Thoughts Following Covid-19: Time, Appreciation, and Health
Thoughts Following Covid-19: Time, Appreciation, and Health
BY: AALIAH CARLOS
If there is anything at all that I am sure many of us can take away
from Covid-19, it is the importance of these 3 things: time, appreciation, and health.
For many of us, the reality of Covid-19 was a slow builder. One morning same as any other, waking up for work, catching the subway, noticing some reclusive riders with masks and gloves and others going about like nothing was really going on, not much change in the populations taking the TTC, all seemed, for the most part, pretty normal. Within a few hours, however, you start to hear of the state of emergencies being made, the number of infected rising, businesses to prepare for closures, etc. And suddenly all at once, a new reality seems to sink in. Hundreds, thousands then millions worldwide, of all ages contracting the virus, horrific images surface, death tolls rising at an extraordinary rate around the world, and sheer panic sets into the minds of millions of Canadians.
After work you make the decision to STOCK UP – If you’ve watched the movie “Contagion”, this seems totally reasonable right? So, you rush to the grocery store to find that it really is like the movies! Shelves emptied, lines all along with the store, carts filled with more canned goods then one could ever imagine finishing, this is like nothing you have ever experienced in your life.
Flash forward, and there are international lockdowns, social and physical distancing regulations, isolation requirements. Covid-19 officially turned the world upside down. Although many of the events that unfolded as a result of Covid-19 resembled the movies, what the movies do not show are the revelations in between.
I admit, it is sometimes unfortunate that it takes trying times for us to realize just how truly fortunate we are. Have you ever stopped to think to yourself, why does watch death and devastation in other nations make me feel lucky to be living in Canada?
Similarly, in regards to Covid-19, it is usually when articles and photos of people losing loved one’s, unable to be with them during the last moments of their lives, do the tears start pouring down and maybe that night we hold our loved ones a little closer.
It is true that sometimes harsh wake-up calls like this help us remember that time is really the essence of our lives. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the pressures of society. No matter what age, we are all going through our own struggles. Somehow no matter where we are in life, most of us get to a stage where we feel like “I am just not good enough”, “this is not where I was supposed to be by now”, followed by unhappiness, frustration, and sometimes even depression.
The thing is, we don’t know where we are supposed to be because we are not supposed to be anywhere, the finale is the end, the process is the journey, and often times when we have goals that are not met within a time frame, it is not because you are not where you are supposed to be, rather you are beautiful on your own journey. Time is exactly this, the journey; the events, goals, successes and failures, and most importantly the period in-between birth and death where we are blessed with moments where we can pause, and spend your time with those you fill it with love and hope.
In instances where these freedoms are taken away, and suddenly we feel trapped, lost, and for many, for the first time, a consuming loneliness that no amount of take-out and Netflix episodes can cure. So, in a sense, Covid-19 may have enlightened many of us in the importance of time well spent. Furthermore, time itself ties in very closely with appreciation.
In circumstances where our actions are limited, we may find the space to reflect. I am sure many can relate to realizing how much they missed the simplicity of grabbing a drink on a patio with friends, a hug from our parents and grandparents, human interaction… who would have thought for some of us introverts! As new stages are introduced in the city, Torontonians slowly make their way back into public spaces with smiles and sighs of relief and a new found appreciation for the freedom that previously was taken for granted.
And yet, there is one factor in our lives which, if not previously cherished, has become most important of all – health. Some smokers may have taken this time to quit smoking as Covid-19 is a respiratory disease that attacks the lungs. People who were not avid vitamin takers began to place their faith in any possible remedy to increase their immunity. While it was unfortunate that Covid-19 cases in young people increased around the world, it has placed an important perspective on the importance of health and well being for those who may not have been so health-conscious, as well as a sense of responsibility amongst those who may not have believed they were infected but chose to stay home in order to keep those around them who may have compromised systems out of harm’s way.
This sense of community effort for the overall well being and health for others raises a strong sense of solidarity that often arises in places during times of hardship. I would say Canada and most of its citizens put a strong emphasis on this. For many of us, this was the first time where communal acts of kindness were intentional on a daily basis but also a great example of how cooperation, selflessness, and kindness showed drastic improvements in cases in our cities. Good health and living to see another day, in the midst of all the sadness and darkness surrounding us so far in 2020 is life’s greatest miracle.
There is no denying the negative impact Covid-19 has had and continues to have on the world. We are now seven months into 2020 and we are still practicing cautiousness and cases continue to drop and climb every day. How this pandemic has changed the course of the world’s future, we are yet to see. However, if we can take just the realization of these 3 things; time, appreciation, and health, then maybe we can look back someday and tell of some good that was gained in even the worst of times.