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It’s Been a Year of COVID-19… A Pandemic Perspective

It’s Been a Year of COVID-19… A Pandemic Perspective

I hear you. We’ve had enough of COVID-19. 

Like many of you, I’ve dealt with maskne, dry skin, and dry mouth from wearing my mask all day, plus overall “Covid fatigue.” I don’t mind working and studying from home, but I also would love to have some in-person connection instead of Zoom meetings all the time. My patience with the loved ones I live with is running thin and now that winter is here, it’s getting harder to go outside. I said I wouldn’t let the fear of the virus get to me, but in fact, it’s getting to me.

I religiously listen to the news in the morning, anticipating the new number of Covid cases being announced, to be followed by the latest update of vaccine rollouts, as well as hearing about those against it. I roll my eyes, turn off the news and switch the radio channel to music. Five minutes was long enough before getting into a negative funk. My house is either too hectic (especially at the most convenient of times, like wanting to take a rest) or so deafeningly quiet that I can hear myself think. 

Although you may feel like things are better because you are staying home and the kids are in school, it doesn’t mean that we are out of the woods just yet. In order to avoid further community spread of the coronavirus, particularly during winter, we still need to take precautions like staying home and keeping social gatherings small and limited. This may mean your mental health and wellbeing suffers; we are social beings after all. Plus, with Covid-fatigued being stretched to Zoom-fatigue, I’m sure that your eyes are burning from all the screen time. Frustration aside though, we still need to remember to take care of ourselves. 

So what can we do? 

Putting on a pair of gloves, hat and scarf may feel like a daunting task in the winter, but going outside, even if briefly, can really boost your mood. Connect with nature, take your dog out for a walk (they don’t mind the cold, trust me), or simply just breathe in the fresh air. It could also act as a socially-distanced meet up with a friend or family member, mask or not, so you can both clear your heads and stay active together. Change up your routine (like walking your dog first thing in the morning), pick up a new craft (I just started to crochet), and try to enjoy the winter without needing to go anywhere.  

Dress up (or dress down) and create outdoor activities for your mental and physical wellbeing, while keeping your distance. 

While Canada is currently in the grips of a second wave of the virus, morale seems to be deteriorating as fewer people seem to be wearing masks and washing their hands, and more people are going out and gathering in large groups. This theory is widely reported amongst our American counterparts, such as in Indiana and Arizona. There are even anti-mask rallies popping up across Ontario, such as in London, where participants are saying that wearing a mask is an “infringement upon their rights.” 

However, Global News reported, “Countries that have resorted to widespread mask-wearing have had far lower death rates and shorter outbreaks.”

Let this be a reminder that you aren’t wearing a mask for yourself, you’re wearing it to protect your neighbour. If you care enough about your friends and family, and the health of our whole population, just follow local guidelines and pray no one else gets hurt. 

To help ease the infection rate in Ontario, new restrictions were put in place for hot spots in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Regions. Limits on restaurant and bar hours included ceasing indoor dining, gym closures, and limiting contact with those outside your household, as among the new guidelines. The rising cases eventually caused the second province-wide lockdown that we have been experiencing since December 24, 2020. That means no more traveling to Niagara Falls, Prince Edward County, or anywhere for that matter, red-zoned Torontonians, I’m looking at you! 

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On the bright side though, this time feels a lot more hopeful than the lockdown we experienced earlier last year! For instance, there have been promising trials of a plant-based vaccine, with further results (and hopefully distribution) by early 2021. Since we already knew what to expect after our first lockdown of nothing but the essentials, we seem to be managing a lot better.  You may recall stocking up on toilet paper, making a final trip to Winners, and getting your nails and hair done before salons shut down during the first lockdown. This time, the weekend before lockdown may have brought up a sense of urgency, but all that was lowered after surrendering to our priorities. 

If we shift our mindset away from being “stuck at home” to accepting our circumstances instead, we could then focus on small changes and do what’s important for everyone’s wellbeing. Although we are sick and tired of being sick and tired, we still have to remember to take care of ourselves and protect others as well. Stay healthy, wash your hands, stay home, and wear your mask! 

In the form of an uplifting video, here is a reminder to do all of the above:

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