I had lofty goals. After this “pause,” I thought, I didn’t want to look back and say to myself, “I wish I had…”
So now that school’s returning — and teachers are returning to work, I wondered, “Just how did I spend my Covidcation? What happened over these past two months?”
One thing we were all forced to do was slow down. Everyone, it seemed, had more time. The pressures of work had, for the most part, lessened. The trips to activities and events had vanished, and the feeling that you had to be somewhere evaporated.
That time that was created was filled by some pretty good things. Daily (or twice daily) walks became the norm. And judging from the people walking the dike, trails and streets near us, we weren’t alone. People had time to stop and talk, if at a distance. Kids were playing on the streets and in their driveways, and we got to know neighbours whom we had only waved to before.
I’ve played more guitar, gardened more, learned how to use some of the functions on that camera I had bought, and started playing chess again.
I used the newfound time and energy to start exercising more regularly. The number of runners and riders out at mid-day on a Thursday (everyday seemed like Thursday) suggested that others, too, found time to look after their health.
Along with many other people, I’ve had a lot more time to read. A survey by Booknet Canada indicated that 58% of readers said they were reading more. Neighbours and friends have created webs more complex than the internet to share books with each other while the Booknet survey also reported an increase in book sales in Canada.
Even things that became more challenging were positive. Running into the grocery store to pick up a few things after work, which had been a fairly regular occurrence in our lives, was no longer a thing. Now shopping involved a plan and time. I’ve spent more time in lines outside of stores and services these past two months than I’d ever spent in lines inside before. But even these experiences have been good. Chatting with those in line has been pleasant and people have been genuinely kind.
I will admit to wishing I had got to some of those niggly little jobs around the house by now, but it’s just been too busy. Oh well, maybe I’ll get to them over summer. There doesn’t seem to be much on the calendar for July and August.
Paul Demers is a long-time Squamish resident. He teaches English and writing at Howe Sound Secondary School.