COVID-19 endemic and endgames

It’s been a while since I’ve written an update on the state of the world, or at least my little corner of it, as COVID-19 continues to influence our lives. The messages the media and news outlets of the world are starting to align again; this time, however, the announcements are starting to sound the reversal of imposed restrictions and a return to a life more open and familiar.

The World Health Organization isn’t ready to call it an endemic, at least not yet; you will no doubt remember this is the same WHO that waited too long before declaring COVID-19 a pandemic in the first place, so I expect there will be no early pronouncement of endemic conditions until there is little chance of the organization’s credibility being further harmed. This leaves the governments of countries around the world left to their own devices in order to determine when it is safe to remove the restrictions they imposed upon their citizens and allow them to return to lives they may find more familiar and comforting than the ones they lived when pandemically limited.

With credit and link to CTV News’ post of February 16, 2022

A year ago in May, Alberta’s premier announced ‘the best Summer ever,’ and by fall we were experiencing the Delta wave. In December, merely a week before Christmas, the Omicron wave was upon us, spreading so easily and quickly that testing could not keep up and true case counts will never be known. The latest wave saw patients admissions to hospitals eclipse that of the Delta wave, but this time, when the ICU numbers started to creep up, they did not exceed the levels that nearly brought collapse to the health care system in November. The difference with this wave was that our Chief Medical Officer of Health told us that if we were experiencing any of the symptoms, with testing revealing over 40% positivity, we should assume that we had COVID and to isolate until the symptoms, or 5 days had passed.

This past December also brought another gift to the world, the first anti-viral treatment was announced for approval, and we took another step closer to an endemic reality. The announcement of this important pandemic milestone roughly aligned with the announcements a year previously, of the first of the COVID-19 vaccines were proceeding to emergency approval.

For many, this sparked the first signs of stimulation of signs of movement in the dormant lifestyle we once knew (and perhaps had been previously lost to). The Boil was going to return, this was your final warning to hold tight to your Pause learnings. The warning was clear, the temperature is about to be turned up and you’re on notice, what comes with a return of freedoms and familiarity might not be all you’d hoped for, or need to live a happy, healthy life.

Had it not been for false starts, and hopes previously dashed, it might have been easy to get lost to the warmth of what was familiar and could be again and push rapidly towards it. Like a diver doing interval stops while surfacing, the call of the comfort of warm air, puffy whiteness of clouds, blue sky, and warm winds hidden just through the ripples of clear blue water is strong, but by now you know that to avoid pain and suffering, you must have the discipline to avoid surfacing too quickly. The border that separates our two states of existence, one with COVID infringed rights, and one that allows the ability to roam freely, beckons and tempts you to step over it, and you will, when you decide it’s the right time to do so. Do not rush, but be ready to seek help if you can’t find it within you to take that final step.

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a sunday of memories and hope

It’s the afternoon of Father’s Day and I’m lounging on our patio which continues to be our primary living space when the weather co-operates and allows us to relax in comfort. I find myself listening to Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers in Arms‘ album and thinking of my father, now missing for the second of these days. I now know I’ll spend all the Father’s Days ahead celebrating his memory and all that he contributed to my life.

I awoke this morning from a blissfully solid night of sleep; the kind it takes a few minutes for your eyes to un-gum from. Bae prompted the fur kids to wish me a ‘Happy Father’s Day’, but that instruction went unheeded, and despite this I willingly allowed my arm to become pin cushion later in morning after Bae had prepared a wonderful French toast and mimosa breakfast that followed the coffee that finally got the rest of the gunk cleared from my eyes.

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winter solstice, COVID mutation, and numbness – part two: the emergence of em·pa·thy (ˈempəTHē)

Today is the shortest day of the year as Winter Solstice arrived at 3:02 am. My mind is turning to a very much needed break, albeit one that will be very much different from the Christmases and New Years I’ve experienced before. Winter Solstice might just be my second favourite day of the year, because with its arrival the darkness of night slowly gives way to day, until the arrival of what actually is my favourite day of the year, Summer Solstice.

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it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas – in isolation.

My Artistry has been elusive this week; it simply hasn’t wanted to come out to be exercised. Given the past couple weeks of pain in my neck, spiking workload due to covering for a peer, and my effort to find some passion in my volunteer efforts, I haven’t found the energy or focus enough to write. Time, has been something of an abundance (so much gone from my life and routines since March), so I can’t use finding time as an excuse for not writing, but a mind gone numb blocked my flow. As I seem to have found myself in a moment of clarity (and no, it’s not from being enhanced), I thought I’d take advantage of it, and give the keyboard a workout.

i see and use you every day, but I never get joy from you until I can let the Artistry flow
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pur·pose/ˈpərpəs/

With this, my first non-prologue post, I’m going to address the title of this blog and it’s intended message. 

I have no illusions that the statement ‘how COVID made me healthy’ has the potential of being controversial, nor do I believe that the statement does not have the real possibility of being upsetting to others given how their own experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic might have impacted their homes, hearts and minds in a negative or harmful way.  To those who are upset by the title, I hope that you will come to  appreciate how COVID influenced and changed my personal reality; I am utterly sympathetic to your realities, even without knowing them, and apologize for any upset I may have inspired.

I want to be clear: for me, the sparks that ignited change to my life and wellbeing are not ones that I have any reason to believe would have occurred without the very specific circumstances of the impact of the COVID pandemic leading to the Pause of my life as I knew it; the cocooning that followed allowed the eventual signs of newfound health to begin to show themselves, and a for a new state of healthiness and wellbeing to begin to establish itself within me.  I have faith and believe in my heart of hearts that I am not the only wounded soul to have found some light and reason for hope and growth amidst a period of time in our lives when our respective senses of normalcy have been turned upside down and made foreign.

