Giving thanks: Maritimers reflect on what they're thankful for, despite fourth wave

Despite dealing with the ongoing fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Nova Scotians took some time on Thanksgiving to reflect and take stock of what they have to be thankful for.

A warm and sunny fall day made the Halifax waterfront a popular destination for many people on Monday afternoon, with some taking a moment to think about what they’re grateful for this Thanksgiving.

“Very easy answer, I am very thankful for her, I just moved here and we’ve been doing long-distance so it’s really nice to be able to spend Thanksgiving with her.” says Vancouver resident Emily Doyle.

At this time last October, COVID-19 was spreading and vaccination hadn’t begun in this region, limiting gatherings in Nova Scotia to 10, and forcing some to connect with their family online.

This year is a different story, with vaccinated Nova Scotians permitted to have up to 25 people in their home, allowing some families to reunite for a Thanksgiving dinner.

“I haven’t been home to Toronto in almost 2 years and my parents were able to come down and visit and it was really nice, because I haven’t seen them in forever,” said Nicole Burwell.

Others said they were thankful for good health, top of mind at a time when so many are dealing with COVID-19 and other health issues.

“If you don’t have your health, what do you have?” asks Marie Cormier. “I’m thankful everyday when I get up in the morning, to be alive.”

“We stayed healthy through the pandemic, happy to have family and friends close by and beautiful weather,” adds Darlene MacAulay.

“My family is all doing well, has done well through the pandemic so I’m very thankful for that in particular this year,” says Janet Saunders.

For some new arrivals to Canada, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on their new home, while creating new traditions.

“Thanks for Canada, thanks for people in Canada and for everything they have done for us. I left my country because of war and to protect my children and give them a peaceful life here,” says Marwan Al Ali, who arrived in Canada five years ago from Syria.

Al Ali says that’s something he’s thankful for everyday, not just on Thanksgiving.