We can’t help but feel like we’ve been here before. The end of one dismal year and the beginning of what we hope is a better one. Unfortunately, we’re starting this year by heading into yet another lockdown. Maybe it was overly optimistic to think we could exit the pandemic just in time for Christmas — it’s clear that this public health nightmare won’t be ending anytime soon. 

Statistically, most people in Ontario are vaccinated. Now, we’re rolling up our sleeves again for booster shots to ward off the new variant. Laying blame on anti-vaxxers for the uptick in COVID-19 cases is easy, and perhaps not totally wrong. However, while anti-vaxxers may deserve ridicule and criticism, more fingers should be pointing at the hands of governments hoarding vaccines while other countries, primarily from the Global South (which has always been exploited by the Global North), struggle to keep up with demand. Variants will keep popping up in places with low vaccine rates and low vaccine reserves. The pandemic will not end anytime soon if we don’t stamp out the virus in all corners of the globe. Not just us.

So what now? Many of you are heading back to remote work or remote learning. Remember to take breaks from staring at the screen all day, and get one of those mouse movers if you’re on company time. Your boss shouldn’t be bothering you every time you step away to use the bathroom. 

At insideWaterloo, we’re looking forward to a very busy year of building up our capacity and connecting with community. We also want to broaden our coverage and content. Think food, art, short fiction, and culture. 

(Vaccines for Victory. Illustration by Yash Pradhan for Amplifier Art)

And of course, we want to uplift the community through movement journalism. News can often create a bit of a bystander effect, but it doesn’t have to. We’re going to continue to highlight all the ways people can make a difference on a grassroots level. God knows we can’t rely on the government to do the right thing without at least three rounds of consultations and a committee or two. And that’s assuming they’re listening in the first place.

~The insideWaterloo Team