Coping with the Various Waves of COVID-19

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone’s lives one way or another. We have seen this workplaces transition to working fully remote and many people working from home. We have seen this where students transitioned to completing school online and lost interaction with their peers during lunch and recess. We have also seen this in Long-Term Care Homes, where visitors were not allowed for many months and only recently have been able to visit loved ones again.

So, how do we all cope with these drastic changes in our lives? As a very social person who enjoys being in the company of others, I found it extremely difficult not to hang out with friends and family. To be able to see my loved ones in the fall and winter, we braved the cold and stuck to being two metres apart outside and would talk and share laughs until we froze our butts off. What I also did to cope with this was FaceTime my loved ones. Although not the person-person interaction I usually enjoy, it was close enough, and I made the most of it. Again, sharing laughs and having conversations with people outside of my household helped me get through the many waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What I also did was put a focus on self-care. Taking part in self-care is different for everyone. What I found helpful was allowing Friday nights to be my downtime. This included taking a bath, watching (and often rewatching) a show or a movie, and making my room my safe space and sanctuary. Self-care also included going on walks and taking part in the occasional online shopping.

The different waves of COVID-19 also allowed me to reflect on who I am, both at a personal level and a professional. At a professional level, the different waves allowed me to reflect on what I want to accomplish in my future career. We have seen numerous movements that attempted to create an equitable world for everyone. Examples include the riots and protests for George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and Breonna Taylor. These social movements made me realize that I want to help create more change within different institutional systems. With the ample amount of time to think and reflect, I reflected on the world we live in and the ways it can (and some may say need) to be changed.

I feel I am a very different person from when the pandemic first began in March 2020. Like so many, I experienced loss; the loss of my ability to do the things I enjoyed doing, the loss of experiencing new things, but mainly, the loss of loved ones. Between the beginning of this pandemic and this past summer, I lost two people extremely close to me. These losses and not being able to grieve how I would usually, with many friends and family around me, allowed me to feel all the feelings I had. Although it may have been a new way to grieve, it was helpful. I also reflected on the person I was becoming. Over time, I have grown to enjoy who I am becoming and have begun to embrace the different changes. The pandemic has allowed me to become more Intune with who I am on many different levels.

As mentioned, COVID-19 has had a tremendous effect on every single person’s life. People coped with the different waves in different ways. But COVID-19 has allowed many to reflect on their personal and professional values, something I know I did and felt was very valuable.

Author: D.R. (FCO Placement Student)