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Be patient with those experiencing restart hesitancy

Guest writer argues that not everyone will want to return to ‘normal’ at the same pace

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of an entire province collectively - albeit hesitantly - sighing in relief, as COVID-19 restrictions slowly start to ease and we apprehensively inch towards some sense of normalcy in our lives.

It has been a long and difficult 15 months. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t suffered - financially, emotionally or otherwise.

Whether our day-to-day lives will return to the way they were in the “before times” remains to be seen, but as we find our way through these (hopefully) last few months of rules and regulations, it’s important to remember that not everyone’s journey back to normal will look the same.

For some people, myself included, the thought of flicking a switch and jumping back into things like packed concert arenas or busy shopping malls invokes some anxiety.

The same can be said for a flood of invites to social gatherings or the return to a workplace that, for many employees over the past year or more, has been set in the comfort of one’s home.

We will need to be mindful in the coming months about others’ emotional readiness for things to go back to the way they were, however that looks.

If your friend doesn’t immediately jump on your invite for a multi-family dinner party? Don’t be offended.

The same goes for our little ones - they have been through the ringer this past year.

School disruptions, cancelled sports, birthday parties via zoom - it’s hard to know what sort of long-term impact COVID may have on our kids’ well-being.

It can be tempting to dive back into our hectic pre-pandemic schedules of soccer, gymnastics, t-ball with barely a moment to catch our breath in between.

One silver lining of this crazy year has been the opportunity to slow down and take stock of what’s really important in our lives. For many, it could be the extracurriculars and weekends away. But for others, simply being present, safe and cared for is enough and that’s OK, too.

So as the fog lifts and we catch a glimpse of a post-COVID life, remember that not everyone will be sprinting for the finish line.

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