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Saskatchewan Views the Global Pandemic

For 18 months (April 2020 to September 2021), the WDM collected photographs from Saskatchewan people that documented the way the pandemic affected them, their families and their communities. From the impact of self-isolation and social distancing to changes in the ways we work, communicate and care for each other, the implications of this crisis have been far-reaching. Some of us are struggling with the loss of the security and “normal” of pre-pandemic life and many people are mourning friends and family members. We would like to express our condolences to all who have lost loved ones.

Many of these photos depict resilience and hope for a “new normal” in which Saskatchewan people can connect and thrive. The WDM is Saskatchewan’s provincial museum of human history. As such, we have a mandate to collect images and objects that tell the story of Saskatchewan people. The photos and stories collected here will be saved in the WDM George Shephard Library and preserved for the historical record.

COVID-19 Protocols

  • I took this photo to document how we need to be aware of each other in a space where we all never needed to before. - Natasha Dewing

  • I wanted to remind children and their families as they were cycling in our Lakeview neighbourhood about thorough hand washing to prevent the spread of COVID19. I have made masks to distribute to anyone who will wear one. One of my hand washing signs is hanging at a group home with disabled young adults. - Maureen Scott

  • This sign was by the entrance of the pet food store. Only one or two people were allowed in at a time. You had to stand in the corner behind the sign and tell the two employees what you wanted and they would run down the aisles and get it and take it to the 'till. - Anonymous

  • The common area in a seniors complex. A haven to sit and read or work on puzzles; a gathering place sharing concerns... Emory now gathering dust while tenants are isolated in their tiny suites. - Gloria Sabraw-Oborowsky

  • These photos were taken over a weekend in our neighbourhood and nearby park. After more than a year living in the pandemic, the fatigue and exhaustion are palpable. A discarded mask found in the melted snow muck is one of many we will likely be finding for months and years to come; the litter of COVID-19. A possibly lost, cloth reusable mask pinned to a power pole hopefully awaits discovery by its misplaced owner. Words written in sidewalk chalk by a youth voicing the deep feelings of a child likely dreaming of a time when things can return to "normal". - Karla Rasmussen

  • Some of our organization's staff (the Western Development Museum - Moose Jaw) are working from home during the pandemic while others remain working in the closed building following physical distancing safety procedures. While it may seem like mundane subject matter, we felt it was important to snap a photo of the washroom stalls. These have been labeled for the use of each individual staff member to help with distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, and the washrooms are used by one person at a time. Unusual circumstances call for unusual solutions to help keep everyone healthy and safe. - Karla Rasmussen

  • The social distancing was especially felt by the teenagers of this generation. while they can still text on their phones, all events were cancelled in sports and concerts leaving a empty summer head ...alone. - Breanna K.

  • Going for runs and walks has become more important to me than ever. I love it for the exercise, the sunshine, and the chance to see and be a part of my community - returning a wave from friends and neighbours, watching a family flying a beautiful kite in the park, and spotting all the amazing artwork posted in windows. When I took the first photo on March 28, I wasn’t thinking about where we’d be on April 28. The park was snowy, the social distancing signs at North Hills Park were fresh and no one really knew what to do when we met on the path. Today, the snow has melted, the signs are a little faded but still there, and staying apart has become routine. - Kristine Flynn

  • While out enjoying a quiet walk out in nature I stumbled upon the bathrooms. The tape and the sign were a jarring reminder of the times we are living in. - Andrea Fiss

  • Free samples of hand sanitizer from the Medicine Shoppe for our condo building (most of the residents are senior citizens). - Lavonne Ewanus

  • The Museum was closed to the public due to COVID-19 from March to August 2020. - WDM North Battleford

  • I walk around my neighborhood regularly. Even though my children are grown up, this saddened me that COVID-19 has caused even playgrounds to be quiet. We need the children to be safe but need to take away some of the simplest fun in life. Hopefully, they can enjoy playgrounds again soon and get outside to these small joys again. - Kay Anspach

  • My daughter at work, masking for 12 hours to protect her Patients coworkers and herself. To stay healthy and working through this.

