A commentary on the last 3 months by Alisa Farr

The Great Pause, is what it’s been called. I’ve heard it be described as The Great Confusion, The Great Frustration. The Great Opportunity, The Great Pivot, The Great Diversion and The Great Theft.

Whatever one wants to call it, the past 3 months have been impactful. We have all been affected in one way or another by this virus. It has been controversial and confusing.
Don’t wear masks, they’re useless. No, no, wear masks, they’ll save lives. Bathe in hand sanitizer too…. Oh wait. It’s sold out. Well, you can make your own with… oh wait, it’s sold out. Also, this respiratory attacking virus requires copious amounts of toilet paper. Also, sold out.
We will not close the borders. Actually, we are closing the borders. No international travel.
Let’s make it no international OR interprovincial travel. Also, we’re going to start tracking you. Maybe even have the police show up at your home if there are more than 5 people there.
Stay inside. No, go outside and get fresh air, but not in the parks, especially not at the beaches and more especially not with your kids.

FYI. You’ll be schooling your kids at home now. Don’t know grade 8 algebra? Really? It’s easy. Oh? You don’t actually use it in your everyday life but you should still relearn so you can help you kid. Did we mention that your job requires you to work from home.  It will be easy. We’ll use Zoom.
Was it mentioned? You can’t work, unless you’re an essential service. Truck drivers, grocery store workers, mechanics, postal and courier services, doctors, nurses, teachers, daycare workers, maintenance workers (and yes, these are all valid essential services), but if you’re a small business or self employed, please close your doors for the next 3 months. You can’t pay your bills? It’s okay. The government is going to give you 2000 taxable dollars every 4 weeks, but only if you make less than $1000 a month, because if you make $1010 per month, that will be enough for you to pay all your utilities, feed your kids, pay your rent, insurance, fuel for your car and car payment.
Make sure you’re still taking care of your physical and mental health. Also you should make sure your keeping up with your daily exercise to keep you healthy, but don’t run, you may breathe moistly upon someone. Well, maybe you could wear a mask, so your moistness doesn’t mist upon someone else.
Cross the street when someone is coming towards you on the sidewalk, you know, presume they are carriers of the plague we are currently fighting.
Expose yourself. Live your life. Build your immunity. Stock up on all the zinc and hydroxychloroquine. No, actually don’t, that’s a farce. No natural way to fight this except get a mandated vaccine.
It’s a great big conspiracy. Big Pharma manufactured this. Did you see the YouTube… ?

I think I’ve summed up the bulk of the last 3 months and I think to repeat that this time has impacted all of us in one way or another, is not an understatement. If conversations I’ve had over the last few months are any indication, I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that many have been confused. Even in our confusion, we have now been ‘distanced away’ long enough to create new habits and patterns with the way we interact with each other and the world.  Many still feeling fear and confusion about what we ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ do, as we begin to emerge from our dens.

For a species that has fundamental needs to be close, to connect, to commune, out of all of the ‘this and that’s’ of the past 3 months, it’s the distance in the physical human connection that has me, honestly, a little out of sorts. In a technological age where physical human connection has withered, many now express a fear or uncertainty about something as good for you as a hug.
A hug. Something that can lower our stress levels, make us feel safe and supported, protect against illness, boost our heart health and reduce our fears (healthline.com 2018). I had not fancied myself much of a hugger-at-large before Covid-19, but I miss it. Not being able to hug reminds me that hugging someone, be it a friend or a family member, is luxurious. When we have all kinds of ways to reduce our stress and balance our nervous system, build resilience to stress and be less reactive in the world (and yes, my own business is about helping people do all of those things) let’s not overlook the power of a hug and what human connection can mean to our physical, mental and spiritual health.
My hope is that as we continue to emerge from life inside, looking at our changed internal and external landscapes, that we haven’t been so programmed to fear our human connection and the powerful healing and luxurious sensation of a hug.

Alisa Farr

ps. I am grateful to all the essential workers who worked tirelessly across the globe. I personally, have immune compromised parents whom I would not want to encounter this virus or any other for that matter, that could risk their lives.

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