Sunday, November 22, 2020

Working Through Covid - A New Beginning

This year will be one that none of us will forget. It will be in history as the year the entire world was impacted by a health crisis, unlike anything else we've ever seen. It still astounds me that one small, tiny thing can be so powerful and affect so many.

When we went into lockdown the first time, it wasn't as alarming to me as it was to most other people. I already worked from home and I have a life-threatening disease that pretty much forces me to be ultra-careful of where I go, who I come into contact with, and what I expose myself to. For me, that was every day living.

In May 2020, I accepted a position with Alberta Legal Aid. It was the first job I'd worked outside of the sanctity of my home in almost 18 years. It was a mixture of excitement, nervousness and fear but with each day I felt...stronger. For almost three years I lived with a sense of submission to a disease that controlled every aspect of my life. My job gave me back some of that control after years of being reminded of all I can't and am not supposed to be doing. I was finally reminded of all of the things I am still able to do. It's an amazing gift. Then this past Friday, I was reminded that we are far from being finished with this world-wide crisis.

My boss called my co-worker and I into an 'emergency meeting'. My stomach sank as my mind always goes to the worst-case scenario. I've always been like that. I guess it's an internal defense mechanism where if I expect the worst, I'm already prepared when it happens. With tears in his eyes, my boss told us that we are officially in lockdown again and that my co-worker and I were being sent home. I knew it was coming. The numbers here in Alberta sky-rocketed to over 1100 reported cases in one day. It was inevitable. However, we weren't losing our jobs. We have been deemed 'essential' as we are part of a team that is giving those Albertans who are in the most need assistance. 

My job, which came into my life at a time when I needed it the most, was important in helping others too. What an amazing feeling it is knowing that in our most uncertain and disconcerting times, I am able to make a small difference to those who are in even greater need than most of us are. 

I know how very fortunate I am as not everyone has been able to keep working. I am so blessed to still have my job and still be able to support my children doing what I love - helping others through Legal Aid Alberta and through my writing. 

Our Sunday posting theme is going to be focused on living and working through Covid. I'll share our own stories, stories from others and tips on how to keep moving forward. If you want to share, please do.

We truly are in this together. And together is how we will see it through to the end.

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