  • Northgate mall - children's rides. - Lavonne Ewanus

  • Signs of the times! Never thought I'd see the day when I'd have to wait in line to enter a grocery store for health and safety reasons, and then stop at a 'safe' spot at the pharmacy. - Tanya Callaway

  • Sign of the times at the Co-op gas bar. - Joan Brewerton

  • - Joan Brewerton

  • This sign displays protocols taken for the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers advice for safe entrance and exit from the fenced-in area through the gate reminding users of the six-foot distancing protocols. - Julia Adamson

  • When the WDM Saskatoon closed its doors, Boomtown Café staff packed up all the remaining food for donation to the Salvation Army.

Holidays/Milestones:

  • For Halloween this year, I purchased an inexpensive reaching aid cane and decorated it with festively coloured streamers. I used it to help with physical distancing in handing out our bagged Halloween candy. Our visitors enjoyed seeing it and I heard from a few trick-or-treaters that I wasn't the only one with a "grabber" on my block! -Karla Rasmussen

  • Marc Carle was a 2020 high school graduate of Prince Albert Collegiate Institute. Due to the pandemic, his grad ceremony had to be held virtually. The place that it would have been held was shut down. I took this photo of Marc because I was proud of him for graduating and to remember these weird circumstances. -Autumn Smith

  • Marc and I were both 17 years old when everything shut down due to COVID-19. I was in grade 11 and he was in grade 12. Our high school shut down on March 18, 2020. It was hard to be stuck at home but he really helped me get through it. We are both quaran-teens. -Autumn Smith

  • We thought it would be a funny and memorable commemoration of the end of 2020. Masked, somewhat fed up and looking forward to next Christmas! -Lincoln Turtle

  • Being a kid and not being able to have a 7th birthday party is tough and hard to fully understand. Parents all over have been doing an awesome job at making the day special no matter what. Here we are as part of a birthday vehicle parade. -Kelly Wall

  • Without the ability to dress up and attend events in person this Christmas, I took part in a social media challenge to recreate vintage holiday photos instead. Along with my sister and some friends, we had fun dressing up in our retro and reproduction ensembles and staging our best attempts to capture Christmas parties from past decades. We found a wealth of inspiration online (there are entire Facebook groups dedicated to the fashion of specific decades - who knew?) and customized our unique looks. These photos are four favourites from my own photoshoot. While we couldn't attend traditional Christmas parties, staff functions and concerts due to the pandemic, this "dress-up" at home alternative still allowed us to show off our holiday finery and have some safe fun at the same time. -Karla Rasmussen

  • A photo of my wedding dress in its garment bag. It’ll stay there for over a year. My fiancé and I were scheduled to get married July 4, 2020, but made the decision to postpone due to COVID-19. - Megan Peters

  • Congrats Class of 2020! The parade was VERY well done! - Anna Polsfut

  • Staff and volunteers of the Saskatoon WDM gather to celebrate the 101st birthday of Paul Carson a longtime volunteer at the Museum. - Brenda Mundell

  • On Good Friday, I helped hand out food for our students at the school where I teach. I was quite disappointed to be stuck at home rather than attending my sister's wedding at Wapiti Valley Ski Resort, but I just had to laugh when I was given bunny ears that matched my face mask! - Anonymous

  • My birthday was on April 21 and we were already over a month into self-isolation and physical distancing. My wife had Sinfully Sweet bakery in Regina make this amazing, custom Polaroid birthday cake that was also reflective of the current times! - Em Ironstar

  • This was my son's 10th birthday party during self-quarantine (we got back from Mexico just before). - Rhonda Kauth

  • Our wedding was held on April 10, and none of our siblings were able to make it due to COVID 19. So to add some humour, we dressed up these puppets for my siblings and the skeletons for his, they sat and watched the whole ceremony. - Anonymous

  • Close family friends made arrangements to drop off a present for my son’s 8th birthday. I took this photo to capture an unprecedented moment in time, to remember their act of kindness. - Natasha Vanjoff

Family/Friends:

  • Being unable to hold Christmas together, my father and his almost 90 year old grandmother went for a walk to socialize and visit. - Anonymous

  • This experience has reminded us how fortunate we are to have elders still with us. My great-grandmother will turn 100-years-old soon, and we dropped off a care package of food, music, artwork, and photographs. Truthfully, the few short minutes seeing each other in person was the best treat. Pictured is my daughter, grandma, and great-grandma; three out of five proud generations. - Landen Young Gessell

