After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we in Ontario find ourselves in yet another 28-day shut down, advised to stay home as much as possible, work from home if you can, and to limit gatherings with others.
The routine is not new, in fact most of us are experts in the field of shut downs at this point, and while many, myself included, feel that this latest shut down is a case of ‘too little, too late’, we are all doing the best we can to get through this mess, and to get on with life.
Everyone I have spoken to in recent weeks is sick and tired of this pandemic. Restaurant owners are hurting, as are many small businesses, particularly those who rely on customer traffic. Students are frustrated, employers are frazzled, and many are hurting; hurting financially, hurting emotionally.
Even my own family doctor expressed frustration during my most recent appointment last week. Frustration at not being able to see her own adult children for months on end, frustration that so many of her patients are suffering during this pandemic due to cancelled and postponed procedures, delaying crucial treatment for many. Frustration at the sharp increase in depression among her patients. Frustration that, more than a year into this ordeal, we are still bickering about whether we should be wearing masks and distancing from one another.
I felt for my doctor during that visit. As a family doctor she aims to help people, she strives to help her patients improve their health and their lives, and this pandemic has become a barrier to the level of care that her patients deserve.
Teachers also are struggling during this pandemic. The past two school years have been impacted in a big way. Students have been pulled from their classes, adjusted to online learning, then thrust back into class amid confusion and fear. It must be heartbreaking for teachers to see students struggling through no fault of their own, to see students dealing with the isolation that this pandemic has brought upon us.
Without question our elected representatives at all levels of government are sick of COVID. This pandemic has upset the daily, monthly, and yearly routines of virtually all government departments. Our elected representatives have had to walk a line between what health officials say should be done versus the realities faced by their at times angry constituents. They have been screamed at and threatened, and they have all been subjected to the second guessing of the masses. I don’t envy any of them during this pandemic.
After all of these months, there is little comfort to be found in lights at the ends of tunnels, we have been hearing about the light getting brighter for months, yet we seem further from getting back to normal than we did six months ago.
If you are sick of COVID-19 and all that has come along with it, you are not alone. From the beginning of this pandemic we have heard loud and clear the vocal minority who have pushed back against virtually all measures proposed to combat this virus. We have heard the chorus of anti-maskers and the conspiracy theorists throughout this ordeal, while the vast majority have been quietly obedient, though frustrated, hoping to get through this pandemic with our sanity in tact.
None of us is enjoying this experience. None of us would want to endure this sort of pandemic ever again. We are all exhausted, our nerves are frazzled, and we desperately want a return to normal, to see our family and friends again without social distancing or those pesky masks. Throughout this pandemic I have done my best to remain positive, to be understanding of the fact that this pandemic is a new experience for all of us, including our elected representatives and healthcare professionals, but like everyone else, I just want this ordeal to end.
We have heard countless times throughout this pandemic that ‘we are in this together’, and while I have appreciated the fact that we are all in the same boat, I will be quite happy to step ashore and watch this boat sail away.