Living through a pandemic is all so new to all of us.
Who would have guessed one month ago that today we would be in a situation where we have to stay home? Or when we do go out, we have to stay away from others, even our family?
As I sort through all that’s happening, watching the news (and then some days choosing not to), my emotions go through a real roller coaster.
For everything that’s scary and sad, there’s something happy and uplifting, that restores my faith in humanity.
I’m sad that I can’t see my mom after being away from her after a few months. I’m sad that she’s alone in her apartment as her seniors’ residence is not allowing visitors, and residents have to eat in their rooms.
But I’m happy that Mom is safe and well looked after, with her meals provided and some contact with staff. And thank goodness we can FaceTime every day, so we can see each other and talk to each other.
The same is true of all our family, and many of our friends. I can’t see my sister in person, so thank goodness we still have power and Internet and can connect in many different ways thanks to technology. We can “virtually” see our kids and grandkids.
We were sad to leave our friends in Mexico too soon, but can still connect with them as well. We can’t see our neighbours upon returning home, but they are connecting with us by delivering groceries and treats. We visit through the window.
I’m angered by the stories of people taking advantage of others in a time like this, selling tea for $10 a serving with claims that it prevents or even cures COVID-19. Phone text scams, people re-selling hand sanitizer, people fighting in the store over toilet paper. It’s all disgusting.
But then there are amazing stories of people helping others, whether that’s delivering groceries, buying meals for health care workers and other kind gestures. Bauer hockey is making protective shields rather than hockey masks. The company that makes baseball uniforms is producing masks instead.
The economy is being devastated by this as well, and I worry about all the people out of work, the businesses impacted, kids out of school and those missing university. I worry about the long-term impacts on our economy.
And yet, with everyone staying at home, cars not driving, planes not flying and cruise ships in port, our environment is reaping the benefits. Smog in L.A. is down significantly without millions of cars on the road every day, and the canals of Venice are running clear. There’s obviously a disconnect between our environment and our economy, and maybe that’s something we need to think about after COVID-19.
And then there are the many things we have to do without. I can’t watch baseball, can’t have family for Easter supper, can’t even leave the house for another few days. But we are home safe and those indulgences have to take a back seat for now.
Families are spending time together, learning to appreciate just being at home again. People are enjoying time with their kids, sitting down to supper together instead of racing home from work and then to a different activity every night. We’re all dealing with extra time in different ways, whether it’s long overdue home projects, cooking something new with what’s in the cupboard, doing puzzles and board games, or enjoying a good book.
So maybe the silver lining in all of this will be a new attitude, one of gratefulness for all those little things we perhaps took for granted. Maybe we will think more carefully about the environment. Maybe we will thank the doctor, nurse, bus driver, flight attendant and grocery store clerk more often. Maybe we will connect with our friends and family more often once we can. Maybe we’ll support that local business that supported our community in a time of crisis.
It’s up to us to make the best of this, and decide how we want our world to be on the other side of the pandemic, once this roller coaster ride ends.
Writing is one way that I work through my thoughts and feelings. I am writing my own reflections as a way to process what’s happening at this crazy time. It won’t be perfect, but it will help me. I hope you feel free to comment with your own reflections. Be safe.