  • I took this photo because it shows My 5 and almost year old girls showing each other lots of love even after being with each other constantly for almost 40 days. - Kimberly Stewart

  • This is a picture of my daughter, she is waving to one of the kids in the neighbourhood. Social distancing on both ends. - Samantha Russell

  • Getting our mail during this time of social isolation is critical. We have found away to stay in touch and keep our distance. - Barbara Robinson

  • My mom with my son Oliver. "Social distancing visiting with Nana." My son spends every afternoon with nana typically, and with COVID-19 we haven't been able to so we had a deck date. - Sarah Miller

  • This was the first time the two cousins had seen each other in a month. The smile on his face says it all. Best friends in spite of the Pandemic. - Debbie McDonald

  • This is my circle, my chosen family. We went from seeing each other at least once a week, often more, to not at all in a matter of days and video chats have been our main way of being face to face outside of our group chat. It’s been hard but like others around the world, we’ve adapted and we’re just waiting until we’re able to meet in person again. - Jocelyn Lachapelle

  • Our young neighbour moved in last fall but, due to Christmas and since my husband and I travel in the winter, we had not had the opportunity to meet. She is a young 20-something and we are in our mid-60s - not a lot in common. As I was doing dishes one evening I looked out our kitchen window and wondered how she was doing through all of this. I stuck up a sign saying "Hi neighbour! Everything OK?" She responded within a couple of hours. "Hello! All is well". We have since communicated a few times, offering puzzles and mentioning the weather. We need to meet this young woman in person when we are able. - Anonymous

  • We are all searching for ways to share special days or moments while still maintaining social distancing. My nephew and his family live across the street from me and we often celebrate my birthday together. This year we couldn't, and seeing this in their window when I got home from home brought tears to my eyes. - Kathy Fitton

  • He looked out the window in the tent set up at Costco and noticed a friend from work he hadn’t seen in 9 months due to covid layoffs. This picture speaks the 2020 pandemic, “friends united”. - Gena Durnin

  • As an essential worker, Eric who works in the manufacturing/engineering field has to continue going to work and cannot work from home. Baby Laurel, who is 3 months old, loves spending time with her father. Eric started to wear a medical mask at home to protect baby Laurel. At first, Laurel was circumspect about the mask and cried but she eventually got used to it. - David Mirela

  • This photo was taken by my sister for her “project lemonade” photography session - documenting families on their doorsteps to help raise money and donations to the food bank. You can tell I’m full of emotion in this picture - My heart is breaking because I can’t let my son run to hug his aunty. - Mandy Brunet

  • Social distancing - Saskatchewan style. - Willis Moe

  • Virtual stargazing with my best friend. She lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta so we are not able to see each other, even from a distance. We talk on the phone while virtually touring an art museum, the streets of a far away city, or the galaxy. - Anna Polsfut

  • My daughter moved to South Africa 10 years ago and married a South African. She has since made her life and home in Cape Town. Once a year I take a 2 flight (20 hour flying time) trip to visit the Herr family; Meagen, Caine, Tyler and Camden. When South Africa went into their lockdown to fight the COVID 19 virus, that meant both parents working from home and homeschooling the children via an online connection with their school. As a way to relieve some pressure on the parents and to spend more time with my grandchildren, we began FaceTiming to read bedtime stories, play board games, hold staring contests, play charades, play I Spy and have dinner conversations. My iPad has a keyboard attachment, so my handy farmer husband, Doug Bone, built a wooden stand on which I could position the iPad in order to play board games. In Cape Town my granddaughter Tyler and my grandson Camden take turns rolling the dice and here on the farm in Saskatchewan I move the game pieces. The kids love it and can easily see where their man is and how close to home their moves advance their men - lots of excitement! We play at least once a week. The other favourite activity is bed time stories. Tyler is 9 years old and is into chapter books - Pippi Longstocking being a favourite. Camden is 6 years old and likes picture action books. The games and books are all leftovers from when Meagen and her sister were children. Meagen and the children were planning a June visit to Saskatchewan and Alberta to visit family. That trip won’t happen now. My annual fall visit to Cape Town won’t happen either as my husband and I are both in the high risk category. We don’t expect to see our South African family until a vaccine is developed and distributed world wide. That may take several years. In the meantime I have set up a permanent video space on my dining room table so I can be ready whenever Tyler and Camden call. I look forward to these morning sessions (SA is 8 hours ahead of us) as they brighten my isolated day. I thank you for this community archive project as I eagerly read stories from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and expect future generations to have a similar interest. I hope my submission will have value for your project. - Faye Atkinson

