• The Emerald City Social Committee

Share Your Story #3: "How Has My Life Changed Under COVID-19?"

How can I put this? Covid-19 doesn't scare me for my personal health. I'm young and fairly healthy, just ask any other staff and they can say how rare it is that I get sick (edit by Andreea: he does get sick, but just won't admit to it, as other staff would agree to! Hahaha...).

But I'm also smart enough to realize I need to stay healthy not for me, but for everyone else around me, so I will take every necessary precaution both at work and in my personal life. Social distancing and low interaction, washing my hands, constant checks for symptoms and when necessary, isolation - for the sake of my wife, my parents, and everyone in this building. I take these precautions not so that I stay healthy but so that those around me aren't affected.

As far as my work is concerned the current situation has changed the way I work greatly. In order to protect both my health and more importantly the health of those around me, I've had to greatly limit my interactions with others: less in suite work, less contractors on site, new hygiene protocols and more time spent working alone. But, what that has allowed for, is the completion of much more basic maintenance, such as cleaning and maintaining motors and machine rooms, catching up on dreaded paperwork, all the things that got pushed aside and held for "when I have time". In fact, with all the physical labour it includes, I'm likely to be one of the few who walks out of the isolation fitter than before. 

I won't lie, social distancing has had a very small effect on my social life. I'm pretty introverted already, so spending a little more time with my wife Karla and my three little budgies is just fine with me. I was never really one to spend a lot of time out with friends so it's a very minor sacrifice to keep them safe. I do miss visiting with my parents and sister but we are keeping in touch and best of all they are healthy. 

Throughout my life I've also become a relentless optimist. I try to look at these situations and try to see more of what we will get out of it rather than the sacrifices we will have to make.

For example, here are some of the things I hope the world can learn from this:

- Wash your hands: Hands are gross. They touch everything and pick up all sorts of dirt, bacteria and viruses. So the whole world washing a bit more often sounds good to me.

- Many people should be able to work from home: I think many companies are learning that there really isn't a reason to have 500 office employees commute in from as far as Barrie just to sit in shared office spaces or cubicles and work by their computers. And many companies are realizing their servers cannot handle the stress of all the home office work. Hopefully this will cause a small revolution in the way we work as companies try to continue to make use of technology they purchase for this isolation. Less people going in to work lowers traffic, minimizes the need for large office space and allows more options for families. 

- We should reach out to friends and family more: Maybe it's just me but in isolation I have been more social than before. The drive to check in on other and make sure they're okay has me talking to parents or friends more often than I would if this whole isolation hadn't happened.

There are so many other things, such as how important cooking skills are, how employees shouldn't be shamed or punished for taking a sick day (thankfully, this has never been the case at Emerald City One, where Staff is always asked to stay home when sick and accommodations are made), or how the internet is now an essential service not just a luxury.

And don't even get me started on just how well Canada as a country has come together. People from every walk of life coming together, sacrificing their freedoms to allow for this common enemy to be defeated.

Let's just all be thankful that there are people out their with goodness in their hearts, aiding the elderly or sick, keeping the essential services going despite personal risk, or even just staying home to minimize spread. Almost everyone is playing their part, even if that part is just to stay home and lay on the couch. 

Stay healthy,

Jason Lockton,

Superintendent at Emerald City One

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