Winter was coming to a close and all eyes were set on spring-everyone waiting to see the blossoms, to smell the green that was to wake from long slumber, the longing to feel that tickle of happiness in the surroundings, but then , the clock just stopped-the world came to a kind of pause-unprecedented, undreamt, unbelievable and unacceptable. BC government declared state of emergency on March 17th 2020 -schools to remain shut, offices and businesses closed. The ghost appearance of towns for the initial few weeks was bizarre and frightening, depressive and unreal. It seemed like our plane crashed into an unknown world and we do not know how to reach back home.
On the flip side it was nice to see the calm amidst turbulence within us and the nature outside. Everything and everyone finally got time to renew, regenerate, reinvigorate, refresh and rethink.
There were people who began to acclimatize with the new normal, running to fetch essential items once in a while to stores. Social distancing was the new mantra which soon knowingly changed to physical distancing to keep the essence of social fabric intact and alive through virtual socializing.
Many organizations, clubs, families, friends, workplaces found their new “virtual venue” to hang out with a glass of wine, home cooked meal and “corona gossip”. We continued to rekindle our unwavering hope to embrace our pre 17th of March lifestyles.
There were many of us who lost jobs and had to deal with so many additional fears other than Covid 19 itself. The federal and provincial governments irrespective of which political backgrounds they adhered to rose to support Canadians in every possible manner. Substantial financial supports were made available to different sections of population to ensure there was food on every table and anxieties around basic needs remained under control. The government deserves appreciation for all endeavors taken to make Canadians feel being supported and taken care of.
BC did fairly well in comparison to other similar or closely populated provinces of Canada. Every British Columbian deserves a pat for that.
The provincial government was sensitive to understand how much we all wait for the summer and sunshine, so they braved to loosen the strings of Covid 19 restrictions, to give each one of us time to celebrate summer by remaining cautious about our social bubbles. We all sacrificed our spring to be rewarded with this summer respite and we all must be grateful for that.
There are two sets of people-the one who continue to follow the guidelines of health authorities and, who value the finer sensibilities of life and are doing their part to ensure that our Covid 19 numbers remain low. Then there are the other set of people who think they are invincible from the disease, who think self-fun is more precious than someone’s life, who think this whole thing is a hoax, who think bending the rules will not matter to anyone.
It is the second set of people who have triggered the recent spike in Covid cases. Their logic of meeting “couple of people” by bending rules, stands no chance when we look at the long human chain associated with these “couple of people”. By the time we figure out that something went wrong, somewhere, this human chain has become unmanageable and untraceable. Their one mistake can topsy- turvy someone’s life forever. I am in self-isolation these days because a coworker tested positive. I cannot explain and neither can those who might have been in a similar situation, how stressful and exhausting this can be. I feel my sacrifices for the last five months went futile just because someone else did not care to sacrifice.
Please British Columbians, just few more months to hold the line. Just few more months to make some sacrifices on your personal fronts. Just few more months to be sensitive to those who need our assurances –our elderly, our vulnerable populations-struggling with other diseases and compromised immune systems. Our negligence can also lead to closing of business which would have a ripple effect.
So just be patient, be kind, be calm and this too shall pass.
Someday in future we will share our strong stories with our children and grandchildren and narrate them about how individuals supported individuals in this battle against Covid 19. At the same time we will also amaze them with words like- “new normal”, “physical distancing” , “6 feet apart” ,”hand wash” , “social distancing” , “masks” , “bending the curve and not rules” ,”flattening the curve” and we all would smile about the times gone by and how our collective efforts helped us come victorious against this virus.
Be grateful to those who are working behind the scenes and on the front lines- our health care workers, our farmers, our drivers, our grocery associates who are ensuring that our essential needs are met. This was not easy for anyone of them and it won’t be easy for them in the coming months but let us try to make their jobs and life easier by doing our bit.
Listen to the strong woman who stands behind the dais at 3 pm to remind us of our role during these times, think of her as she struggles to control her tears with every death she has to announce. Please understand that every advisory communicated to us is for our safety and wellbeing.
Sit down and think, is bending the rules worth anyone’s life?
It may seem okay to you, but it is not okay.