  • My daughter moved to South Africa 10 years ago and married a South African. She has since made her life and home in Cape Town. Once a year I take a 2 flight (20 hour flying time) trip to visit the Herr family; Meagen, Caine, Tyler and Camden. When South Africa went into their lockdown to fight the COVID 19 virus, that meant both parents working from home and homeschooling the children via an online connection with their school. As a way to relieve some pressure on the parents and to spend more time with my grandchildren, we began FaceTiming to read bedtime stories, play board games, hold staring contests, play charades, play I Spy and have dinner conversations. My iPad has a keyboard attachment, so my handy farmer husband, Doug Bone, built a wooden stand on which I could position the iPad in order to play board games. In Cape Town my granddaughter Tyler and my grandson Camden take turns rolling the dice and here on the farm in Saskatchewan I move the game pieces. The kids love it and can easily see where their man is and how close to home their moves advance their men - lots of excitement! We play at least once a week. The other favourite activity is bed time stories. Tyler is 9 years old and is into chapter books - Pippi Longstocking being a favourite. Camden is 6 years old and likes picture action books. The games and books are all leftovers from when Meagen and her sister were children. Meagen and the children were planning a June visit to Saskatchewan and Alberta to visit family. That trip won’t happen now. My annual fall visit to Cape Town won’t happen either as my husband and I are both in the high risk category. We don’t expect to see our South African family until a vaccine is developed and distributed world wide. That may take several years. In the meantime I have set up a permanent video space on my dining room table so I can be ready whenever Tyler and Camden call. I look forward to these morning sessions (SA is 8 hours ahead of us) as they brighten my isolated day. I thank you for this community archive project as I eagerly read stories from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and expect future generations to have a similar interest. I hope my submission will have value for your project. - Faye Atkinson

  • Husband put a dinner party on for my daughter and I. I wore my grad dress and she wore a dress. It was just the three of us. Drank Gatorade from wine glasses. Danced. - Kristin Sander

  • My Mom broke her hip during the COVID-19 crisis. We weren’t allowed to visit her in the hospital at all. Daily phone calls were made. When she was brought back from Regina, they placed her in the Melville hospital as Yorkton was the area Covid designated hospital. She had a room with a window on the main floor. We still talked with her on the phone but got to see each other face to face. It made a world of difference for all of us. - Twila Napoleoni

  • I imagine that one of my strongest memories of the social distancing period will be visiting my great-grandmother over the phone outside her window. It's interesting to think about what might be the necessary and sufficient conditions for "meeting" someone. Surely a phone call doesn't constitute getting together. But even though we saw my grandma's face, heard her voice, and were only one glass pane apart, it still felt like we hadn't really met. - Ian Andvag

Inspiration:

  • When I took this picture it was cute and I love watching my kittens grow up during this quarantine so fast and they help me ignore what’s going on in the world in this pandemic. - Brenden Gunn

  • WDM Yorkton staff showing their appreciation for frontline workers. - WDM Yorkton

  • A sense of humour and a bit of fun might be essential to getting through this crisis. There has been a lot of stress involved for many people. Isolation, fear and uncertainty of all kinds are rampant. This man has been out running dressed in his homemade social distancing outfit along the river near my home. He stopped to pose for this picture. Turns out he is a psychologist, and he is bringing a little stress relief out to the community free of charge. - Lia ter Heide

  • We have been doing lots of window Art with our daughters. If gives them something to look forward to each day. - Kimberly Stewart

  • Words of encouragement at the Town Office in Kindersley. It was eerily quiet in the office during the first couple of days after closing to the general public (mid-March), no doors dinging, no pleasant conversations out front with the residents. Council meetings have now been moved online and some folks have been working from home. We started to really miss everyone and hoped they might see our window messages while using our nighttime Dropbox. - Anna Polsfut

  • "Heart of Saskatchewan " A window in our small town demonstrating strength of a small community. - Gloria Pawliuk

