well, we made it out of 2021. Into what, exactly, remains to be seen, as the new year passed in the grips of a vicious cold snap and a wave of COVID-19 unlike anything this province has encountered. If I remember anything from the close of the pandemic’s second year, and the dawn of its third, it will be how, within days, half the people I knew contracted the virus; it will also be the strange scramble for rapid tests, KN95 masks, and any form of a coherent response from the provincial government.

So the year went out the way it came in: with uncertainty, frustration, and grief.

Many of our most important stories of the last week reflected those struggles. Among the most worrisome effects of Omicron have been the staffing crises across sectors, from St. Amant and over a dozen long-term care homes to the Winnipeg police.

And 2021 ended with one of the most heartbreaking local stories in memory: on Christmas, COVID-19 claimed the life of a beloved teacher at J.B. Mitchell School; days later, the school’s principal died suddenly of unrelated causes. That’s so much grief for such young kids to know all at once; may they have all the love they need to understand it.

Hope, as always, begins with community. We told countless of those stories last year, and we’ll keep telling them in 2022.

Marla Aronovitch, owner of Marla’s Puzzle Pantry, at her home in her “pantry” which contains her stock of puzzles. Before COVID-19, she started selling puzzles and her business really took off during the pandemic. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

We’ve already started: this week, my colleague Shelley Cook wrote a sweet reflection on her walk with Mama Bear Clan. In Waverley West, the Grand Mosque is hosting a friendly community skating rink for families to enjoy, and old Christmas trees are dressing up a community river rink in Wolseley, and you’ve got to love any story that highlights a puzzle enthusiast.

Eva Wasney piqued my attention with her piece on a free audio tour of architectural highlights that can be seen along the route of the No. 10 bus. The audio tour is a brilliant idea: Winnipeg isn’t always great at inviting citizens to engage with its built environment, but the more we know about our own places, the more we can love them.

Finally: the Free Press is unbelievably lucky to have some of the best photojournalists in the country capturing Manitoba’s stories. If you haven’t taken the time to check out their favourite photos of 2021, please do.

Until next week. 

P.S. I will never stop laughing over TimWiebs.

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin, Reporter-at-large

Melissa Martin

Photo of the week

A skater makes their way past a light display at The Forks. On-land trails and skating rinks under the canopy and in front of CN Stage have opened for the season, along with the first leg of the river trail, now known as the Nestaweya River Trail. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)



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