Right. With that out of the way … deep breath … write.
January started well enough. The world and its politics continued spinning along. Then came February. With Valentine’s Day and all its accoutrements, life still seemed normal. Shops, physical and virtual, had morphed from Christmas themes to embrace hearts, bears and cupids.
Then came March, and bam! Gone was the cherubic cupid, here was contagious Covid, and the start of a period of frustration that continues to this day.
I had to work from home during the lockdown. The biggest frustration was coping with a new regimen that had been thrust upon me with little preparation or training. Where there used be the banter and bustle of a normal workplace, now there was just the restricted rectangle of a computer screen for all manner of communication whether it was verbal, written or everything in between.
My days were spent flitting between Zoom or Google Meet instead of a Conference Room or break room, clearing documents on PDFs and softcopies that refused to be edited, cursing the devices when the screen froze or programs hung or inexplicably shut down, wasting time searching for files that never arrived or ended up in strange shared folders. Technology will never replace human contact and spirit.
I also volunteer at a library which, obviously, had to shut its doors and my heart cried for the regulars I knew would be adrift because there was no access to reading materials, companionship and a quiet refuge. I think about these regulars constantly, wondering if they are safe, if they have food and care, if they are mentally up to the conditions imposed upon them.
Each day, I watch as the news reported the ever increasing toll on human life and on humanity. Each day, I cheer and salute every single one of the frontline workers, praying for their safety and continued good health. Each day, I pray for a cure, a solution to the shortages of supplies and aid, and for the horrible numbers to stabilise.
I’m not going to ask why this virus descended upon us. Ebola, H1N1, SARS … these should have taught us that viral pandemics are inevitable. But I am going to ask why things became such a disaster. Those earlier viral spreads should have taught us that by being vigilant, by being prepared, by being well stocked in supplies and medicines, and by taking charge and having a robust plan, we should know what to do, how to do it, and do it for the sake of our citizens. Yet there are leaders that cannot lead and citizens who care little about each other.
This virus is novel. How we should deal with it is not. Yet, here we are.
To be honest, things are not the worst where I am currently. Despite the quarantines, masks, swabs and restrictions to our movements each day, I am grateful there is adequate healthcare, enough facilities, and a low death toll. I am grateful I still have my job and I look forward to resuming in my library. But I know not every country is in a good place at this moment and it frustrates me.
To every single person who has been affected by this virus, or lost someone, I am deeply sorry. I have no words that can take away your pain. To every one who has had to make sacrifices in one form of another, I thank you. To every one, be safe.
RDP ~ FRUSTRATION