March Madness

It began as such an innocuous month.
Did it come in like a lion or a lamb?
The usual question for the month of March.
A month where we look forward to Daylight Savings Time, St. Patrick’s Day, and of course, the first day of Spring.
But this month, this year, has become a monster.
During this month, March 11th to be exact, an apocalyptic reality set in, as the human race around the globe faced off with a demon so tiny, it cannot be seen unless under a microscope.
A virus that jumped from a mammal at a wet market in China, to the humans that handled it.
Our new reality sees us self-quarantined at home with family, self-isolating from our co-workers and friends, and physical distancing at the grocery store.
Businesses have been shuttered.
Streets are virtually empty.
Restaurants are closed except for takeout or delivery.
A list of essential services that can remain open for business can only do so with strict new rules in place.
Maintaining six feet of distance between customers and employees.
Plastic shields between checkout staff and customers.
Plastic gloves. Face masks. Disinfectant.
Working from home is a fortunate option for some.
Others are not so lucky.
Long lineups at the employment insurance office are a grim new reality for many.
Becoming creative while at home is a must for many families.
Families whose children are no longer allowed to go to school.
First for March Break, then the two weeks following, and now, perhaps, for the remainder of the school year.
However long it takes to stop the spread of this tiny virus.
It has turned the entire world upside down.
Travel is virtually forbidden.
Vacations are cancelled, and anyone returning from anywhere outside of Canada must self-isolate for two weeks, deemed a high risk of bringing the virus home with them.
Our civil liberties, our freedoms, are being pulled out from under us like a rug.
Small privileges that we once took for granted, such as popping into Bed Bath and Beyond to look for a new tablecloth, are no longer.
And as the death toll mounts around the globe, and the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, there seems to be no end in sight in the near future.
This tiny virus is having its way with us.
It has brought us to our knees.
We have been humbled, shown that we are not such a mighty apex predator after all.
We are at the mercy of an organism that is so named because it looks like a crown.
A Corona virus.
It is not the first.
There have been many in the past that have made the leap from mammal to human.
A virus innate to animals but a threat to humans.
We have been able to overcome previous outbreaks.
But whether this one will prevail remains to be seen.
It doesn’t affect many, dare I say the majority.
But the ones it does affect suffer greatly, in that, as with all Corona viruses, it attacks the lungs.
So, our new normal is one that is forcing us to really get to know ourselves better.
To become comfortable with our own company.
Because we are getting lots of it.
Hopefully we are with family that we love and get along with also.
And thankfully there are ways to connect with others through videos and social media, so we are not completely deprived of the company of others.
And at the end of it all, I hope there is a great reflection on lessons learned.
How can we ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.
Or history, as they say, is doomed to repeat itself.



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