By Darren Lum
Seeing the snow-covered driveway reduced in size from its uncovered state seen the rest of the year after the past few snowfalls made me think of how much our worlds have diminished.
This has occurred from the rise of divorces, separation from loved ones such as grandparents in hopes of reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and the isolation we have all experienced in not being able to gather in large social settings – albeit with a period of time when we did with the COVID-19 protocols we’re all accustomed to when at indoor gatherings.
Our memories are enriched by experiencing things with others. They take on greater depth when it is shared. Does it even matter to anyone but you, if you don’t have the opportunity to share it?
The question about what you’ll take with you to a deserted island is already a lost cause because it’s generally accepted any prolonged time isolated leaves a person just wanting another person.
Yes, there are people, who are perfectly content to be on their own, but for most people even one person can provide a break from one’s own solitude once in a while.
There’s no denying that COVID-19 is not something to take lightly by anyone, particularly the immunocompromised and elderly people. We must take precautions for them. Vaccinations are vital to getting back to where we want to be. It’s worked for past diseases such as Polio. They may not be 100 per cent, but nothing is. Omicron is still with us, but vaccines can help reduce hospitalization. The latest variant is not to be taken lightly. The amount of people in ICUs is proof of that.
There’s a certainty that people are coming together on their own to regain the social connections lost to the early part of the pandemic when vaccines were not available and so little was known about transmission of the novel coronavirus. Vaccinations doesn’t make anyone invulnerable against contracting or preventing transmission, but it has helped with preventing hospitalizations. There is a balance between the risk of contracting COVID-19 and to not satisfy the social need to connect. We all must make our own decisions when seeing people.
Get vaccinated, wear your masks when required and we’ll all be able to accept a level of risk to share the space and love of others.
This effort isn’t just for those other people, but our neighbours; our friends’ mothers, sisters, daughters, grandfathers, fathers, brothers and cousins.
There is great value of having in-person interactions. I know my father always takes on an improved disposition once I’ve seen him for a couple of days. At 85, he’s lost all his friends, who have died to sickness or old age. I’m close to half his age and know the challenges of finding friends, I can’t imagine what it’s like at his age. It’s the impermanence of the shared moments that have been noticeable most during this pandemic.
The driveway with its ever encroaching snowbanks threatening to completely consume the path to the garage without a regular effort is a metaphor of our lives in the pandemic. During the winter it seems like an endless struggle. However, keeping the perspective that it’s important to remember winter will end and so will the pandemic. We just need to keep the effort going and our path to home will be clear in time.