The Pandemic … from where I sit.


I am sure this is the first pandemic that most of us have ever experienced, and hopefully it will be the last. We have readily identified the downside, the negative aspects and the total inconvenience we have endured for the past year. However, you may think me odd but I would like to go against the grain and say that the pandemic for me has engendered gratitude. How come? Well think about these things.

We have been forced into having little contact with friends and family. We have had no church for a year except online which is just not the same. We seriously miss the friendship and the mingling with other church goers. Living in a Retirement Community has brought its own restrictions. For some while we have had one designated family visitor for 45 minutes, once a week and even then, at a social distance across the room. The whole scenario has caused me to be grateful for family and friends. In future I will always value being in their company and not take it for granted.

Before the pandemic hit I would meet once a week with a friend for coffee and chat – a valuable support to me while caring 24/7 for my wife. I miss that. Not being able to see people has made me extremely grateful for being able to communicate through other means. Thus the phone, email, texting, facetime, zoom and Facebook have become very much appreciated.

The protocol of masks, distancing and sanitizing has been a nuisance, yet even those aspects now bring gratitude. We have been kept safe from the virus and the bonus has been a winter without colds or flu, for which we are very grateful. There’s always a positive side to things.

I am so grateful knowing that for us older folks things could have been much worse. Sadly for many people life has become worse and for some, unbearable. To the many who have lost loved ones, to those who have lost their job and consequently are struggling financially, I feel so very sorry for you. For those who have suffered psychologically from the enforced isolation, I wish it were all over for you. To these people and others who are in adverse conditions because of the pandemic, my heart goes out to you with compassion and sensitivity. I wish things were different for you.

So, how can I not be grateful? My sense of being locked in, being restricted from seeing friends and family, is insignificant when compared to some people whose lives have been so badly disrupted. Thus the pandemic has given me a new perspective of appreciation.

I like to believe that gratitude is never out of place.