I guess the title of this post has two meanings. When will I stop walking? Will it be because I get sick? Will it be because my wife or son or someone I’ve been in contact with gets sick, so that I have to go into self-isolation? Will it be because the province or city completely locks everything down?
And then the other meaning is broader – when will this epidemic end? When will restrictions lift, and some normalcy return? When do I have to stop criss-crossing the street, doing the the covid dance to keep my 2m separation from anyone else?
So which comes first – me being shut down or the epidemic ending? It’s what everyone is thinking. It looks like we’re talking months for all restrictions to be lifted, and probably at least a few more weeks here in Toronto before even a slight loosening. Recent briefings from the Ontario government talked about being prepared for 2nd and 3rd waves that stretch out 18 or even 24 months from the start this past March, and for a gradual, step-by-cautious-step return to what we hope is the old normal over that time. We’re in this for a longish haul it seems.
So when you look at it like that, a certain fatalistic, carpe diem attitude is likely. Remember that Bobby McFerrin song? – Don’t Worry, Be Happy
And can I just take a moment to remind you about some dos and don’ts about walking while we’re in the middle of this:
- Do – keep 2m apart while making space for others by stepping into a driveway or off the curb onto the roadway if you need to
- Do – try to walk on the left side of the street so that if you have to step into the road you can see the traffic coming towards you
- Do – give extra space for someone who might be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19
- Do – smile at your neighbours and fellow walkers 😉 – we’re all in this together
- Don’t – walk about in 2s, 3s, and 4s crowding others off the street
- Don’t – forget to look up from your smart phone
- Don’t – ignore the birds, flowers, sunshine, and SPRING! now that you can actually hear, smell, and appreciate them
- Don’t – be that person who’s so self-absorbed that they actually think this epidemic is all about them and how they’re the only ones inconvenienced by it all
And oh by the way, let’s hope we keep that idea once this finally settles, because waiting in the wings there’s climate change to be tackled, not to mention paying back the $billions borrowed to fight COVID-19. We’ve got a challenging decade in front of us. If the 1920’s were known as the Roaring ’20’s, then this coming decade may come to be known as the Pooring 20’s, or better yet the Soaring 20’s as we not only get back on our feet, we use our new-found resolve to face even bigger challenges. Humans are smart, resilient, toolmakers – 5 million years of evolution have seen to that.
In the meantime, embrace the little things – like a box of Rice Krispies when that’s what you crave.