On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and life, at that moment, changed drastically for every Nova Scotian.
People were ordered to practice physical distancing. Everyday tasks like grocery shopping were suddenly fraught with challenges. Travellers scrambled to get home before the borders closed, and were then ordered to self-quarantine. Hospitals and health-care facilities prepared for a potential influx of critically ill patients. Through it all, Nova Scotians reacted with kindness and empathy, and came to recognize their everyday heroes—from grocery clerks to delivery drivers to the doctors and nurses on the front lines. But tales of some who flouted the rules arose. During a daily media briefing, Premier Stephen McNeil made the spirit of the order perfectly clear: "Stay the blazes home."
Through dozens of powerful stories that illuminate the generosity and ingenuity of Nova Scotians, Stay the Blazes Home captures the many ways Nova Scotians adapted to and embraced life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring photographs by author and award-winning photographer Len Wagg, in addition to submitted images from all over the province, Stay the Blazes Home serves as a record of the resilience and the spirit of Nova Scotians in a time of crisis. Portions of the proceeds from this book will be donated to local mental health initiatives.