By Ron Baker
By now you know that restrictions incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic are lifting in Saskatchewan. We are feeling ready to breathe once again, without masks. And to walk into places without worrying about whether we are vaccinated. OR maybe not?
While we may say that we are moving into an endemic time, the pandemic leaves a mark on us. We have been so afraid of everything around us that we may not be able to adjust. Adjust to managing our fear knowing that bad things could happen, but life is more than isolation.
How have you survived the pandemic?
Initially, for most of us, there was great fear. Fear reigns too quickly. The mention of a super-charged moment and you and I were ready to fall down in fear, cover our heads and stay home.
We have come to realize that the air we breathe cannot always be filtered. There can be degrees of filtration (and when I’m on a construction site with toxic fumes, an N95 mask is a necessity). But the flaws of mask construction, the distraction of life and even your own forgetfulness can endanger your life. You can choose to remain holed up in a high-capacity filtered room, or you can venture out into the world.
Have you noticed your own selfishness grow? How we talk to each other is less about listening and more about asserting our own opinions. I don’t need to add illustrations – you can fill in the times you have noticed that people are talking past each other rather than to each other. In fact, you can probably prove your own guilt by just replaying the conversations you’ve had these last months.
Research has proven to be unstable while adjusting to an ever-changing environment – which is a generous statement compared to what you might see splashed on social media. Our battle has been to decide who we can trust. Even within what were once tight-knit communities, where we could previously distinguish the wise ones and the keepers of knowledge, distrust has arisen during this time.
Trust has been broken interpersonally, families torn apart, and a fear of big brother has replaced a trust of our fellow humans. The bank deposit we call “trust” takes a long time to build up and a very short time to withdraw. Rebuilding that account may never happen in this lifetime.
We have a choice.
Bottle up in an environment of distrust and destruction. . . OR . . .
Choose love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustworthiness. There is no law, mandate or restriction that can hold these back from changing the world.