Interruption or Opportunity?

Life changes. In a moment. Unpredictably. Here we are in the midst of a pandemic trying to figure out how to be and how to live through this uncertain time. On New Year’s Eve this wasn’t the 2020 we imagined.

In this part of the world we are fortunate so far to have very few cases of coronavirus. Yet over the weekend we heard schools were closing. Yesterday the provincial government announced the closure of all non-essential government services, and the closure of all public spaces. No bowling allies, no bars, no swimming pools, no museums, no zoos or aquariums (admittedly not frequented that much in March in this part of the world), no ice rinks, no play places, no exercise classes and so the list goes on. Businesses are closing. Borders are closed to all but a few. Only time will tell whether all the social distancing will protect those most vulnerable to succumbing to the virus.

Just the same as in other places people have been panic buying at the stores. It’s ugly. Fear and self-interest take over. I know I’m not alone in digging in my heels and only buying what we need. (People! The stores are not going to run out as long as we all shop sensibly and resist hoarding food and household supplies!)

We don’t know how long this is going to go on. It could be a few weeks, it could be months. As I heard on the radio this morning – no one in the world has an exit strategy just yet.

So the libraries are closed and therefore I am at home too. Other things I’m right in the middle of are interrupted. Suddenly there’s time I didn’t count on being my own. Time to read, time to study, time to think and pray, time to be creative, bake, go for walks…time to clean things really well (so that’s not my favourite option)! It’s hard to decide what to start with.

I’m not on my own though. We have my daughter home from university doing online classes for now and my high schooler figuring out how to fill her days (with me trying to walk the line of encouraging time away from a screen). My husband can still work at the moment. Being self-employed this time feels precarious. Our friend who lives with us is also figuring out how her job is going to look in these next few weeks.

Everyone is going to have to be creative, to figure out ways of staying connected and supporting each other…as well as paying all the bills. Last night, the Zumba class I attend happened in an online meeting. One of my friends came over and we joined in. It was good to laugh and dance for an hour. At times when we can’t physically get together with small numbers of people we mustn’t give up connecting and being there for each other. I’m grateful for my church family and small group as well as my extended group of friends. Together we can stop each other going insane. I’m aware others in our community don’t have this support network. How can we be that for them?

If you’ve read to this point you’ve gathered I’ve decided to pick up posting again. I don’t mind if you don’t read this, of course I’d love it if you do. (Over the last year I’ve worked hard to get away from living for likes.) It’s just a place to record my thoughts as we go through this time, a bit of a journal through coronavirus. No official advice, I’m not an expert, just a person trying to live with faith and not fear.

For many of us this could be a reset button. It’s not what any of us expected for 2020, but it could define how we proceed from here as individuals, communities and global citizens.

No biggie then!

I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

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