A business letter usually begins with an introduction or reference to the business at hand. This is not business; its personal.
While I’ve, thankfully, not met you personally, you have been having a profound impact on my life over the past few months. Indeed, not just my life but the lives of my loved ones, my friends, my community, and the world at large. You have made your presence known in a way I’ve never witnessed before.
I’ll admit, I’ve had my fair share of “wake-up, shake-up calls” in my lifetime so far… and in hindsight there has always been something very valuable for me to have learned from each experience, BUT your world-wide-wake-up-call is on a scale I can barely wrap my head around. It’s as though you arrived to shine a spotlight on everything we’ve let slide, everything we hoped someone else would deal with, or anything we simply couldn’t face for whatever reason we came up with. All the cracks in our systems are now being illuminated so that we can no longer ignore what needs repairing, rebuilding, or re-imagined anew. I can appreciate this aspect of your arrival, however, I am personally struggling to try to deal with everything all at once.
In my heart, I believe that your appearance ought to be the beginning of a grand unification of humanity. “We are all connected.” There is nowhere on this beautiful planet of ours that one can hide from you; you’ve encased us in a net of mind-boggling proportions.
This sense of global community is perhaps something you intended. Maybe you’ve been sitting in a quiet corner of the world, hoping humanity would sort itself out and come to the realization that we really are all in this together, although our experiences may be (and in fact ARE, there’s no denying that) VERY different. Yet we did not have this epiphany in time and now we strive to band together in the face of a common enemy. Did you intend to be “the enemy?” Perhaps. It’s possible you actually meant to present yourself as “the teacher,” but we didn’t view you as such, we found it difficult to unite like that. I don’t know. As I said, I hope that we will come together as one during this global crisis, and yet I witness daily a spreading divisiveness… the perpetuation of an Us & Them mentality. It’s hard to watch. I don’t think it pleases you and yet your survival may depend on it. It’s a messed up situation and my mind goes round in circles trying to make some sense of the never-ending, always-changing information about your travels, visits, and evolution.
It’s Mother’s Day today. I’ve much to be grateful for and I actually do count my blessings every day. Your insinuation into my world has made that practice even more poignant. I am safe at home, with my children. We are healthy. We have food, comfy beds, and hot running water. I will never take those things for granted. My little backyard is truly an oasis, now more than ever before. I’ve been laid off from both jobs, but I qualified for some emergency assistance so I do not have to worry about how I will pay my bills this month. Forced isolation has afforded me some time to study, to write, and to work in my garden at the perfect time as it is springtime, the weather is good and there is much to be done. I am fortunate to live in a part of the world where we have easy access to the internet so I can stay in contact with those I care about while staying home. However, I miss a lot of things from the “Before Times.” I can barely believe that refer to our lives before your arrival as The Before Times. It’s surreal and unsettling. That’s quite an achievement on your part.
I miss a lot of little things, like going to the grocery store several times a week for fresh produce and to visit my favourite cashiers. I miss the sassy repartee with the tellers when I go to my bank. I miss chatting & collaborating with my coworkers and the volunteers who I work with. I miss going “treasure hunting” with my daughter at our local thrift stores. I miss going dancing at the clubs that host live music in town. I miss stopping in at a local pub or restaurant on a whim. I miss spontaneous road trips, camping, and family get-togethers. I miss having my friends over for a girls-night. I miss, more than anything, spending time with my most-favourite person… we’ve had a few, properly distanced visits over the past few months which I love, but the physical distance we respectfully maintain feels like its miles wide compared to what I’m used to. Yet, because of you, we do this as we have many in our lives we want to keep safe – many seniors as well as people with compromised immune systems. We feel perfectly fine, but you’ve made it known that you can hide within the healthy just as easily as in the obviously infected, so we respect the requests from our medical experts (whom you keep on their toes daily if not hourly with your chameleon-like changeability) to keep our physical distance. It is hard to do. It sucks. Right now, I really really hate it… but we are doing it to keep others safe.
I understand that it is most likely that at some point, each of us on this beautiful planet we call home will get to know you personally. For some, the encounter will barely go noticed. For others, it will be devastating; life altering. I am not in denial that physical distancing now will prevent you from reaching almost every one of us. But I am keeping my distance so that the impact will be less overwhelming to those of us in our healthcare system. With that said, I am desperately tired of all this separation. I am sorry to have ever heard your name. I am doing my best to learn what I can from your arrival in our collective lives so that I can take something from this experience. I will not be sorry to see you go.
Don’t let the door hit you on your way out…