Getting back to “normal” like three legged race

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I think that the general feeling is that the pandemic has passed, that the pandemic is ending, the pandemic is over. That is absolutely not clear.

Dr. J. Froh

“Re-opening plans” “Vaccine Lotteries” “Post Pandemic Guidelines” “Public Health Urges Caution”

Many of our current media headlines contain some facsimile of the above. As global efforts have ramped up to vaccinate many people, communities across the globe are grabbling with what a post pandemic world really means. Individuals are left to interpret real life scientific data as it is being collected and assess their own levels of risk as public health guidelines are loosened. Will there be a fourth wave? Yes. No. Maybe, we don’t know, yet. In limbo or in purgatory? Yikes, how are we supposed to navigate all of this!

It all seems about as confusing as it was in the early days when this pandemic started. The only thing in my experience that I can compare it to is a three legged race. One of those old fashioned picnic games where two people are partnered up and then have one leg tied to each other so in essence they have “three legs”. Then they are expected to race a short distance together to a finish line. Such an antic would be hilarious, people lurching about, falling (gently of course) but it usually took the length of the race to figure out how to work well enough with your partner to begin to run in tandem. This whole re-opening concept strikes me as the same sort of thing.

Restaurants are now open with some restrictions. I must admit I still am not anxious to rush off and dine out. Fitness classes and outdoor recreation activities have resumed. Not quite ready to resume in person yoga but I am tired of doing it over Zoom. Crowds in shopping centres are popping up once again. The first time I noticed how much larger crowds have become I felt unnerved. Early hour shopping opportunities are ending.

Masks are still required in order to enter most indoor businesses and services but the day will soon be coming where they will not be required. In some parts of North America, mask use has created conditions for dangerous occurrences. People have melted down and become physically violent and there have been reports of use of deadly force. All over whether or not someone should wear a mask. Good grief!

What to do if you are vaccinated but wary and anxious about all of this change? What if you haven’t been able yet to get a vaccine? This seems like some kind of reverse deja vu back from when the pandemic began. As case counts come down, I find myself still waiting for the daily news where I get my sense of virus activity in my city, my community, and within groups of people that I know. But I know that I need to start to take risks, begin the process of learning what the new “normal” is and how to step through this next aspect of our lives.

It seems more important than ever to remember to keep things in a balanced perspective. To make your own choices and not condemn others for their chosen level of risk. If someone you know or care about gets the virus, be compassionate! One day it may feel okay but the next day it might not. Learn to accept what is and go with the flow. Be sensible, stay within your own comfort zone. Expect all of this to fluctuate, we are in yet another time of transition. Remember to be okay with what works for you and others in your life whom you care about.

Stay healthy and safe!