Do You Remember?

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been going through this for two years. 

The constant mental anguish, for many the fear, the psychological battle within ourselves and that which has been projected onto us.

But there was a time before constant updates from our so-called leaders, before the constant fear pushing people beyond their thresholds. A time before our peers and neighbours were scared of each other, sending us all on an uphill battle combined with a downward spiral. 

I know that most of us do remember what it was like prior to early 2020, but do we really remember? 

The world we live in now is labeled and we are constantly reminded of the “New Normal”. With so many echoing the words of our world leaders, media and government officials, maybe they forget what it was like before. The “New Normal” is all they know. 

With many I talk to, I’m not sure they even realize that this state of emergency is still in effect, and that we lived our whole lives without SOE’s. Over the course of the past two years, they have locked us down, shut down our businesses, shut down our sports and social events, driving us into deep, dark holes of despair. They have given them back to us dangling them like a carrot in front of our desperate noses, and we smile and thank them for a job well done. They do it again, over and over again, each time dangling the carrot and loosening our leash, to then tug on it with their forceful hands and overpowering strength to pull us back into submission. Each and every time they give us something back, it’s with new conditions. And we thank them. A shorter leash and a smaller cage, an ongoing cycle.

It was never like this. We were free. Sure, in the greater context we were never really free. That is usually people’s argument. But we lived how we saw fit. We took care of ourselves and our own.

It was the best time, but even then we didn’t appreciate it.

A time where things were easy. 

You wanted to go to a friends house, you would go to a friends house. You would chat about every day occurrences and funny things that happened in life. 

A time where no one was concerned about your private medical history. We never dreamed of telling anyone what we went to the doctor for, whether it be for a flu shot or a medication. It was not a thought, ever.

Kids would wake up for school, excited for another day to learn, spend with friends, attend events and make plans. Plans for after school and for the weekend. They would walk out the door with a happy and carefree gait. Those smiles and laughter were infectious. 

We walked out the door happy to go to work and happy to make money. People would laugh and smile, jokes were made and relationships were forged.

People would hold doors for one another when going into public places. There were no glares or verbal attacks from people. It was an unspoken respect for everyone. 

You would pack up the family and head out for a trip. It may have been a road trip to visit family members or it may have been a getaway vacation. It was so easy. 

I try to continue my life like this, to go on as if nothing has changed, as I’m sure many of you have. But it is so difficult, there is so much anger, hate and divide in much of society right now, so hard to escape and avoid. For some, there are abnormal, unfair and unjust restrictions placed upon us, making it so difficult to ignore these massive societal changes. 

We need to push through, and as we do, we need to remember what it was like before there was a stronghold of every aspect of our lives. 

We thought things were tough then, but it’s nothing in comparison to the difficulties and mental anguish that everybody has now. 

When I say this I’m not even speaking for one side. I’m speaking from all sides. There are people who have been ruined from this I will never come back. They won’t be able to handle going back to the way things were, let alone the “New Normal”. They now live in a constant cycle of fear. It is not their fault…. they have been conditioned. 

The damage that has been caused to people  who have taken a stand is devastating. I do personally believe that these are some of the strongest people within our society and I hope that they can move on. We need these people. 

As our course changes, which it has over the past couple of months, you see some people who seem to be begging for things to remain the same. People begging for lockdowns and shut downs. These people will always exist moving forward and we MUST engage them as often as possible. 

So will it ever return to normal? 

I honestly don’t know. I keep a special place in my soul open for hope that this will happen. I hope it will happen for our future generations, I hope it will happen for us so we can live the rest of our lives with true joy, connections and happiness. 

We must keep that hope, as there is nothing normal about the “New Normal”.

I for one, will not accept it.

Photo by Joice Kelly

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