With all this “free” time now, I finally have a moment to just sit down and write. So here are some ramblings to help me (and maybe some others) through this weird point in time.
Nothing feels real right now. It all seems like the prologue to a movie where 238 years in the future where students are in a history class learning about this point of time. It seems like uncertainty is the name of the game right now. It makes me feel awkward more than anything. This combination of fear and resilience coming together at different times and with different strengths. Like in my mind, and to everyone around me, I say it will all be okay. Then, however, I decide looking at twitter is a good idea. My heart starts to beat faster. Will it get better? Will people listen and forgo selfish desires? Will they follow recommendations made by people far more qualified than them?
Times like these show people in their truest forms. The people who claim their freedoms are paramount and continue to go clubbing on Saturday nights. The people who give into the fearmongering and rush to the supermarkets to buy bulk everything. (I have lived in Calgary all my life and this has been the only time I have ever seen completely empty shelves at Costco.) The people who see this as an opportunity to profit selling toilet paper in grocery store parking lots and hand sanitizer on eBay capitalizing on the fact that they went to the stores days before others. To be blunt, it sucks having to see people like this. As someone who will see everyone in the best way possible — until proven otherwise — when my perceptions break, my hope follows. If this is how people react in a crisis that hasn’t reached its peak, how will they react when far worse things happen.
But to focus on the negative means to only see one side of the story. Some people do continue to help me find the sunshine on these cloudy days. Like the people who are offering childcare to parents who continue to work during school cancellations. Like the people who are cancelling trips they planned months ago knowing that even if they are not among the people affected most, they can spread it to the vulnerable populations. And most significantly, the health care officials who continue to put their own lives in harm’s way to support the well-being of their communities. The people who listen are the most valuable assets in our population today, so I hope people continue to do so. I hope that people don’t underestimate the impact they have by simply staying at home and following the requests of health officials.
To all those who still find it hard to come to terms with everything, what helped me the most was to look at the sunshine both metaphorically and literally. As I am typing this piece right now, looking out my window and seeing the blue sky is the most comforting thing. It reminds me of what normal is and how the sooner we listen to what is being requested of us and follow through to the best of our ability, the sooner we will be able to return to normal as we know it. Even if, most likely, normal won’t be completely the same, it will be better than the current situation. So while I am telling you to look to the future, don’t forget to utilize the time we have right now. Take this time and finally let the tension that has plagued your body for the last few months leave. Get some rest, catch up on a TV show, read, write — do whatever makes you happy. Stay connected with your friends: call them and send them messages to check up on them; don’t let physical separation keep you away from them emotionally. Overall, don’t let these times of uncertainty take away everything you love because if you relinquish all control now, it will be hard to regain it.
I know that this time feels especially difficult for my fellow seniors. It’s the fact that everything about our final months of high school seems to be up in the air: will we have a graduation ceremony, will we be able to go on our grad trips, or even if we will be able to see our class one more time before we go our separate ways. It is hard (trust me the thought of not being able to walk across the stage is really saddening) but the only thing we can do is hope. Hope that people recover and are able to regain their health. Hope that treatments for people who are most vulnerable become readily available. Hope that life will return to life as we knew it at some point. It honestly might not happen before June. However, if we are all safe and well, isn’t that a success and celebration in itself?
So my final words to everyone are simply this: look for the sunshine on these cloudy days wherever it might come from for you. We will get through this.