The Seduction of “Normal”

By: Laura Steiner
We begin with a tweet from Ward 1 Councillor Kristina Tesser Derksen:

There’s a lot of perspective here.  The valleys were perfectly timed to seduce us with the summer of gorgeous sunsets, and a fall full of vibrant coloured leaves.  And we fell for it.  Because after a multi-month lockdown full of  nothing but misery who wouldn’t  long for a patio meal catching up with friends? The thought of a long walk through your neighbourhood.  A few moments’ visit with neighbours on a driveway.
The summer infected us with its optimism. ‘There is a second wave coming, but it won’t be as bad as the first,’ it whispered.  And desperate to believe the optimism, and hope, we dropped our guards and fell for it. It’s a human behavior to reach for what we knew as a comfort level.  The tragic part of it  is the pre-pandemic level of busy to a point of frantic activity is gone.  Even with the vaccine, it’s never coming back because it’s been too long.
But what do we have in its place?  That question is the source of so much angst for society right now. So far we have technology that connects us.  Zoom meetings have become the norm in every facet of our lives.  It makes learning, and working from home easier.  However, it can’t beat a smile or a hug from a friend or loved one.  A text message can be sent at any time of day.
The only way out, is through.  Wear your masks.  Limit your trips outside the home as much as possible.  Stay away from crowded events.  Continue listening to the public health authorities.  And when the warm breeze of optimism blows through the next valley play a little hard to get.  Maybe enjoy it blowing through your windows, instead of going outside.
In the meantime, support each other.  Call your friends and loved ones.  Drop homemade food off for your neighbours’ porch.  Get take-out from your favourite local spots.  When you’re buying Christmas presents, visit the smaller businesses first. There are mental health supports out there, and it’s okay to reach out.  The Region of Halton has a number of resources for residents listed on its website.  Halton Women’s Place has a 24 hour crisis hotline at: 905-878-8555.     We flattened the curve once, we can do it again.