Let there be no illusions about my thinking: I am not an anti-masker, I am not a conspiracy believer that says this is pandemic is fake news, developed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election in the United States, nor do I feel for a moment that COVID-19 is something that should be left to run it’s course in order for the human race to develop herd immunity.  I have had friends, associates, and coworkers who have contracted the virus: one whom spent weeks in an ICU bed in an induced coma in order to become healthy enough to fight the virus and recover, and another whose elderly mother was informed of her positive test on a springtime Friday, who then had her health decline over the weekend and was removed from life support the following Monday, eventually passing away the next day.  I work in a world where COVID’s impact on society is unmistakably present and a constant reminder of its influence.  My heart goes out to those I know, and the multitudes of strangers (to me) who have lost loved ones after their having become infected by the virus, or whose lives have been irreparably changed as a result.

I am a believer of destiny, that I am sum of my experiences, that there are rare moments in time that occur for a reason, and that the lessons we learn from how we react to those instances and circumstances that are beyond our normal control shape who we are and our realities.  Sometimes we’re blessed to have the ability to choose, to be able to make an active, purposeful decision regarding how we will allow a moment in time will affect us, while conversely there are other moments in time in which we have no choice, that the will of that moment is forced upon us.  I came to the realization after months of numbing isolation started to ebb somewhat thanks to the onset of summer, that I had a choice: I could either allow myself be steered down a dark depressing path of isolation, or I could choose to embrace The Pause, and to take advantage of finding some positives in it, however small, in order to actively take steps towards finally discovering how to a healthy adult, and to find my purpose for the life still head of me.  This blog, and it’s entries, I hope will make it abundantly clear that I choose the later option.

My intent for the blog is to share with others my journey through the COVID pandemic and how despite the global impact, there is light, and benefit to be found to it, to share what that light has been for me, and how COVID made me healthy.    In time, I hope to hear and share your stories. 

pur·pose (ˈpərpəs)

With this, my first non-prologue post, I’m going to address the title of this blog and it’s intended message. 

I have no illusions that the statement ‘how COVID made me healthy’ has the potential of being controversial, nor do I believe that the statement does not have the real possibility of being upsetting to others given how their own experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic might have impacted their homes, hearts and minds in a negative or harmful way.  To those who are upset by the title, I hope that you will come to  appreciate how COVID influenced and changed my personal reality; I am utterly sympathetic to your realities, even without knowing them, and apologize for any upset I may have inspired.

I want to be clear: for me, the sparks that ignited change to my life and wellbeing are not ones that I have any reason to believe would have occurred without the very specific circumstances of the impact of the COVID pandemic leading to the Pause of my life as I knew it; the cocooning that followed allowed the eventual signs of newfound health to begin to show themselves, and a for a new state of mental growth and wellbeing to begin to establish itself within me.  I have faith and believe in my heart of hearts that I am not the only wounded soul to have found some light and reason for hope and growth amidst a period of time in our lives when our respective senses of normalcy have been turned upside down and made foreign.

Let there be no illusions about my thinking: I am not an anti-masker, I am not a conspiracy believer that says this is pandemic is fake news, developed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election in the United States, nor do I feel for a moment that COVID-19 is something that should be left to run it’s course in order for the human race to develop herd immunity.  I have had friends, associates, and coworkers who have contracted the virus: one whom spent weeks in an ICU bed in an induced coma in order to become healthy enough to fight the virus and recover, and another whose elderly mother was informed of her positive test on a springtime Friday, who then had her health decline over the weekend and was removed from life support the following Monday, eventually passing away the next day.  I work in a world where COVID’s impact on society is unmistakably present and a constant reminder of its influence.  My heart goes out to those I know, and the multitudes of strangers (to me) who have lost loved ones after their having become infected by the virus, or whose lives have been irreparably changed as a result.

I am a believer of destiny, that I am sum of my experiences, that there are rare moments in time that occur for a reason, and that the lessons we learn from how we react to those instances and circumstances that are beyond our normal control shape who we are and our realities.  Sometimes we’re blessed to have the ability to choose, to be able to make an active, purposeful decision regarding how we will allow a moment in time will affect us, while conversely there are other moments in time in which we have no choice, that the will of that moment is forced upon us.  I came to the realization after months of numbing isolation started to ebb somewhat thanks to the onset of summer, that I had a choice: I could either allow myself be steered down a dark depressing path of isolation, or I could choose to embrace The Pause, and to take advantage of finding some positives in it, however small, in order to actively take steps towards finally discovering how to a healthy adult, and to find my purpose for the life still head of me.  This blog, and it’s entries, I hope will make it abundantly clear that I choose the later option.

My intent for the blog is to share with others my journey through the COVID pandemic and how despite the global impact, there is light, and benefit to be found in it, to share what that light has been for me, and how COVID made me healthy.    In time, I hope to hear and share your stories. 

pro·logue/ˈprōˌlôɡ/

The shutdown that COVID-19 caused in March 2020 brought something to my life that I hadn’t expected, and it wasn’t the obvious.

After seven months of social isolation, during what would have previously been a rare reflective moment but had now become somewhat the norm in my suddenly no longer rushed lifestyle, I came to the realization that I was becoming the person with qualities I aspired (and failed) to attain my teenage years and twenties, and was no longer feeling lost and without goals, dreams, or purpose.

Had it not been for the horrific COVID 19 pandemic, which to date has infected 42.4 million people and taken 1,141,567 lives world-wide, I might never have elected to make the choices that finally opened the door to growing up, and becoming a healthy adult.

This blog is about my journey into self rediscovery and the awakening within me of goals, dreams, qualities and interests that seemingly had withered and gone dormant, lost to adult responsibilities.