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Recommended Reads: Week in Review
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Recommended Reads: Week in Review

We’re getting to the point of the pandemic where all the COVID-19 news feels like déjà vu. Or maybe we’ve been at that point for a while, because I have this strange feeling that I’ve written that sentence before.

Either way, this week just seemed to emphasize the way pandemic news plods around in circles. Maybe it’s because the province doesn’t seem inclined to try anything new, even as cases in Winnipeg balloon and key facilities struggle to maintain staffing.

But, here’s this week’s news, brought to you by Omicron: COVID-19 really is everywhere, students headed back to school by remote learning feeling stressed, some people still don’t believe that vaccines work, or even that the virus exists, and Premier Heather Stefanson acknowledged the province can’t contain it.

“It’s up to Manitobans to look after themselves,” the premier said, which isn’t really news, because we’ve already been doing that the entire time.

That phrase understandably frustrated a lot of people, but in a way, at least it’s honest. The province is, at this point, clearly unwilling to add any new restrictions to slow the spread. So the best we can do is limit our contacts, take all the usual precautions, and keep our fingers crossed it will be enough to let this wave roll through without crashing the health care system or ending up in the hospital ourselves — which, as I wrote in my column on the weekend, can be a traumatic place to be. 

Besides, in a way, I kind of like taking that idea of Manitobans looking after themselves and running with it a different way. I’ve spent the first weeks of 2022 thinking a lot, about where I want my direction as a storyteller to lead; lately, those thoughts take me down to the ground.

Adrian Gulowaty, pharmacist-owner at Shoppers Drug Mart Osborne Village, centre, with pharmacists Dinah Santos, left, and Tiffany Pankratz in the vaccine clinic at his pharmacy. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Whenever we cover the stories closest to the community level, like this little piece I did about the vaccination clinic at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Osborne Village, readers really embrace them; I want to do more of that. This year, I just want to meet more regular people and explore their challenges. In other words, I just want to spend the year sharing how Manitobans look after themselves, their families and their neighbours.

On that end, I loved this piece by Taylor Allen, on how former sports broadcaster Joe Pascucci is now the diligent caretaker of a vast trove of Winnipeg sports history. And while the idea of having an Olympics right now seems even more ill-conceived than it did in the summer, it’s still worth celebrating the news that three Manitoba women made the roster for Canada’s Olympic hockey team.

That’s what I got that stood out to me this time around. Well, at least next week we’ll have a cabinet shuffle to talk about.

Stay safe and have a good week.

P.S. Never doubt the ability of social media to right the world’s great wrongs

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin, Reporter-at-large

Melissa Martin

Photo of the week

Sandy Doyle, owner of Blondie’s Burgers, is closing her Main Street restaurant this weekend after 31 years in business. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press file)

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What I've been working on...


Good medicine in the Village

‘Diamond in the rough’ vaccine clinic atop River-Osborne Shoppers produces mutual-admiration society among the people giving the shots, those getting them Read More

 

Reyes tweet makes for perfect storm

Within 24 hours, Jon Reyes was famous, at least in the way fame works in the digital age, which is that the Waverley MLA’s face and exactly 35 of his words had been devoured and regurgitated by the internet’s biggest content machines. He’d made it onto Barstool Sports; been mocked by celebrities; been featured as a “Canadian dude” on tabloid swamp TMZ. Read More

 

Troubling truth, terrible trauma

Refusing to accept scientific information, medical realities leading many skeptics and their families along path of needless suffering, loss Read More

 

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Good Fortune… eventually

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Succession of celebrity deaths stuns Indigenous world

Well-known figures had impact on the outside world, but held important and expected roles within community Read More

 

Right place, incredibly right time

Winnipeg doctor’s luxury SUV bursts into flames Sunday on Trans-Canada Highway near Brandon McDonald's Read More

 

Chilling out

New exhibit to bring ice sculptures downtown Read More

 

More than words

Momalong writing group provides self-expression, social outlet for new mothers Read More

 

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