It’s been 14 months since the COVID-19 pandemic started and I feel very lucky. I have been able to consistently work, I have a roof over my head and I live in a quiet neighbourhood where I can walk my dogs and never have to worry about social distancing. I’m lucky to have my incredible wife Leora with me. She may be the only person I see every day, but the amazing thing about her is I’ve never felt alone since March of last year. 

While I would much prefer for things to return to normal, I know I’ll be fine riding this out until we’re both fully vaccinated because of all the positive things I have going on in my life.

I also really feel for those who have not been as fortunate.

One person I spoke with this week recounted his experience of being a single person living alone in an apartment. His family doesn’t live in Ontario and he has been reluctant to travel due to fear of getting sick. His only interactions are with people he corresponds with over video chat. He described his loneliness as “the most mind-numbing experience I’ve ever had and what it makes it so much worse, is that I have no idea when it will end.”

I also can’t help thinking about my friends and former colleagues who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. My former colleague Richard Deschamps has been very open and vulnerable with his feelings about his job search, since Bell Media’s newsroom layoff spree in February. Quoting Richard “My future remains uncertain, and I still veer from cautious optimism to mild depression and back again. The fact that there seems to be no end in sight to this miserable pandemic is making things a lot worse that they would be otherwise. I’m getting a little tired of meeting with people only through Zoom and social media.”

What you can do to help

For the next seven days, I encourage you to reach out to one person per day who may be struggling. Ask them how they’re doing and be willing to listen. Do not judge them based on what they tell you. Give this person space to talk about their feelings.

Most importantly, don’t wait for them to reach out to you. Give them the option to chat and don’t be offended if they’re not up to it.

And please stay safe.

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