2021 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus

What you need to know to stop the spread of COVID-19

• Avoid close contact with others and stay home

• Wear a face mask when in public places or with people outside of your ‘bubble’

• Practice physical distancing –  stay two meters from other people

• Wash hands with soap and water thoroughly and often

• Clean frequently high-touch objects and surfaces

• Be prepared, but avoid panic buying

• Stay home if you are sick.

Only visit an Assessment Centre if you are referred by a health care professional.

• Self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days if arriving from outside Canada

Get the facts about COVID-19covid 19 – basics, symptoms and treatment.

Updates and resources from Public Health Ontario.


Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

from Global News, December 1, 2020

Putting the Vaccine Buzz into Perspective
Why it would be wrong to assume the pandemic finish line is just a sprint away.
By Andrew Nikiforuk

It normally takes years to prove the safety of a new vaccine. For starters no one knows how long the current hyped vaccines will last. Will the population need to be re-vaccinated every six months, year or two years? The data doesn’t exist. As a general rule immunity tends not to last long for respiratory diseases.

News that three different vaccines with high rates of efficacy in preventing COVID-19 are on their way has raised hopes. We can all use some cheerful news right about now. But the best medical evidence suggests we should temper our optimism.

Two of the vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) deploy completely novel technology using messenger RNA (genetic material that encodes viral protein). They appear to do a good job of preventing severe disease, but may not prevent infection. That means people who receive the vaccine could still pass on infection to others. That suggests that the vaccinated will still have to practice social distancing and mask wearing. It also guarantees that the pandemic will not end quickly.

So new high-tech or low-tech vaccines will not quickly deliver us from this messy pandemic nor return us to normal. It would be a mistake therefore to let down our guard and relax proven measures that protect lives: mask-wearing; social distancing; and rigorous testing, tracing and isolation.

from   THE TYEE     Analysis | Coronavirus | November 27, 2020


Friends of The Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario –

Taking our cues from Public Health Officials, and our partners in this Society, we are postponing all group activity until a latter date.
We are heeding the call to practice social/physical distancing, and we are ensuring that our Board, volunteers, and visitors to our Society activities remain safe and healthy at this time.

We are committed to maintaining the health and safety of our staff and community, therefore we are taking proactive measures to do so.

Should you be doing historical research and need assistance from PGFSO staff during this time, please reach out at:  amolvieda@gmail.com

See Our PGFSO  Newsletter  “Fall 2020”  –

Message from the President  –  David Reesor Burkholder

Fall greetings to Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario members and friends.  What a summer we have experienced. Corona Virus – COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our day to day lives and activities. Dozens of cancelled and postponed functions, reunions and activities.

Cancelled and rescheduled travel plans; restricted visiting with our immuno-compromised family members and relatives, especially those residing in senior and long term care settings.

The challenge of not being able to gather in our traditional rituals to celebrate and honour the lives of those of our community who have died during this COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult.  Birthdays and anniversaries have been cele- brated in isolation from family and friends.

Zoom committee meetings, virtual classrooms and seminars; Zoom worship services; a lot of Face timing, emailing and lots of telephone calls are thankfully keeping us somewhat connected and in touch with each other.

The term “when we get back to normal” seems less likely as we move into this fall with elevated numbers in COVID-19 cases and a return to more restrictions. Fingers are crossed for better results and outcomes as we enter winter and eventually spring 2021.

On a more positive note; the Ontario apple crop was abundant for eating, producing apple fritters to drown in maple syrup as well as making applesauce, apple butter and dried apples for later in the winter.  Many of you are putting your gardens to bed for the winter in anticipation of spring arriving in 2021.

I would encourage you and your families and those folks in your COVID-19 “bubbles” to continue following the recommended gathering and distancing recommendations of our Health departments.

COVID-19 isolation has “given” many of us time to sort through those archival cupboards and drawers we seem to never get around to. Keep digging through those collections for memories and story gems.  There are still many interesting stories to be discovered and shared, similar to our feature article about Ruth (Meyer) Byer in this issue compiled by her daughter Evelyn (Byer) Burkholder who will be celebrating her 100th birthday in early December.

Early birthday wishes Evelyn and thank you for compiling and sharing your mother’s life story.

Stay safe: Stay well: Bundle up: Winter is coming: A vaccine is coming:

Dave Burkholder



The Board regrets that the Annual Sausage and Sauerkraut Dinner normally held in November is cancelled for 2020.

It is hoped that with the easing of COVID­-19  PGFSO will be able to host its AGM in April of 2021, or maybe it will be 2022.