Optimism is up, COVID-19 numbers are down, as Nova Scotia enters next phase of reopening plan
During the most recent COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia, boxing was the hobby Jill Caldwell missed the most.
Wednesday marks the first day of Phase 2 in the province's reopening plan, allowing gyms and restaurants to operate at 50 per cent capacity.
Caldwell admitted when she woke up Wednesday morning, she could not get to her reopened gym in Dartmouth fast enough.
“It’s the punching, the workout and the sweat,” said Caldwell.
In fact, she also has her next few days all lined up.
“I’ve got my hair appointment booked, the next few weeks of classes, and summer is going to start," said Caldwell.
During a tough pandemic that has featured some low moments, Caldwell also said Wednesday signifies a bounce-back day for everyone.
“It’s not a great weather day, but there is definitely positivity,” said Caldwell.
Digital Anthropologist Giles Crouch added that positivity is evident everywhere, especially on social media.
"I call this a collective digital sigh of relief," said Crouch.
According to Crouch, during previous lockdowns, people used social media platforms to discuss what they did not like about the pandemic.
"Today I am seeing much more positivity on social media than negativity," said Crouch. “We are starting to share, ‘ok, this is what I’m going to do, this is how I’m going to celebrate reopening.’ "
Since COVID-19 restrictions have limited many everyday activities, psychologist Dayna Lee-Baggley said these past few months have also taught people how to be nimble when it comes to adjusting their lives.
"So the gym might be closed, but there might be other ways to be physically active,” said Lee-Baggley. “There might be a hobby you can't do. We can't connect to people the same way, but we can still find ways to connect with people."
Fellow gymgoer Brayden Doucet said people have found ways to reclaim things that were lost.
"We've been waiting a long time for things to go back to normal in general," said Doucet, who added society has been careful with COVID-19 and has earned the freedoms that come with this day.
“We are just going to keep building on this," said Doucet.
It's a day that everyone can bask in the positivity during this reopening phase, following an extended shutdown.