We all became aware of the pandemic that started in late 2019 and continues to be present today in 2021.
In some areas of the World, things never changed. In some of those, they couldn’t or the authorities refused to implement some of the health measures that the rest of the World subscribed to. In other areas, there were significant limitations placed on the functioning of society, demands for persistent isolation, and maintained distancing with protective equipment like masks. That exists with significant enforcement in many places of the World, including Canada, where I am currently writing this from.
As the vaccine was and continues to be touted as the way out of the pandemic, the effective programs driving troves of people to be vaccinated immunizes them not just from COVID, but there is also an unspoken sound of relief in the minds and bodies of many who had been harbouring fear for a long while.
As a physician in the ER, I was mindful throughout the pandemic to remind friends and family that as healthcare workers, we were at higher risk for exposure, and thus, for them, even in relative proximity, needed to be made aware and maintain distance. This created riffs not just in physical distance, but actual connections, too. Like myself, anyone deemed essential carried an invisible tag of higher risk that some feared and thus avoided.
As the vaccine began rolling out, the doors to liberties, pleasantries, the flow of life and freedoms that we had were opening progressively more, people were able to start getting back to the opportunity of living the way that they were before. But in reflection, was there the appreciation for these prior to this? Did we have as much compassion and concern for the health of one another?
What doors were closed by the pandemic that you are now opening or at least, consider open back up? If there are doors that closed and you are feeling good about them remaining that way, what are they? Connections? Job? Studies? Friendships or Relationships? Travels? Your health?
Rushing back to life without intentional reflection may have us miss the most valuable part of any contemplative period like the pandemic brought about. The excitement or relief is to be basked in, of course, but it’s not something that you are entitled to, it’s an opportunity.
My belief is that when you spend time reflecting on some of the doors that opened and closed before, during, and after this pandemic, your appreciation, mental and physical health will all benefit from you having paid homage to the journey you had just been on. This potent feeling that can ensue from that can have massive impacts on your life and your ability to check-in and support others as they reflect on this, their life, and experiences in it, with more depth, too.