  • Our town of Davidson ran a theme for each week and this one was to show our appreciation for our essential service workers so I painted this. - Michelle Morrison

  • We wanted to spread some positive messages through sidewalk chalk for all the people out for walks. - Anonymous

  • Inspirational messages provided by young artists in the neighborhood and enjoyed on my daily walks! - Nancy Martin

  • Patrice is a great neighbour helping another neighbour while still maintaining social and physical distancing. A little spring clean up! Thanks Patrice, you're the best! - Claudia Kuhlen

  • Our family made a blessings jar so even in the midst of this awful outbreak we could hold onto something positive. Each week we wrote what our blessings were on scrap pieces of paper and threw into the jar. On Dec. 31st before midnight we will open the jar to read thru our blessings and reflect on our quarantine of 2020. - Anonymous

  • This is a photo of our family's Covid Heart Snow sculpture made in appreciation of the front line workers. Our two sons had come home because of the Covid pandemic and the day before we had a big snow fall. So we decided to make the best of being together and get outside for some fun and show our appreciation for the frontline workers. It was a positive fun experience during a difficult time. - Sara Bazin

  • My heart breaks for all the older people passing away due to this virus. They are Someone’s precious grandpa, dad, grandma, mom. My dad left me old piano and I was able to salvage a piece of it that I use as a sculpture in my yard. When I look at it I think of him and I reflect how important it is to protect others during this time. People read the signs in my yard and smile. I added this extra sign because I knew it would get read, bring a smile to the walker and reinforce that truly we are all precious family. - Norma Gieni-Dunbar

  • The Garden of our spiritual lives is beginning to grow through all this shutdown. Chalk pastel art in Spring. Blessings around the world. Never doubt that one little seed can grow into a miracle for someone. - Charlotte Collins

  • This photo was taken days after Saskatoon was locked down. I felt that, between the marquee, the solitary individual on the sidewalk, and the Juno 2020 signs, this was a poignant moment that summed up the first few days of COVID-19. - Paul Chavady

  • Our house is at one of the main entrances to and from Springside so everyone from the community drives by it almost daily. We decided that our large front window would be the perfect place for posting encouragement and messages to our friends and family. - Ashlea Breitkreuz

  • Several ladies in our town painted colorful rocks for the kids to find while out for walks. The idea is when you find a rock, you're supposed to hide it somewhere else for another child to find. - Jessica R.

  • This was a socially distanced community clean up of George Genereux Urban Regional Park Saskatoon. Provincial group protocols were followed - 23 people (under the 30 outdoor group limit) came out in 147.8 acres and wore masks when they could not be six feet apart. 9,270 kg were removed from the environment!

  • "Heart of Saskatchewan " A window in our small town demonstrating strength of a small community. - Gloria Pawliuk

  • A Paper Dandelion a Day - Covid 19: I had 2000 paper dandelions that will not be exhibited this year, as the exhibitions in public galleries were postponed (Vancouver and Estevan). In lieu of the exhibitions, and so that I still could share this work. I began a post a day on Instagram and Facebook using the symbolism of the dandelion: strength, resilience and perseverance as a theme. A Paper Dandelion a day – Are we there yet? It’s on everybody’s mind, when will we get to get out of this isolation. It’s like riding in the back of a car on a hot summer day, no air-conditioning with a sweaty brother on both sides, not fun. The end is in site, I know it is. Each breath and each blink of your eye brings you closer to the end of this experience. Myself and I’m sure many of you included, used to not like the alarm clock because it meant you had to get out of your nice warm cosy bed and put on clothes with zippers and buttons. Right about now having something to do that is meaningful would be quite good and not working from home would be even better. "The dandelion is called the rustic oracle; its flowers always open about 5 A.M. and shut at 8 P.M., serving the shepherd for a clock." Source: Folkard (448. 309), from "The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought," by Alexander F. Chamberlain Legend has it that the number of breaths it takes to blow off all the seeds of a dandelion globe that has gone to seed, is the hour number. Time, anyone? (I wonder if this works with days left in isolation). - Monique Martin

  • Kids' window artwork made shortly after schools closed.

