Here we go again. On Friday afternoon, the Ontario government announced new restrictions in the province, and the news really got me down. I was so sad. Pre-announcement, I knew there was a possibility of restrictions on account of an increase in cases of the Omricon variant, but I was remaining hopeful that the worst of this pandemic was behind us, and we’d be forging ahead with antigen tests and boosters. Instead, we’re back to what it seems to me like the beginning of the pandemic. We’re not quite in full lockdown mode, but we’re now limited to having a maximum of 10 people in our homes and reduced capacity at restaurants and event venues. It’s not even that socializing with 10 or fewer people in my home is what’s really bothering me. It’s that restrictions have come back into effect. We’ve lived nearly two years of pandemic life, and it feels like we’ve made zero progress!
I know we’ve made progress. I do. The beginning of the pandemic was horrific. So many lives were lost. We didn’t know much about the spread, vaccines, and tests. Now, we do.
I know that I’m lucky. I live in Canada where I have had access to vaccines. I have a stable job that I love. I have been able to visit with my family and friends fairly regularly (and safely). We are healthy.
Even though I recognize these things, the ongoing “stay-at-home and limit interactions” guide is tiring. I know I’m not alone.
Work brings me a lot of joy. Overall, every day, I’m so grateful and excited to do the work that I do. Some days are better than others, of course. On the great days, my students are actively engaged in class, and our discussions are interesting. I have time to read and think and plan. I have productive meetings with colleagues (who I have now officially met in person once!). I feel happy to be in my gorgeous home office (and avoid a long commute in winter weather). On the tough days, I am drained. I am unmotivated. I am tired. I don’t want to open my computer. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to see myself on Zoom. It’s hard to start my work day.
During the fall term, I was preparing to start teaching in person in the winter term. I set up my office at work, and I spent time thinking about how my existing online course would be transformed to the in person environment. I met my colleagues. I bought a parking pass. Last week, the university announced that we’d be starting the winter term online. The planning and replanning has been tiring.
Flexibility and adaptability continue to be two characteristics that I must continue to draw on!
In my last Covid-19 reflection post in February 2021, I wasn’t seeing people so regularly. I had bubble people, and I didn’t expand my bubble so much. I wasn’t vaccinated. Since then, my life has changed a lot! Once my family and friends were vaccinated, we started socializing fairly regularly. We spent a lot of time outside throughout the winter, spring, and summer. By the end of summer and beginning of fall, people were socializing inside, and my personal life felt normal(ish) again.
Since February 2021, I bought a house with my beau, and we each sold our previous homes. Buying and selling in the crazy real estate market was very emotional. Co-ownership has been emotional. Cohabitation has been emotional. My beau and I worked through a lot of the “how the heck do we live together” things throughout the summer months, and this fall has been fun and relatively stress-free. I could now probably write a blog post (or several) about cohabitation in your 40s!
We both like to entertain, so we’ve had many meals with others in our home, we’ve hosted weekend guests, and we’ve just celebrated Christmas with three parties (spread out so that we’d be safe). Our home has been filled with joy and laughter – just how we like it!
Christmas Eve is in four days. I won’t be seeing my family as I normally do, so this year is going to be different. But last Christmas was different. The year before that was also different. So what’s a normal Christmas? I can barely remember! That said, I’m excited to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home. We’re going to start new traditions. We’re going to eat, drink, and be merry!
And best news of all – as long as there are no more announcements – my sister and her family are coming to visit! I haven’t seen them all in person for 2.5 years, so I’m thrilled! Facetime has been fine, but it’s not the same as an in-person visit.
Besides the recent restrictions announcement, I have been okay. We are heading into the cold, dark months of winter, which will be challenging, but I am looking forward to skating and cross-country skiing, so I can stay active outdoors. In the meantime, I have been going for nearly daily walks, and they make me feel good. They make me forget about Covid-19. They make me observe my surroundings. They give me time to visit or call a friend. Walking is good medicine!
HOW TO HELP
There are so many places that could use our support. The Food Bank remains a good place to send funds now and always. The Region of Waterloo has additional suggestions for ways to help. If youâ€™re not in the region, I encourage you to look at your governmentâ€™s website to discover organizations in need.
If youâ€™re not able to provide financial support, other acts of kindness go a long way. Kindness, patience, and conversation are always appreciated.
Be well, everyone!
Previous reflections in the age of Covid-19: April 2020, August 2020, February 2021.