In this together
By Sue Tiffin
We’re all in this together.
a mantra that has been repeated around the world, around the country,
around the province, around the county, around our towns as our world
encounters the spread of COVID-19, a virus which can make any of us feel
awful and poses exceptional risk to our most vulnerable and to the
stability of our health-care system.
It might not feel as though we’re all in this together, because we’re staying apart. It might feel isolating. It might exacerbate anxiety. It might make us feel helpless and inconvenienced and either busier or bored than we would like to be.
But as it always does in times of joy or sorrow, the community is pulling together. While you might be at home, not having seen friends and families or seeing the familiar faces in passing that make living in a small town so charming, community members have been learning technology, organizing and sharing both live and pre-recorded videos online to keep us connected.
Meghan Reid of Just Movement Fitness has been broadcasting exercise videos from her living room to keep us moving. Nancy Therrien, Jaime Bilodeau – alongside little Holly Carpenter – and Rob Muir have been broadcasting Haliburton County Public Library storytimes into our homes from their own homes. Brent Coltman – who you can read about in next week’s Minden Times – started a Facebook page called Music From Home that quickly gathered more than 1,800 people, many of them local, in one place to share songs with each other even when in different places.
Being apart means parents and teachers will be working closer than they ever have before, to ensure the education of our children is not drastically interrupted during a time that can be frightening for our youngest community members.
Archie Stouffer Elementary School has been calling students to action to help from wherever they are, decorating windows with heart decorations for frontline workers, or being sure to call someone who might feel alone. We’re all learning, together, sometimes as we go, to adapt, be more patient and get creative about how we work, shop, and help and celebrate each other from a distance.
And even while apart, we are helping and celebrating each other. Staying home means the people in our community who are still going to work to keep us safe and supported – doctors, nurses, first responders, pharmacy staff, public health officials, other health-care professionals, grocery store staff, local government officials, volunteers, cleaning and janitorial staff, food suppliers, restaurant staff, bank employees and those working in the transportation industry – will be safer, with less exposure to the public.
Remember this when you feel at your most lonely: we’re all in this together. We’re all feeling the stress, the worry, the anticipatory grief. And one day, when we’re physically together again, we will all remember how we had to be apart to get through it together, and we’ll be closer than ever before.