Saskatchewan Scenes:

  • I work at liquor store, and I was collecting carts on that day. It just felt so desolate with no people, yet so surreal with the evening sun rising with halo around it. It gave me a moment of contemplation. - Michael Jern

  • While we are closed indefinitely to the public, staff still remain at work at the WDM Moose Jaw. Recently, we noticed some beautifully shaped shadows being cast by some of the buggies on exhibit in our Orientation Gallery while the lights were partially on. - WDM Moose Jaw

  • Just wanted to take a picture. - Siric Waldail

  • On any normal warm mid-May morning, Playland would be full of children; school children on class trips or younger ones with their parents, excited to ride the train and ferris wheel, or at least the hum of activity as the workers ready for their arrival. But the carousel has no horses, the train is absent from view, the concession is shuttered, and the ferris wheel stands still cloaked for the winter. All the laughter is gone. - Lia ter Heide

  • The playground at Buena Vista Park is closed. - Diana Savage

  • It is important to document the effects that the pandemic has on our city. It felt surreal to stand in the centre of one of the busiest downtown streets and set up a tripod for this photo. I was thinking back to the last time I was on this street and the hustle and bustle of everyday life and what the new normal will be like. - Doris Santha

  • A sign of our time, Saskatoon Citizens take the time to look after each other, including the tribute to Late Denny Carr. - Shelley Mike

  • I went out and about in downtown Saskatoon to photograph and document how deserted the area was due to the closures of businesses. It was amazing to witness the empty streets - devoid of any activity, people or vehicles on a Saturday no less. - Cathleen Mewis

  • Not sure why. - Cris Laidlaw

  • I took the photo because it captures the raw beauty of our province. When you sit at home you are either watching tv or on the phone, constantly reminded of the global pandemic and it can play on the emotions so I drive with my daughter out of the city to find peace and relaxation in a world that has been turned upside down. There is nothing like an evening in nature by the water with sun sets and colourful breathtaking prairie skies! - Belinda Harris

  • I am a photographer who wanted to Document Moose Jaw during the Pandemic. - Lindsay Helland

  • I took this photo on a beautiful summer evening while I spent time with my family having a hotdog roast. While we sat by the fire we noticed a ring around the moon. I tried to capture the moon in the background of the fire because it was beautiful.

  • We live in a larger city so it was lovely to take a day out in the country. even during the pandemic life moves on during harvest. the fields have produced well this year with many thunderstorms/ rain. no masks required out here in the fields.. no hand sanitizer.. and you are already socially distant enough. feels like normal life.

  • Just love to take pictures of the past. - Eleanor Neale

  • Went to the beach for something to do. No one was there. There was ice still in the lake but our daughter still went in. - Leslie Malo

  • I love taking pictures of old buildings around Saskatchewan. Small road trips during Covid are an excellent way to pass time and to get fresh air. - Neil Haichert

  • Boffin Garden is a beautiful little gem in the U of S grounds. It's almost like a wonderful hidden secret. Summer is just starting to bloom. - Neil Haichert

Work/School:

  • This is a photo of my makeshift studio for doing daily press conferences from my MLA office. As MLAs, we can’t meet people or talk with media the way we usually do, so we have to find creative ways to share information with the public. - Ryan Meili

  • On Friday, March 13th my boss warned our team that management was looking into the possibility of having us work from home. On Monday, March 16th at 8:00 am we had an informal meeting were my boss told us to prepare to pack up our workstations. By 1:00 pm that same day, my coworkers began loading up carts to bring their computers home. By 4:00 pm everyone was cleared out of the office, and I got a ride home with my computer. By 5:00 pm, I had my computer set up at home. I work at a company that is sometimes slow to change, so for all of this to happen in one day is unheard of. It was necessary, however, to protect the health of our fellow coworkers and extended community. Starting work the next day was completely strange and a little unnerving. A month later, I have settled in to a new routine. I feel more comfortable working from home, I take daily walks around my neighbourhood, and every morning I stream the Prime Minister's address to Canadians. - Anonymous

  • This is a photo I took of myself outside the Saskatoon WDM one day when I went in to record one of our Story Time videos. The mask was made for me by a friend who has a home business sewing children’s clothing but has switched to masks for the time being. - Courtney Tuck-Goetz

