The Year of Living Dangerously

With two days of 2020 left, I’m sure we are all letting out a collective sigh. A friend wrote in her Christmas card to me this year, ‘The Lost Year’. That pretty much sums it up. While some of us were lucky enough to have a roof over our heads, food on the table, the companionship of a family, partner or animal, many weren’t. We read about them, heard about them, maybe even knew a few people with Covid 19 who survived, got better and moved on. I knew three people. That’s a lot for a virus that seemed, for the most part, a distant menace to me. I don’t have parents anymore, and didn’t have to see or suffer the ravages of our long term care facilities, or visit a lonely parent by a wave through a window. I’m sure that would’ve taken its toll as it did on many. I knew three people who lost their parent/s to covid and were not able to see them in their last weeks of life. The sadness and loss this year has brought to so many is incalculable. Again, I feel extremely lucky. I don’t have my own family, but I bubbled with a few good friends, saw my dog peeps every morning at the park, got to sleep next to my furry daughter, (who brought so much comfort and warmth at the end of the day), was able to work this year fairly isolated (as a realtor there is little contact with crowds), while thousands in minimum wage jobs struggled every day not to get infected, and got to play my favorite sport, golf, up until recently, which was one of the few ‘covid-approved’ sports. It’s dumb luck that I live in Canada, and not the US, which is raging with dissent and fear and hatred, while we got CERB and healthcare for all. As this year closes, it isn’t without the losses I haven’t experienced (higher rates of domestic violence, loss of work, businesses, homes and loved ones) but it did have its upsides; the air is cleaner, animals are gathering where hordes of tourists drove them away, people are finding meaning in simpler things instead of consuming, and families are coming together under one roof as many people work from home. Whatever 2021 brings, we will be a wiser race, and hopefully will start to realize that we cannot infringe on or take advantage of nature without consequence. That never ends well. Perhaps a renewed respect for our planet and all things on it, and less concern for ego-sized leaders running amok who create a hell on earth for most people, will be our future. Here’s hoping. Until then, stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands.