Oh, my, omicron!

Glimpsed at the Montreal Botanical Gardens, December 2021 (photo credit: Mela Sarkar)

Dear BILD readers, after nearly two years of living with COVID-19, we had hoped that this holiday season would be one we could all celebrate in older, more accustomed ways, close to family and friends in groups as large as we could wish. Here in Canada, and indeed in most places where this blog reaches, the recently-emerged omicron variant of the coronavirus has unfortunately put a damper on those plans. Gatherings have had to be kept small and local, contacts have had to be limited.

But all pandemics do come to an end. We who will have lived through this one will undoubtedly be a little the wiser for it. BILD members and guest bloggers will continue to post their musings about belonging, identity, language and diversity throughout the coming year. Early in the new year, our very own Journal of Belonging, Identity, Language and Diversity will bring out the first of two issues devoted to papers from the 2020 Language Policy and Planning conference that wasn’t, but that came off very successfully in August 2021 instead; we are working hard on the initial planning stages of a hybrid version of the conference, scheduled to take place August 25-27, 2022 (note that the Call for Papers can be found here). Regular issues of the journal are of course also in the works. As always, we welcome your submissions, and are encouraged by the heightened general interest in the journal.

Let us hope that eight months from now, when late summer rolls around in Montreal, we will once again be able to gather in person to tell each other about our ongoing research and our future projects. The connections are strong, in this community of scholars who care deeply about language and how people use it. Our networks have continued to grow during the pandemic. In many ways we are stronger. We have learned to hold on to what we truly value.

Photo credit: Mela Sarkar, Toronto, Canada, 25 December 2021

For now, BILD is taking a two-week break. Regular posts will resume on January 16th, 2022. In the meantime, we hope our readers will be kind to themselves, curl up, rest, and renew their local connections. Please stay safe and well. Come back in the new year reinvigorated and refreshed. We look forward to exchanging with you then.

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