This post is a follow-up to a previous one, where I wrote about how I was coping during these unusual times. I apologize in advance if my writing seems messy, and perhaps not-so-coherent at times.
My feelings are still fairly raw, and we’re still in the pandemic, even though the BC government has introduced a plan to gradually re-open the province over the next few weeks, starting after Victoria Day.
I am not aiming for a Pulitzer price anyway….
A glimmer of normalcy…
Last Saturday, I met with a friend for the first time since Covid-19 broke out in Canada, back in March.
Yes, it was an in-person meeting. We went for a walk, practicing physical distancing.
It was an incredible afternoon. This sentence sums it all.
Not so OK over the last 3 weeks
I have always prided myself in having a better sense of perspective than a lot of people. 7 weeks of semi-lockdown showed me it wasn’t always the case.
Examples are plentiful:
- I miss being able to go to the grocery store for last minute errands, or because “I want to”. Supermarkets are working on reduced hours and right now, I find grocery shopping rather stressful.
- I miss the public swimming pool and going there when I want to. Rec centers have been closed since March.
- I miss going to other social places like restaurants, movie theaters or the bowling alley. These have also been closed since March.
- I miss being able to travel. I had to cancel my trip to France, and don’t know when overseas travel will be possible.
- I miss my family, friends and acquaintances. I still don’t know when I will be able to see them again, in person. I noticed I really needed in-person interaction. Virtual contacts are no longer enough.
- I had to put up with my neighbors and their noise way more than usual. The result of high unemployment and school closures.
- I had to postpone some parts of my life. Because of the on-going confinement and uncertainty, there are some things I am unable to do at this stage. I don’t know when I’ll be able to do them.
- Boredom has started setting-in.
All of the above started wearing me down about 3 weeks ago. I had been coping relatively fine until then.
A new appreciation of my privilege
As I mentioned before, I had the luxury of staying home during this pandemic. Staying home is definitely a luxury most people can’t afford.
My heart went out to the people of India who were ordered to stay home, without receiving any assistance from their government. Lots of Indians found themselves struggling just to stay alive. The same happened in many countries.
Back home, I will remember March 18th for some time. That day, both my fridge and pantry were almost empty. I decided to place an online order on Spud. I was shocked to find out they couldn’t deliver it before 2 weeks. This had never happened before.
(PS: if you want $ 20 off your first order on Spud, use the code CRVAN–SIRSTA upon checking-out).
I decided to go to a supermarket instead. I was equally shocked to see the store pretty much empty…of goods. Most of the shelves were bare. I had never seen this in my entire life.
For the first time, I experienced food insecurity. I had to buy what was still available, rather than what I wanted. I gained a whole new understanding for the people experiencing this every single day.
Some items were hard to find for the first few weeks after this pandemic started here. Panic-buying has since rescinded. There was actually never any shortages of any goods in Canada. Supply simply couldn’t keep up with demand at one point.
A deeper gratitude for living in Canada
I have lived here for 14 years. The ride hasn’t always been easy. I felt like I was on a roller coaster more times than I can count.
Yet, I have always been grateful for the opportunity to live in Canada. Lately, I noticed this gratitude has deepened. I’m not sure why.
Maybe it’s because our various governments have all been singing from the same hymn sheet to deal with Covid-19. And our elected officials have also been doing what they’re preaching.
Maybe it’s because our various governments have been providing us with various levels of financial assistance so that we can stay home while still being able to pay for our bills and keep our businesses afloat.
Maybe it’s because our healthcare system is equipped to deal with this disease and is pretty much free of charge.
Maybe it’s because all of the above made us listen and be disciplined for the most part. This is how we flattened the curve.
Maybe it’s because I am seeing the stark divisions south of our border. I feel for the American people too.
Well, this is the million-dollar question. Like most people I have no idea.
All I know is that the end is definitely near, at least here in BC.
I also know that we will get through this, eventually. Mankind has weathered much worse and come ahead.
It’s just a matter of time and extra patience….