Happy New Year!

Christmas has passed, the decorations stored. It’s always a sad time of year where the house feels empty, the parties a distant memory. We stare out the frosted windows and the bleakness of winter stares back.

It’s been incredibly cold this winter, wind chills pushing the temperature to below -40 Celsius most days. The highlight of the day reduced to looking at the weather app and announcing the temperature of the day. We are forced inside, nothing out there seems worth the layering and bundling. The car is frozen and some of our day is spent trying valiantly to start it again. It is a change from huddling by the fire, reading our books.

Omicron is now the dominant strain. Our province battled the fourth wave just a few short months ago when Delta raged. Delta was the wave of the unvaccinated where individual choices crippled a public health system. Many fell, still others’ with mild cases continue to wonder when they might be able to climb to the second floor of their homes. Some were unscathed with mild illness, crowing about how it’s just a cold, blind to the suffering of others’ and, the 5.47 million lives lost.

Omicron while causing staggering numbers has not overwhelmed the healthcare system yet, though the system is in jeopardy as healthcare workers become infected leaving fewer people to work. The complete picture of our future is not available.

People continue to protest. It’s predictable and boring as we scroll on by on our news feed. We ignore the sensationalistic headlines designed to lure. We will not provide a second of the fame they crave.

Cruise ships are bobbing along the ocean unable to find a port to dock. Flights are cancelled, leaving folks stranded. Air travel already onerous since 911, taking off shoes, limiting gels to a small size and endless screening now include negative PCR tests, adding to the expense and shortening the holiday while folks fret, organize and scramble to comply. The rules a moving target.

The news reports advise that we will all likely get Covid at some point, though with vaccinations on board we will likely not die from the virus. The immunocompromised, babies, children, elderly and unvaccinated still at risk for worse outcomes.

In many places in the world access to vaccines is an issue. Developing countries without access, while wealthier countries administrate third and even forth doses, protecting their people somewhat while air travel brings everyone closer together allowing mutated strains to infect the masses. Inoculating everyone in the world is perhaps the better goal.

We are so very tired of this virus and it’s strains as it marches through the Greek alphabet, we wonder when Omega might arrive. Will we need to start another alphabet system or will we finally enter the endemic stage? Time will tell.

Rapid tests are available to test at home though these are difficult to find. The instructions on the package are difficult for many folks, leading to a high rate of false negative tests. We still witness the inability of most folks to wear a mask properly, a simple task. It then follows that testing accurately is out of reach for most.

The news reports are politicized pitting friends and neighbours against each other where a side seemingly must be chosen. I still shake my head when I hear opposition governments state their demands. How amazing would it be if they all worked together and supported one another instead of trying to make points for themselves with no accountability, which might translate into votes at some point in the future. It is divisive and blurs messages that need to get through.

N95 masks PCR tests and rapid tests are the toilet paper of today. It’s curious that despite nearly two years in we do not have a reliable supply chain of items required.

Our world has changed with folks working from home. The home workers seem content to put in a load of laundry, make dinner or any number of distractions, while we try to get service or at least their attention. There is no customer service anymore. There is much pushing of buttons to try to get to the right department only to be redirected to a website where we can fill out an endless form. At completion we are no further ahead and spin again in an endless loop. The wait times yawn into oblivion and complete days are spent on hold, though leave us no further ahead as the call is dropped and we begin the process anew. We can get a call back though many times we are offered a time slot days later. We hope we will be available to take the call when it comes.

I hope that we are nearing the end of the pandemic and perhaps sometime this year we will enter the endemic stage. The last few years, while trying were not the worst years of my life. Vaccinations arrived and with them hope. My husband, our families and our friends are all alive and well. We have been resilient and have made lemon aid when we needed and pivoted when required. We have helped where we could and not got in the way. This to shall pass and we shall be content in the fact that we were on the right side, the side that protects every life and not just our own.