Share Your Story #5: "The World on Pause"
Where I have noticed a change is how quiet the lobby is most of the time. The realization of just how many interactions the security staff have on a daily basis with residents, contractors and delivery personnel was interesting to me. Now that people are staying home, the amenities have closed, and we aren’t accepting packages to help stem the amount of contact we have with others, the desk is a far less busy place.
It’s a strange feeling to come to work in these times, where fewer people are working outside. The world feels more still.
A major change is an anxiety one gets not knowing where their co-workers, who they like and trust have been, worrying that maybe someone you work with has taken the TTC with someone who wasn’t yet symptomatic and could pass it on to you thereby letting you bring it home to your family. Telling your co-workers that “it's nothing personal” but please keep your distance is something foreign to me and I feel bad having to do so but as the only person in my home who has no choice but to go out and take the risk of being in contact with others I’m doing everything I can to do my part and socially distance whenever possible, even at the cost of hurting a co-worker, who is also my friend’s feelings.
I’m not so afraid to get sick myself, but more that I’ll get sick and pass it on to my children or husband. I worry that I’ll pick up this illness and pass it to a co-worker who may not have the financial means to pay for medical care, as they are here as international students and don’t qualify for OHIP. I worry that I will get sick and pass it on to someone I work with who may not have the immune capabilities to fight it off as well as I do. I keep my distance, I wash my hands and sanitize when I can’t. I keep the desk clean and disinfect shared equipment like the keyboard and phone. I do my part to protect myself so that I can help protect them.
On a personal level, things have not changed much for me either. I’m a homebody to begin with. I’ve always preferred to stay at home with my husband and kids, and play some video games or watch a movie. I didn’t see my family often due to schedules and where we live so how we communicate there is much the same. As someone who games online, most of my friends are living far from Canada, in the U.S.A, Europe and Asia so how we communicate has not changed, but the conversations have shifted. Not a day passes where someone doesn’t mention the death toll or number of new cases impacting their community. It's not to be morbid, but it reminds us that it is the same no matter where we are from.
We have become more thoughtful in how we shop. We used to pick up what we needed as we needed, with little concern if we forgot something because we could just run back out the following day. With all the fear of becoming sick, I’ve become more diligent in planning and making sure I know what I need and that nothing was left behind so I don’t need to go out again. I’ve discovered that for all the selfish people in the world stockpiling and price gouging, there are more that are coming together to care for their neighbours and communities.
Something in my life that is drastically different though, is life for my kids. I have become not only mom teaching them about life but now a teacher of math and science and literature. I worry for them and how they will fare next school year. I can’t help but wonder if they will struggle next year having missed so much already and with no end in sight. My oldest son is starting high school next year. I hope that he will be ok and manage to pick up where he left off this year since everyone will be in much the same position. I’m sad that he will miss out on milestone trips like visiting Parliament in Ottawa and graduating from middle school. I try to keep them on some sort of schedule and keep them engaged and learning the things they are missing in school. Hoping that it will give them the tools they need to succeed with as little disruption as possible, but I can’t help but worry that it won’t be enough.
I do my best each day to make sure that my kids don’t fear what is happening in the world but understand what is going on and why we are taking these precautions. I hope that they are learning to be aware of the world around them and the impact one person can have on others. I hope that when they look back at this time on the other side of things when life is back to normal and the world is un-paused, they have learned something valuable from it.
I can see that everyone is feeling the same sense of uncertainty about the world we live in right now, whether it’s from the concern about health, or finances for themselves, or someone they care about.
I’ve learned that in this time where we must isolate and stay apart, we are not alone. Far from it.
Security Supervisor at
Emerald City One - TSCC 2368