Can you believe it's already August? We can't either. September is just around the corner, and with it, some kids across Canada will be heading back to school, with precautions and rules in place to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.
As Canadians get ready for the school season, they're enjoying the bright weather outside and trying to maximize their time in the sun! With that has come several new photos that are part of the Canada Covid Portrait challenge.
You can enter the challenge by using the hashtag #CanadaCovidPortrait on Instagram, or by emailing your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we'd like to know which of these eight photos is your favourite this week!
Rachael Blakey's photo shows an empty New Brunswick school that was closed due to COVID-19. She was invited to take photographs of the classrooms as schools prepare to reopen this September.
"Most parents have mixed feelings about sending their children back to school during a pandemic," Rachael said. "Many worry about social distancing practices, and how they will be carried out. I have been invited back to photograph this school when the COVID-19 and social distancing flyers and information have been put up for the students to follow the guidelines.”
David Bastedo's photo shows his parents Tom and Alice attending a church service via Zoom in Muskoka, Ont. His parents have been doing their best to keep things as normal as possible during the pandemic, and even dressed up for the service.
"I just love that they dressed up and that my father placed his hat on the ground beside him at the beginning of the service," David said. "My dad hates Zoom calls, but they have become a part of our lives - a way to keep connected with family and community. This was a really tender moment for me."
Anthony Mandl's photo shows how a Montreal art gallery has adapted during the pandemic. Many art galleries are operating at reduced capacity to slow the spread of COVID-19, so one used this space in the city's Village neighbourhood to hold a special outdoor exhibition.
Carolyn Ellis's photo shows a Canadian invented "hug-glove" in Guelph, Ont. that she and her husband created to help people experience some much-needed touch during the pandemic. Carolyn came up with the idea in May when she realized her mother, who lives alone, hadn't hugged anyone for a while. She gave her mom the glove on Mother's Day, and photos of it have since been featured in China, India and Europe.
Derek Oliver's photo shows how people are passing the time outdoors during the pandemic. He took a picture of a group of people, two of whom were reading, one of whom was taking a photo and one who was fishing, while two tugboats returned from fishing on Lake Erie in Port Dover, Ont.
Adair Roberts's photo shows her and the volunteer team at Feed the Frontlines outside St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Feed the Frontlines provides food to Toronto essential workers and Canadians dealing with food insecurity. She said she was inspired to help restaurants and those battling the pandemic on the frontlines during the pandemic when she put the organization together in March. So far, it's provided more than 20,000 meals. Seven Toronto restaurants have pitched in. The initiative has brought 25 staff back to work and 1,800 people have generously given donations.
"It's almost hard to remember now, but early on, frontline workers were really challenged to get a decent meal during their lengthy shifts," Adair said. "Also, PPE shortages and frequently changing safety protocols meant that doffing PPE to go pic up a meal simply wasn't worth it – so we brought the meals to them, both to solve these operational challenges and to say than you for the hard work and risks they faced in keeping us all safe."
Francisca Rocha's photo will likely be relatable to most Canadians. It shows her wearing a mask that she's matched with her shirt. She said she always tries her best to have fun while working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask.
James Erdeg's photo shows Torontonians who are masked up at a Not Another Black Life rally in honour of Juneteenth across the street from Toronto Police headquarters.
"While the rally was taking place to the right of the frame, the people in the photo are all focused on a loud sound coming from the opposite direction. A motorist, who was angry that their route was being blocked by the gathering, had uttered a series of sudden blasts from his car horn. This image captures the pedestrians frozen in place, as they are about to cross the street, unsure of the driver's intentions."
So, which of these photos is your favourite? Let us know by voting in the poll below!