No one knows how long exactly the COVID virus will have society shaken up and redistributed into our homes, but we know it will be measured in months. After a week of intense media coverage, directives from our governments and health professionals we are left feeling tired, uncertain, vaguely fearful, and uncomfortable in a way that is difficult to pin down. I think, but obviously do not know, that these feelings may be part of the experience of Londoners early in 1940.
The feeling, as I can most succinctly put it, is “oh boy, we are not on a great path here, this has the potential to get ugly, what can I do?”. I find little satisfaction in the answer: "Stay home, wash your hands". I would prefer to jump into the science-mobile and head to my secret lab and start working on the cure but it turns out this is best left to the professionals, so I'm left wandering around the house with dry cracked hands and trying to re-establish routines around the "new normal".
One empowering ray of hope we is that we, as citizens, can assist by following the recommendations of our leaders and experts and convincing those around us to do the same. This has me feeling that I have substantially more power than simply “keeping calm and carrying on” affords me.
We are 80 years past the first year of World War II which did not yet have that fearful title, but it seems to me that the anxiety, hope, need for reassurance and connection with loved ones, to whatever degree we are experiencing them, are very human feelings. I am, by no means, comparing the event of WWII to our current state, but I am more than willing to compare, and draw some comfort from the idea that this is part of being human.
Now would be a good time to reflect on what to do next week, next month. My wife and I are going to continue catching up on our work and each other. I’m going to run and continue training for the events that we have scheduled this year. My co-workers are going to continue practicing guitar, talking football and spending time with their kids. Add to that a couple of Wednesday night living room dance parties and some home improvements, volunteering and we have a full slate.
We are going to move, be mindful and grateful, support anyway we can and be human.
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