We are entering the land of the second shot. We can only hope that means an end to the pandemic that has lasted a year and a half. Many of us have lost family members and friends to COVID-19.

The long curfew is over and we are allowed to meet small groups of friends. Restaurant terraces are a welcome sight in the height of summer. Restaurants have been particularly hard hit and could use local support to make up for lost revenue. Most are also suffering from a lack of staff.

We have missed many events such as the Fête Nationale, Canada Day celebrations and, once again, Brome Fair is cancelled. Let’s hope it will be back next year.

We are a 40-minute drive from the United States, but the border has been closed since March of 2020. There are reports that restrictions will be relaxed soon. If and when this does happen, there is some welcome news: The Canadian dollar is stronger. That makes everything from gas to groceries cheaper for Canadians. Instead of paying $1.40 to buy a US dollar, it now costs around $1.23.

There will be many pandemic habits that live on. Masks in crowded public places, like grocery stores, may be one. Other shops may suggest people wear masks and wash their hands. There was a marked decrease in the incidence of the regular flu this year, which could be due to a combination of masks and flu vaccine.

Working from home may be the longest-lasting change. Most of our area has high-speed Internet, which means many people who have been working from home will continue to do so. Many employers plan to ask people to visit the office one or two days a week, if at all. This has contributed to what may be another long-term change: demand for housing and a chance to work in paradise.

The drawback is pricing people out of the housing market. The pandemic has left paradise pricey.

And finally, the lake is always open, though this summer with new restrictions.