Good Friday and the Easter long weekend is upon the southwest, and there's understandably a much different feel to it this time around during the current pandemic.

With isolation and social distancing having been in place and recommended for weeks, Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said those hoping to get together with loved ones and feel a sense of normalcy will have to wait.

"In terms of family gatherings, this is a time to observe them, but not get together. This really is important for all of us to pull together by staying apart, but socially-connected during the holidays," said the CMHO with the Sask Health Authority.

"It is really important that we continue to practice physical distancing over the next few days and weeks, and find ways of celebrating that we celebrate within our household but then celebrate with others virtually."

With grocery stores feeling a bit steadier of a stream of traffic around the holiday as well, Shahab touched on the importance of that awareness and preparation ahead of a trip to stock up on festive foods.

"For shopping, it's important to go when there's less crowding - just one person, if possible, goes from the household. Have a prepared list, and be efficient when shopping. Be considerate of others while shopping, and of people who are at the till. If you want to wear a cloth mask, that is certainly an option that you can choose to do."

Shahab also noted that there are plenty of opportunities to stay connected to services and all elements of the usual holiday.

"Leaders in faith communities have been reaching out and developing many creative ways of celebrating religious events in a way that does not put members of that religious faith group at risk. I think it's really important to follow their direction."

Pastors from churches around Swift Current are doing just that this morning.

A Good Friday Service will be live on the Swift Current Online Podcast page, running from 9:45 - 11:30 a.m.

That can be found at the link below:

Community-Wide Ministerial Good Friday Service