Editor’s Message, May 2021
It’s been over a year since the pandemic was declared, and, as we’re all well aware, many things have changed as a result. This is the third editorial I’ve written in which I’ve referenced the pandemic, and I have to admit I’m having second thoughts about bringing it up again when we’re all suffering pandemic fatigue. Instead, I decided to engage head on and put together a Bulletin issue that takes a closer look at how COVID-19 has impacted radiation safety.
Many businesses have had to adapt to a different business environment, so we wanted to see how our corporate members have fared. We sent a survey to all of our corporate members, and Radioprotection Inc., Krivonosov Risk Management Consultants, and the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada responded to describe the impact the pandemic has had on their operations.
The pandemic also necessitated a shift in the working relationship between regulator and licensees, and we have a few different perspectives from licensees based on their experiences with remote CNSC inspections.
On the education side, schools have opened, closed, and opened again. Through it all, they’ve had some model of online learning. Ed Waller and Marta Kocemba tell us about their experiences—as a professor and grad student, respectively—at Ontario Tech University.
The pandemic has also greatly accelerated CRPA’s push to explore online platforms, particularly for training. Our Professional Development Committee has developed a wonderful program over the last year. Jeff Fleming in particular has put in a lot of work to set everything up on the Thinkific platform. I’ve participated in some of the courses, and I think this will be a very useful and sustainable program. I look forward to taking online professional development courses this way for many years to come.
While I’m sure the online professional development program will be here to stay, I still look forward to in-person training opportunities at conferences when that option becomes available. And while I certainly enjoy the flexibility of working from home, I do miss seeing all my colleagues together in the office instead of just one or two people at a time. It will be interesting to see how many of these changes stick around and how much will eventually go back to “normal.” I’m sure it will be a mix, at least for a while.
My daughter is only four years old, but already there are days when I imagine telling her what it was like in the “before times” (before the pandemic). I’m sure the conversations will be nothing like I’m imagining right now. Maybe, by then, everyone will have decided they hate Zoom, and online meetings will be banned forever! That’s probably not likely, but only time will tell. Now that the vaccine rollout is underway, I hope the “before times” are getting closer. In the meantime, stay safe.