One of the built in defense mechanisms that comes with being a Newfoundlander and Labradorian is the ability to deflect worry and ‘real world’ concerns when the going gets tough. That’s not to say that we can’t have empathy or doubt when it comes to the global happenings that surround our windswept isle, but largely, we Newfoundlanders and Labradorians tend to live a charmed life.
Things like global terrorism, famine, the immediate, traumatic effects of global warming and, up-until-now, pandemic, have always been problems from afar. Part island living and part our own quaint uniqueness allows us to disconnect and make that divide. “That’s their issue, not ours.” We feel and try to lend a welcome ear and hand when needed, but unless the problem is at your doorstep, it’s hard to walk in those shoes.
Well, like Ferris Bueller said, life comes at you fast. COVID-19 has been upgraded to a global pandemic. It is no longer a ‘foreign’ (as in outside of the island) problem, but it’s everyone’s problem.
Schools have closed, businesses limiting hours or shutting down entirely. Major sporting events and leagues have postponed or suspended their seasons. It’s real and getting more real by the minute.
Given the fluidity of the situation, throwing in stats on the state COVID-19 and its spread across the province, for our purposes as a weekly print outlet, is largely useless. The situation is growing and spreading faster than we can publish, and government agencies are rightfully acting fast to prevent further positive cases across the island.
What I can say is that, for the first time in along time, I’m genuinely worried. Not about myself – but for family and friends.
My wife is a nurse, so is her sister and mother and many of our extended friends and acquaintances. They are fighting tirelessly on the frontlines and are, arguably, among the most at-risk among us.
I worry about my family, those able-bodied and those immunocompromised, worried that they take proper precautions, use common sense and just ride a wave of good luck all the way to the end of this live-in-nightmare.
Mostly, I worry for my province. I worry that we make good choices, remain calm and don’t resort to the type of actions that make for good pages in a movie script. I hope we keep our heads and help each other, but above all stay smart.
But for now, we’ve just got to keep going and do what we can do, as we always do as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, to make the best of a bad situation.
No one wants to lose wages, to be stuck in their homes, removed from normalcy, but these are unprecedented times and an unprecedented situation.
Sources of optimism
We at The Newfoundland Herald will do our best to keep you entertained, to try to find, as small as it may be, a way to dull the noise of this pandemic and offer a reprieve from the constant bad news. We may be doing it from self-isolation, but for right now that’s what’s best for everyone.
So while I do worry, I also find sources of optimism and have hope that we’ll make it through this and come out stronger on the other side. For our nurses, families, business owners and everyone here and globally. Keep calm. We’ll carry on together.