The Pandemic Paradox

Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko from Pexels

This is the last time I want to write about the pandemic. I’m over it — and yet I fear getting lackadaisical. Knowing that many have been (at least partly) vaccinated is reassuring but doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods. We’re still in lockdown in Ontario, Canada as I write this, with a slow rollout of reduced restrictions — like larger outdoor gatherings and maybe actually being able to try on new running shoes. The sense of hope is palpable. There’s another feeling I’ve been overcome with since shit first started hitting the fan: gratitude. I’m not about to get all mushy about the chaos and despair this has caused but when you’re stuck with new circumstances you learn to either sink or swim. Opting to swim, I’ve discovered that I’m capable of a lot more than I gave myself credit for. Am I thriving under the pressure? Hell no, just ask our hamster who I let accidentally escape the other day (he’s fine if not somewhat traumatized). BUT I’m keeping my head above water — and even though treading water is exhausting, I realize I’m ultimately getting stronger for it. We’re all officially survivors now, think about that. We’re living out a sci-fi thriller where brain-eating zombies have been replaced with a lung-infecting virus.

So, what am I grateful for? Learning resilience…that an old dog can still learn new tricks. Not everything will go back to “normal” but some changes will be for the better. Most of all, I’ve learned who my real friends are and what’s most important to me. It’s forced me to slow down — because I don’t do well physically or mentally in front of a computer all day — and to take breaks with my kids (also on their computers most of the day). It has taken a toll on my marriage, a rollercoaster of emotions that culminated in us really take the time to listen and be there for each other. Sink or swim. Swim or drown. This is why I tell people to keep moving.

We’re creating history where “pre-pandemic” describes a former way of life. So don’t be hard on yourself for struggling; we’re all in this together no matter how alone you may feel. Stay the course and when you feel like you can’t tread water anymore, focus on the phrase “post-pandemic” becoming the norm.