Headlines are screaming at us, people on social media are spreading bad information, influencers are trying to convince us it’s all fine, and no one can seem to talk about anything else. The coronavirus has not only made many people very sick, it has gripped our collective imagination and made us fearful of what’s to come.
Many of us have not experienced something on this scale before. I vaguely remember the H1N1 outbreak, but Canada didn’t seem to be as affected (or it was, and I was not paying attention because I was a dopey teenager at the time). Certainly none of this panic buying (which I can only compare to memories of Y2K, and people stockpiling everything in bunkers) and fear mongering.
It’s easy to be scared right now. Stock market plunges and doom and gloom predictions are hitting us from every angle. Schools in my neighbouring province, Alberta, are to be closed indefinitely after the Spring Break. Uncertainty about jobs and recessions are mixed in heavily with fear for loved ones and even our own survival.
But during this whole saga (has it only been a month?!) there have been such shining rays of hope that it is hard not to be optimistic. There are grand-scale gestures, such as companies rethinking their work-from-home policies and automatically allowing sick pay for those who need to quarantine. I lean more towards the smaller, personal everyday incidences that show us that kindness and love are still very much alive and well.
- People are all over the internet, offering their neighbours any support that they can if any are quarantined
- Health care workers are getting applauded by members of the public as they go to work
- People in lockdown in Italy are singing off of their balconies and joining together in a chorus
- Grocery stores are making kits for the elderly of all the items they need to stay healthy, from toilet paper to hand sanitizer
- More and more posts are being shared about only buying what you need to ensure there is enough for everybody
- A local woman here is offering free dog walking services for those who can’t take their pet out
We are in for hard times ahead, there is no doubt about that. But we are showing that we are resilient, caring, and at the end of the day, each and every one of us is human. We’re going to need that strength and kindness every day to come out of this stronger.
We’ve got this, guys. Be responsible, be kind, be strong.