In Ontario, Covid-19 numbers have been on the rise. Social circles are being made smaller, and masks are required everywhere.
I am tired. I do not enjoy this “new normal”. I wear a mask everywhere I go – at work, in stores, while picking up my coffee at Tim Hortons. I want to spend time with people without having to sit two metres apart. I don’t enjoy the awkward moment when someone puts out their hand for a handshake.
But I also know that we need to keep doing these things. We must stay diligent. We need to keep doing the things that are not comfortable to keep protecting our vulnerable friends, family members and neighbours.
And let’s not forget to be gentle with ourselves. We are grieving. We grieve the loss of our predictable world. We grieve the freedom we felt. We grieve not having to check if we brought a mask to work. Many of us are grieving because we are not able to gather with our loved ones for Thanksgiving. It feels like 2020 has taken away or changed everything we knew.
It is easy to feel fear, or distrust, or judgement, or apathy. These are all normal feelings. Let’s also remember to have compassion, to respond with wisdom and to stay diligent.
Sometimes in 2020, everything feels unpredictable. What is predictable is that grief is not linear. Grief affects us all differently. We may feel that we are feeling hopeful one day, and struck with hopelessness the next. We may embrace our new lives one day, doing what we need to to move forward, and the next day long so deeply for our lives to be what they once were, that we consider going back to our old ways, even when we know it would not be good for us or for others.
Yes, we are tired. But we have hope. Yes, we miss our world the way it was. But we have seen so many wonderful examples of what our lives and our world can be. Let’s not lose sight of the hope and the good. Let’s keep looking out for one another. Let’s remember to have compassion and understanding – with others and with ourselves.
We will get through this – together.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay connected. Be well.