  • After nearly six months away from school, my children are about to return. The 2020/2021 school supply list has been drastically simplified, asking students to simply bring a water bottle, personal hand sanitizer and reusable cloth face masks. My son is entering his first year of high school and is attending a modified welcome/orientation session before classes commence on September 8. Usually, his new school holds a Welcome BBQ for the incoming Grade 9 students at the end of August, but things will be handled differently this year due to the pandemic. In my daughter's Grade 5 classroom, she is eager to reunite in a cohort with friends she hasn't seen since mid-March, but she's aware that a few of them will be learning remotely from home this year. All of the adults in our family work at full-time employment, so we have decided that attending school in person is the best option for our situation. We have tried to be as open and honest when the children's questions have come up and done our best to prepare them to safely return to the classroom environment. They are both anxious but also grateful to resume a sense of some normalcy and routine after the extended time away from school. - Karla Rasmussen We wish the educators, support staff, students and their families well as they navigate this new learning journey, in whatever form and direction it may take for them.

  • This morning, I went to the school that my children attend to retrieve belongings left behind in my daughter's Grade 4 classroom and locker. Her teacher has spent the last few weeks sifting through the supplies and personal effects, sorting and gathering items for each of her students. The items were neatly bagged, labeled, and left on the front steps of the school for pick up. March 16 was their last day at school before the closure and like many other students, my daughter and son left abruptly without knowing when they would see their friends again and if they would return for the remainder of the school year. As a parent trying to work from home, many days have been a challenge coping with my own responsibilities in addition to helping with two sets of online lessons. However, in between working through digital assignments and navigating student-teacher Zoom/phone meetings, we have also found opportunities for life lessons. This includes learning to operate the washing machine properly, count pocket money, helping to clean and disinfect the house, going for nature walks, and learning about local history from visiting our local heritage cemetery. It hasn't always been easy these past few months, but thank you to all the educators for continuing to support our Saskatchewan youth and their families! - Karla Rasmussen

  • Working from home is a bit different these days - especially with pets as coworkers! - Amber Parker

  • One of my last days working in the office. Took a picture of a vacant food court at the Cornwall at noon. It is normally hard to find an empty chair at this time. - Kent Nicolson

  • The world goes home. Here we are in the early days of the pandemic, schooling, video conferencing and figuring out the best home office setup to simultaneously work, homeschool, and look after toddlers. - Amanda Munshaw

  • This is a photo of me working from home. I am a radio DJ and my entire company has shifted and evolved very quickly into a work from home situation. We are considered essential employees and we have turned into a huge helpline for local businesses by promoting local and sharing local news with our listeners. - Sarah Miller

  • This photo was taken by Saskatoon photographer and Occupational Therapy Assistant, Rona Andreas. Rona works at Sherbrooke Community Centre, a long-term care home in Saskatoon. On March 15th, Sherbrooke closed its doors to visitors and volunteers. It was a proactive step to keep COVID-19 out of Sherbrooke, which is home to 263 residents. This photo of Sherbrooke's Executive Secretary, Brenda Craig, was taken as part of the YXE Underground Podcast. The podcast focuses on people who are making a difference in the community but are flying under the radar. It's hosted by Eric Anderson, who is also Sherbrooke's Communications Leader. Eric chose to profile the staff and residents of Sherbrooke for his April episode to show how the care home was adapting to a new pattern of life because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This photo shows Brenda Craig at Sherbrooke's front doors waiting to screen staff before beginning their shift. The front doors are normally bustling with activity, but the pandemic has made it a quiet space.

  • In our household, working from home, came with some unique challenges! Printers don't appear to have cat-related error messages. - Brad Jennings

  • Coronavirus concerns meant our kindergartner traded in his school desk for an office desk as he accompanied dad to work during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis in Saskatchewan. - Josh Hourie

  • This is a photo of the common area at Wesmor Community High School, a place usually full of students. I took it because I was alone in the school in the middle of the morning on a Tuesday in May and it hit home that we weren’t there. Two days later, it was announced we would definitely not be returning this school year. This picture shows the isolation of distance learning. I was there to make copies of assignments to be delivered to students’ homes. I would have limited contact with these students who do not have reliable internet and/or technology. - Colette Daelick

  • I am a teacher at Wesmor Community High School in Prince Albert. I took this picture as I left with all the things I thought I might need to work from home. It was about 3:30 pm on a beautiful day in March. Instead of students and staff laughing and talking, leaving for the day, the school stands basically empty with signs in the window saying it is closed until further notice and “in case of an educational emergency“ to call the Division office. Many times, the work I do has felt like an emergency as I try to meet the needs - academic, emotional, physical & mental - of my students and myself. - Colette Daelick

  • I took this photo because it was 1:25, right in the middle of what normally would have been class change. The paths would normally be teeming with students going to their next class. It was the day they cancelled classes and the day before I was sent home from the research station, to work from home instead of on campus.

