The words rocked my world as they settled into my brain. I listened, almost in disbelief.
With the announcement by Dr. Theresa Tam I felt something shift and I felt a loss I had not noticed before, in relationship to Covid19. I felt my head spiralling around all sorts of details. The restricted time frame means so many lost opportunities of quality family and friend time. It means a more quiet life for a long long time.
Two hours later my brain had gone sideways while picking raspberries. It was almost like an awake dream, an alternate time to where we were going from here…..
The year is Jan 1, 2100; the stage is set in an old house living room. January’s weak sunlight lights the room up….
An elderly man and woman are surrounded by two generations of their offspring. Somehow the talk turns backwards to the 2020 Covid19 pandemic that rocked the world for 6 years. Colton begins by saying he turned one just before the lock down commenced and he doesn’t remember much of that part. Annabelle picks up the story and says that her Dad was home a lot then and that for her the hardest part was that she couldn’t see her Nan and Grampa. She laughingly tells the gathered children about the video dance parties she and her Nan had daily and then story time later in the evening. “I’ve always been blessed with a fabulous memory and I can still see Colton and I dancing away to the songs Nan and I choose.
“But Gramps”, asks one of the younger children, “what did the pandemic have to do with the food and oil shortages and civil unrest right across the world?”
“That is an excellent question sweetie” says Colton. “It all started with police brutality and snowballed into the biggest unrest the world had faced since World War Two. In fact there was concern it would become the next world war but the pandemic stopped the unrest at each border. Countries were doing all they could to survive and sometimes it wasn’t easy.”
Annabelle takes up the story from there. “The lockdown kept countries apart but once the first wave was over there were countries that wanted to open back up and others that didn’t. It happened all over Europe, Asia and the America’s. Canada was in a tough position with the USA leading the world in deaths. I don’t remember the number but by the end of the first wave they had almost 1/4 of a million dead. Canada was their biggest trade partner but our government made the decision to not open the border. Which pissed off their crazy president and he froze all trade into Canada. Which cut off a large portion of our food supplies so we cut off their water, oil and energy supplies. It was a time of great transition all across the world as this scenario played out over and over. What was once a global interconnected market place became very local driven and a significant amount of new economy came from finding food solutions within our own country.
“Nans, what happened with the civil unrest that stemmed from the police brutality?” asked a long lanky teenager. “Well” said Annabelle, “that’s a long story young Spencer” and so she and Colton proceeded to outline how sweeping changes happened, albeit slowly, across the world. More funding to mental health, racism training and entire police forces and governments being dismissed. It was a time of empowerment to the collective citizens who kept a steady stream of protects to enforce the changes. It took the better part of all six years for all that change in the background of a pandemic that just refused to slow down. In Canada it was time a time of deep reflection as the Truth and Reconciliation Report was brought into daily lives.
Colton ended the conversation by stating how much it had impacted individual families and not just the world economy, politics and racism. How it had meant long absences between visits with extended family seems physical distancing was difficult for toddlers such as they had been so the bubble had been small. How the repercussions of different family member decisions and risk factors meant empty spots at the Christmas table….
As you can see my mind just ran away with the scenario. Then I had to pull myself back into the present and re balance my brain into what I can control and what I have zero control over. It really is the bubble versus the risk that each individual person feels comfortable with; even within a marriage there can be differences in the responses.
But then the sun has settled over the horizon and dusk doesn’t linger on as it once did. The harvest moon takes center stage in the east and the air has that dry dusty August feel to it. I had spent the day harvesting and processing garden produce and thinking. Way way too much time thinking.
I started the post, I left it, I deleted it and then retrieved it. Then I left it again and now a week later, after a cool evening walk, I have a more balanced view of it. Sort of, maybe?
Life goes on in the foreground of a background of Covid19. Cancer and broken hips don’t wait for it to resolve. The school year will commence in some form as education is itself essential for our children and youth. Working, for many, continues to evolve. Families and friends will or won’t find their gatherings different; it will all be dependent on the collective lowest risk taker.
In the bigger picture Canada, and indeed the world’s, economy will pick up at some point. Travel will recommence but maybe for some the reality that time at home in their own country turns out to be ok. Others will still be sunseekers or risk takers or a combo of both.
The real effects of Covid19 are still coming and the death toll will keep climbing. We can’t suffer from pandemic fatigue any more than the world could suffer from an endless war 100+ years ago. We must stay vigilant but be balanced in our approach. It’s a work in progress for certain in my brain.