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Posted: November 22, 2020

Locked down but not locked up

By David B. Savage

Op-Ed Commentary

As winter arrives, the pandemic worsens.

Across our world, COVID-19 spikes. Fear rises.

I am sad to the depths of my heart.

I am alone.

I had plans to visit my sister and her husband during the holidays. She lives in Kamloops, a seven-hour drive away. Our provincial health leaders advise me not to travel even within British Columbia now.

I had plans to host my daughter, her husband, two of my grandkids and my nephew for a Christmas supper at my new home. My nephew lives in Calgary. My daughter is a teacher in Cranbrook. She is in constant contact with hundreds of students. Calgary is a hot bed of infections now. I am advised not to bring family into my home.

I had hoped that I could visit my son, his wife and my soon-to-be born granddaughter in early 2021 in Simi Valley, California. California is a hot bed of infections now. Canada will not be reopening our “undefended” border with the United States for many months into 2021.

I had hoped that I could visit my daughter, her husband and my two grandkids in Toronto. Ontario is a hot bed of infections now. If I travel to them, I will need to quarantine for the first 14 days.

I had hoped to have a friend from Calgary visit me next weekend. Our Premier advises against cross border travel.

I had hoped to visit my brothers in Kelowna and Calgary in the next 90 days. I am advised not to travel.

I live in Cranbrook in the Kootenay Rockies of British Columbia. We have few COVID-19 cases relative to the many places I have family and friends. We are locking down. In person, physically distanced meetings are now phone calls or virtual meetings.

I live alone. I cannot touch others whom I love.

I have been touched this year, by the nurse at the blood donor clinic and the dental hygienist.

The health officials advise me not to have others visit me in my home or me visit them, even in public.

I had been preparing supper for friends in my home once a week. I am told not to do that now.

We are in a physical lock down similar and more critical than last spring. Fear is escalating. Isolation is escalating. Emotional depression is escalating. Divorce is escalating. Harm at home is escalating. Unemployment is escalating. Businesses are shutting down. Dreams are dying.

While I am sad to the depths of my heart, I am a very fortunate man. The pandemic is complex. Even during these scary months/ years, there are many gifts we have and can give to others.

My hoodie early this cold morning states; “There is a crack in everything. That’s where the light gets in.” by Leonard Cohen.

There are cracks in this lock down. We are not locked up. We can choose not to be prisoners.

In my home, I am surrounded by things that give me joy; photographs, books, music, media, my kitchen, my writing, movies, family stories, the sound of the creek below my windows, … In my home, I have what I need.

In my community, every day I have joy walking in the Community Forest, the peace park, the community, the TransCanada Trail… In a few weeks, there will be snow on the ground and I will snowshoe, downhill ski, backcountry ski, … New fresh perspectives to photograph and write about arrive every day.

In my home office, through the Internet, I connect to my family and friends around the world.

With my smartphone, I talk to people I care about every day. I see the articles and pictures they post on social media.

In my neighbourhood and in our world, I give to those less fortunate than me. More than money, I can give attention.

With my volunteer commitments through Rotary International, Mediators Beyond Borders International, the Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, I make a positive difference. I learn. I grow.  I serve.

With my coaching and consulting clients, I make a positive difference. And they teach me. They feed me.

With my spirit, I seek wisdom and guidance. I receive guidance and insight.

My awareness is that while we comply with the strong requests of our political and health leaders and while we witness the horrific statistics of global, national and local infections and deaths escalate, we are locked down, but we are not locked up. We are physically alone but connected to our world like never in history.

I am alone. And I am more connected to the world, my community, my family, and friends than I often admit. At any moment, I have the privilege of having a conversation with any one of my thousands of connections by virtual meeting, a phone call, an email.

I can explore possibilities with my peers in France, California, New York, Peru, New Zealand, Yukon, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, France, Turkey, Vancouver, Calgary … And I do.

I can laugh with my friends and family. I can tell family stories to my grandchildren. I can walk with a friend in the forest. I can write. I can lay on my back on the floor and listen to Glenn Gould, Pink Floyd, Chris Stapleton.

I am safe, healthy, active, and have the resources I need. I am loved. And I love.

I am alone yet I am very connected to my world. I can simply call anyone I wish to connect with right now to talk and listen.

We are in a lockdown, but we are not locked up.

When I feel lonely, I sit with my emotions and acknowledge what I feel.

There are many people in your heart who would love to hear from you today. There are many people in your community and our world that need your help. We all need to be recognized and heard.

In this pandemic, I am grateful.

In this pandemic, I am very sad and alone. At times, lonely.

And I have the gift of connection with people that care about me and I care about.

We are not locked up. Pick up your phone and call three people each day. I call three every day, they inspire me and remind me.

Hello…

Let’s talk soon.

Together, we matter. Together, we lift each other up to even greater heights.

I am amazed at how resilient we are.

Lift up others. Get outside. And take great care of your body, mind, and spirit. Every day.

We are locked down but do not have to be locked up.

There are cracks in this lock down. We are not locked up. We choose not to be prisoners. And that is how the lights gets in.

Hello.


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