It feels almost unfamiliar that one month ago I was innocently crossing the Windsor-Detroit border on my way to a Dermot Kennedy concert with my boyfriend about to share a room with 5,000 strangers. The date was Wednesday March 11th, a date I ‘ll remember as when reality flipped.
That same night as we returned from Detroit an alert came on our phones that the NBA announced its suspension following the results of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19. The subsequent few days included cancellations and postponements of other major sporting leagues and events, Canadian universities moving their classes to online formats, closure of some non-essential businesses and the urge for Canadians to return back to Canada and cease their travelling.
As communities, provinces, and a country, we have adapted to what some would call a “new normal” although, I believe is better described as our “current reality.”
Social-distancing and self-isolation are two terms that were quickly added to our vocabulary. Last week I was in a major funk realizing that my commitment to social-distancing has affected my mental state. The unknowns made me feel uneasy, nervous, and anxious. All the small joys in my life that I had to look forward to have either been postponed or cancelled including my graduation, upcoming concert, and my friend’s destination wedding which doubled as my vacation.
During a time like this I believe that we rely on each other more than ever. We rely on each other for being safe, for comfort, and for social opportunities via apps like Zoom or Facetime.
I’m trying to deal with this “current reality” as best that I can and talking about my emotions to my friends and family has been great. We will experience our own disappointments, frustrations, and anxieties while dealing with our current reality. For example, I get nervous about graduating and not knowing what jobs opportunities will look like following the pandemic. I get nervous that this will leak into summer and I won’t see my friends or boyfriend for another few months. I am disappointed that our extended family will not be celebrating the Easter holiday and now we probably won’t get together again until Thanksgiving which is another six months away.
Although generally I am struck by feelings of anxiety, frustration and sadness, sometimes l feel guilty that I have these emotions because I know that people are in worse situations. But it is okay to be sad without feeling guilty. We can appreciate that things could be a lot worse but we can still be sad about the situation of our world.
Amongst all this I have found the importance of gratitude. Gratitude has helped me prevail through the uncertainties. I am blessed with a home, food, clean clothing, and my health. I am grateful that I have electronic access to seeing family and friends and continue to communicate with them through this pandemic. Identifying things you are grateful for can truly make our days seem a little brighter.
Our world has shifted in a way that leaves many unanswered questions and abounding unknowns. However, I know for certain that we have one another even through the practice of social-distancing. Although social distancing has brought us physically apart it has also brought us together in many ways. Despite the mental turmoil of our current reality, I am grateful for the connections I can still create during a time where I feel a little more lonely and anxious than usual.
Do not be shy to reach out to loved ones through this period of time that our world is in and stay social the best you can while also keeping that physical distance.
To my friends & family, if you need anything please reach out. I am ready to talk, listen, and help out where I can. 💕
– Liv ✌🏽✨