Dispatches from Digby by Shawnalynn Cromwell
“Feeling a little scatterbrained, mentally exhausted, almost on the verge of tears and in a constant state of worry?”
“Then it’s not just me!”
As a country, “headlines” are everywhere about COVID-19, the new variants and, of course, vaccines. Are they our panacea or something yet to be proven effective? I am with the former – when it is time for my age group to get vaccinated, I will get my vaccination. We need whatever security the vaccine will give us from this slow-moving war on our lives.
I hate going anywhere now, especially the grocery store. You all know what I am talking about–you have almost finished your shopping, and this happens: “Stand-off in aisle 8!!!” You are facing off with another shopping cart. Your fellow shopper is going in the wrong direction! You are frozen in place as the person gingerly makes their way past you. All the while, you say nothing, because your eyes do all of the talking. “WTF!!!” You are thinking this. Maybe even saying it quietly under your breath. But your eyes are throwing daggers in their direction as they pass you. And believe me, they know it. Their body language is apologetic — as they go past you, they say, “I am so, so sorry!” I practically hold my breath as this happens. After all, this is a slow war and we are forced to be on guard.
In the next week or so we may be facing heavier restrictions. All across the country, the spread of the new variants is increasing the risk of life-threatening COVID-19. I can see closures coming again — some are happening right now. A third wave has arrived, and we seem to be going backwards in this war against an invisible enemy. Some feel once they get their vaccine, they are free to do what they please. The vaccine gives, of course, a false sense of security. This mindset could kill them or another person. Wow — what a grim and gut-wrenching realization! Unfortunately, those who think otherwise are in their own little worlds until it crashes into their orbits.
So, how do we cope with this? I find that I am holding my breath a lot lately — I get so tense and hyper-aware of my surroundings. I read an article about how to breathe more efficiently and why it’s vital in a pandemic. In the article it states that, as human beings, we are “awful breathers” because we breathe via our mouths the majority of the time. When we inhale through our mouth, we are subjecting our lungs to everything in our surroundings! So, our noses are our first line of protection. You learn something new every day, and in this instance, it is almost hourly. Please read the article listed below to find out more about the importance of breathing in a pandemic.
We are social beings, and the fact that we cannot interact with others face to face is fueling our fatigue. But we as humans are much stronger than we think. All across the country, we are reinventing the way we socialize. We are adapting our usual pastimes and hobbies by adding in the pandemic protocols. Doing this is helping to quail our mental and emotional fatigue in this pandemic.
The next few weeks will be a test of our fortitude and patience. Please, let’s all work together so that our tiny province of Nova Scotia can keep being the world’s envy. Let’s win the slow war.
Shawnalynn Cromwell is a community ambassador with Inspiring Communities’ nested initiative Turning the Tide in Digby. Shawnalynn is a writer, changemaker and active community member in Weymouth Falls.