Here we go again. Another variant and cases rising. But let’s be honest we’ve been there before; we know the drill.
So, what’s different this time? We have more people vaccinated, we have more science and knowledge, and we are now well accustomed to social distancing and other safety measures.
For many of us we miss our families and friends whom we have not seen for over two years. However, can you imagine if this had happened even three to four decades ago? I keep thinking if this had happened in my early twenties how difficult it could have been for all those families separated all over the world. I’m reminded daily that our technology and connectivity today have been such a blessing through all this uncertainty and distance. In any moment I can jump on a call, send a text message or FaceTime, Zoom or Video call anyone around the world.
What I’m mostly grateful for is the availability and ease at which we can do this. Internet connectivity means that most of these calls don’t charge us the earth as we connect over Wi-Fi or our data plans. Even in my early teens when I moved states in Australia, I remember the phone calls alone costing me by the minute and second, and me literally counting down until I couldn’t afford to stay on the line any longer. I remember tallying my bill each month and sometimes gasping at how I would make each month’s payment. I had email on dial-up (yes I’m that old) and there was no such thing as video calls. When I lived two states away, I would see my parents and family in person about three times a year (and to be fair it was only a two hour flight home, not a 24+ hour journey)!
Now I’m on the other side of the world and I can ‘see’ my family anytime I want. I can enjoy their living space through my screen, and they can enjoy mine. I can invite them into our experiences in the moment, and I can be a part of the life events like birthdays and Christmas celebrations momentarily.
My five-year-old has missed out on real hugs but he hasn’t missed out on the love and connection from his family all around the world. He reads his stories to his nana and tells her his ‘made-up’ jokes. And when we aren’t connected, he talks about Australia and his family there, like they are just down the road.
I guess what I’m saying is that whilst this new variant is causing a lot of confusion and concern, I’m staying the path. I’m doing my bit with my mask on and taking the precautions I need to, so that we can get through this dark winter. I’m still hopeful that in 2022 with more booster vaccines, and more knowledge we will learn to live with Covid-19 and we can then travel home to be with family for real. In the meantime I’m virtually happy enough.