Bicycle sales soared over the summer as it was an activity people could enjoy together while maintaining physical distance. (File photo)

Column: Opportunities available, even during pandemic

Opening Our Eyes by Nan Dickie

We’re now seven months into the pandemic.

We should be used to it by now – the restrictions; the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths; doing work, school and recreation in new, creative ways.

We are all, hopefully, doing our best. But, few of us would call the pandemic “fun.”

We seem to have lost control of so much – being physically close to others; gathering in numbers to play or listen to music; taking college or university courses in the company of other students and instructors. The list goes on.

Similarly, our choices seem to have been limited. We can’t choose to have a party in a restaurant with a dozen of our friends. We can’t choose to congregate at our religious places and sing hymns with others. We can’t choose to attend some support group meetings in person, sharing confidentially our concerns with our cohorts. Zoom just doesn’t cut it anymore.

When the word “opportunity” comes up during the pandemic, some people have the knee-jerk reaction, “There aren’t any!”

All of these things taken together do not paint a pretty picture.

We need to look at the pandemic from different, more positive perspectives.

Read more: B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Read more: B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

There are many things we do have control over. We have total control over our attitude towards COVID-19. We can view it as a disaster that has taken total control over each daily decision we make. Or we can view it as a nuisance we must adapt to, begrudgingly or willingly. Or we can take it on as a challenge, approaching the many restrictions with creative ideas on how best to live within them.

There are many more choices we can make that at first glance might not be apparent. We must accept the imperatives that the provincial health authorities mandate — no choice there. But we do have latitude as to how we live within those imperatives.

We can communicate with our friends in person, following the two metre rule. We can text or email them, or, if we have a computer, may meet them via FaceTime or Zoom. If the two metre distance is impossible between us and others, we can choose to not get together or to wear a mask and keep a one metre distance between.

When we recognize we do have some control at this time, and make wise choices, we open ourselves to many opportunities.

This past spring, as the pandemic took hold, many people engaged in do-it-yourself projects. Many people embraced new hobbies. Some people got involved in online courses in subjects brand new to them. Bicycle sales soared as people realized that it was easy to abide by the two-metre apart rule.

So, yes, the pandemic is tough on all of us. However, we can each make it a meaningful time.

How have you adjusted to it, taken advantage of it, for yourself?

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