May 14th, 2020
Just like we asked our grandparents, future generations will likely ask us what it was like living in 2020.
My answer might be this:
For us, 2020 started like every new year.
We had many challenges to tackle, but we were excited about what the year would bring, and as always, hopeful the best was yet to come.
Then a novel coronavirus began to spread around the world, and it came to us.
There was fear. The economy was shuttered, and many lost their jobs. Our hospitals prepared to be overwhelmed. Our long term care homes were hard hit, and many older people died. Families grieved.
There was anxiety. We were told to stay home, only go out if necessary, and stay clear of other people. We couldn’t even visit family and friends.
What once seemed normal was gone in a flash. Community gatherings were banned. Schools were closed, and then went online. Professional sports stopped; the Olympics were postponed.
But there were roses among the thorns.
There was leadership. Our municipal, provincial and federal governments stepped up and worked together. The people responded.
There was courage. Our health care workers never wavered. Our farmers, food processors, truckers and grocery store workers kept us fed. Our police, firefighters and paramedics and other essential workers were amazing. They all risked their own health to keep the rest of us safe.
There was isolation, but there was also connection. Our technology enabled us to keep in touch with loved ones, friends and colleagues.
There was caring and compassion. Neighbour looked out for neighbour. People were generous and shared what they had.
There was resilience. We were determined. The glue that binds society together held. We showed what we what were made of. We were worthy of the sacrifices our ancestors had made for us. We laughed more than we cried.
There was belief that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
That we would get through it and rebuild; that life would be better again, even better than before.
That whatever we faced, we could overcome, together.
And we will.