Last week we learned from the Province that the earliest our Board can expect a return to in person learning is February 11th. We hope to hear in early February if we will be permitted to resume in-person learning for our elementary and secondary students. The decision will be made by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province and will be based on the most recent COVID data. We thank everyone for all their efforts in adhering to the public health restrictions currently in place.
While our area is seeing improvement, COVID continues to take a very heavy toll. This past weekend we learned of the untimely passing of a young person in our area who had been diagnosed with COVID. As was shared by Dr. Alex Summers “It’s certainly a very sad day and a reminder of how the impact of this pandemic can be felt.” Our prayers are with all who have lost loved ones because of COVID.
Thursday, January 28th has been designated as Data Privacy Day. This day held annually represents an international effort to spread awareness about data privacy and educate individuals on how we can secure our personal information and encourage organizations to respect privacy. This year, Data Privacy Day 2021, spotlights the value of information and how to “Own Your Privacy” and “Respect Privacy”.
At this time of full remote learning and an increased reliance on technology, data privacy and protecting personal information is more important than ever. Everyone is encouraged to visit https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/and to check and update their privacy settings on all their accounts.
The National Cyber Security Alliance has offered the following tips to help guide us as individuals with respect to important data privacy practices, such as:
- Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.
- Keep tabs on your apps. Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list and photo album, before you can use their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates.
- Manage your privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information.
Last Wednesday a global audience was inspired by American Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman as she read with great poise and grace her poem, “The Hill We Climb.” Below, are a few excerpts:
“When day comes we ask ourselves,
Where can we find light in this never-ending shade? . . .
And so we lift our gaze not to what stands between us
but what stands before us . . .
One thing is certain;
if we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy. . . .
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
if only we’re brave enough to be it.”