  • Even with the pandemic, the members of Thunder Creek Model Railroad Club still meet virtually at the regular weekly time to chat about Model Railroad and any other topic of general interest and check on the wellbeing of the membership. - Giles Doiron

  • First day of school photo - with masks. - Anonymous

Passing the Time:

  • Like many during the coronavirus crisis, I have been motivated by social isolation to get creative. After more than 30 years, I have started sewing again. I bought a new sewing machine, and my first project was - you guessed it - face masks! - Joan Brewerton

  • I volunteered my supplies and time and started sewing masks for my friends and family weeks ago. It made me feel like I was really contributing when I was asked for larger orders from health care workers. I've given 82 masks so far and the orders keep coming. - Angela Baggenstos

  • Killing time while isolating. Disappointed as car shows throughout the city and province are being cancelled. - Anonymous

  • I took this photo of my painting to express my feeling of this COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone all over the world must unite and fight this virus together. - Victor Brodie

  • In February we panted lots of greens and sprouts in our Off Grid Green House so we could have plenty home grown salads during this time, reducing the amount of trips to the grocery store. - Brian Bueckert

  • I am isolating myself. Quilting and sewing help me keep my sanity. Therefore I designed this t-shirt in memory of the extraordinary time we have now. - Christel Keiser

  • Like many people, I took to baking to pass the time in quarantine. I managed to score some flour—Co-op Gold—and as you recall it was like gold to get some. - Susan Lamb

  • I made new friends in isolation and social distancing in my sewing room making over 200 masks for the community and essential workers. - Shela Mihalicz

  • I take this picture to show you how I always keep myself busy by doing some school work, watching movies and listening to songs inside my house so that I should not cause problems in my family by going outside and coming back in the house while I have carried a virus without knowing. - Enock Ndikumwenayo

  • I took the photo as this was the first day I went outside for a walk after having had emergency abdominal surgery on March 19th Put on my blue jeans and sweatshirt, my head scarf and mask and jacket and off I went. Slayed it - walked twice that day for a total of 1 mile. Have done it every day since. - Anonymous

  • One of the many benefits of spending time with horses is that they focus and quiet your thoughts. But it is a little harder to be "in the moment" when the stable door is covered with Do's and Do Not's. - Candace Savage

  • Being on my own during the pandemic doesn’t mean I can’t have a nice meal! Just my way to bring some class to the home meals. - Cory Schewaga

  • Keeping up one routine during Covid-19, taking a walk with my best friend. - Cheryl Stewart-Rahm

Pandemic Oddities:

  • I took this photo because it was hard to believe that shelves once full of a seemingly endless supply of toilet paper, were bare. This hadn't happened before the pandemic. People put their panic into paper buying. - Anonymous

  • With all the stress of the past few weeks, this sign made me laugh out loud. The sign uses humour to let people know this business is there for them (after all, plumbing emergencies don't stop for a pandemic) while recognizing the absurdity of the toilet paper hoarding that took place. - Corinne Daelick

A Means to an End:

  • Line Ups! At the start of the pandemic there were line ups for everything from toilet paper to hand santizer to food. A year into the pandemic lines form but this time for COVID-19 vaccines. The photo at bottom left shows the line up of people waiting for first dose vaccinations booked at Merlis Belscher Place in Saskatoon on March 31, 2021. The photo at top shows cars lined up for a drive thru, first come - first served, vaccination clinic at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon on April 14, 2021. People waited two hours to get their first dose of the vaccine. Also shown here, the sticker given to everyone who is vaccinated. #stickittocovid - Corinne Daelick

  • Can you tell we're excited? My husband and I were fortunate to receive our second doses this morning at a local walk-in clinic and are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Like many in our peer group, we needed to take the obligatory selfie with our vaccine stickers to show it actually happened and share it on social media. We can't wait to see our families and be able to start to travel again! - Karla Rasmussen


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