Well, we finally have gotten through the #AwfulApril only to look ahead, but it is not a cheerful look, to a #MorbidMay. Even as daily case counts crest in the coming fortnight, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths will not abate as quickly.
Let me give it to you straight, mass vaccination will stretch well past Halloween, any semblance of normal (no masks, no gathering restrictions) is gone until Spring 2022 and vaccine hesitancy – occurring now in the United States as supply eclipses demand – is a real risk in Canada as well. Herd immunity is not guaranteed.
A fourth wave – severity yet to be determined – of COVID-19 will come later this fall, mistakes by federal and provincial officials (they are human and tired) will continue to make headlines, and heartbreaking scenes from around the world because of first world vaccine nationalism and the inability of poorer countries’ health systems to cope with the pandemic will play out for months to come.
Yet, amidst all this doom and gloom which I cannot control, I find solace in what I can control… my reaction and mindset. Now more than ever, an attitude of gratitude can be very powerful for perspective and mindfulness. Time to thank those folks who have helped me (and you) get through the last 14 to 15 months.
Thanks to everyone at the grocery store from checkout clerks to produce and shelf stackers, the bakery and deli staff, and the nice kids sanitizing baskets and shopping carts. To the truck drivers and back-of-the-store teams, regional distribution centre employees, folks on farms and in meat and food processing operations around the country, and hard (and often migrant) labourers across the continent, you are appreciated.
A shout out to the team at the pharmacy (pharmacist, techs, and counter staff) for filling my prescriptions and being there for odds and ends when the grocery store is not an option. To everyone across the pharmaceutical supply chain in Canada – the most secure, reliable, and efficient on the planet – thanks for keeping me, and all of us, healthy given our assorted chronic conditions… oh, and getting #COVID-19 vaccines to us as well.
To the hard-working employees across our city from water and wastewater services, waste management and recycling, public works teams, traffic operations and signals management, OC Transpo employees, police, fire, ambulance, and paramedics, I am grateful that you show up for work each day so the rest of us can work from home.
Kudos are due to local restaurateurs, their kitchen teams and drivers (employed or app-driven delivery services) for surviving and feeding us – after investing tens of thousands of dollars in their premises to open-up, scale back, re-open, shut down etc. – as we comfortably dial-in or order meals on-line and sometimes get snarky (sorry!) when 45 minutes turns into 90 minutes for dinner to show up.
For my friends at the LCBO, Beer Store and boutique wine concessions, thanks for keeping the shelves full and for that great wine-pairing advice when Vintages didn’t have my first choice. Ditto to everyone in your supply chain.
For the volunteers, staff and healthcare professionals at all COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, thanks for your dedication and professionalism. To those of you in our regional laboratory system who have been going non-stop for 14 months, your service has been exemplary.
A special virtual hug to the caregivers, serving staff and administrative teams at The Promenade and Jardin Royal for keeping my mother safe. No doubt many of you reading this column have warm hearts and immense feelings for the tireless service of staff in other long-term care and seniors’ residences as well.
Finally, no amount of gratitude is enough for the intensivists, respirologists, doctors, ICU nurses, other medical and support staff, along with the folks at ORNGE shuttling patients around the province … so many of them are working in a daily world of human suffering, the scope of which we will never truly or fully comprehend while we go about our days of Zoom calls, lunchtime walks and binge-watching Netflix, Crave and Prime. God Bless You!
We are about 60 per cent of our way through this pandemic as long as the vaccinations do their job, we do ours in terms of following public health guidelines, and the long list (which is not exclusive) of front-line workers named in this column continue to show up to support and serve us. Show them some love, they deserve it.
#ThankYou #MerciBeaucoup #MuchasGracias.