Seeing everyone again was therapeutic

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We’re locked down again for at least the next few weeks, and it’s beginning to feel like last March all over again. We’re limited to where we can go and what we can do for the next while.

I’m glad I got in a much-needed professional haircut just under the wire and that my Christmas shopping was completed well before the rush. While we ride out this latest lockdown as a means of limiting our exposure to others, we can take solace knowing that it’s winter and being confined inside isn’t the end of the world.

One last hurrah for some safe social interaction came just ahead of the lockdown last week at our company’s annual turkey and ham giveaway. It seems hard to believe, but it marked the first time since March that I had the chance to see any of my co-workers in person. There have been many Zoom meetings and other virtual get-togethers these past several months, but I haven’t even so much as bumped into anyone else by chance in a grocery store, on the street, or anywhere else.

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Seeing everyone again was therapeutic, and it must have been fate that the turkey and ham delivery truck was late arriving to the Simcoe office. It gave all of us more than an hour to mingle and catch up on lost time. Although working remotely these past nine-plus months has proven to be effective, that daily face-to-face interaction with co-workers has been sorely missed. As we gathered around outside the receiving doors, it was a reminder to each of us that we’re still healthy and kicking in spite of the pandemic, and that we’re anxious for a return to a sense of normalcy.

I figured I’d kill a few minutes while awaiting the truck’s arrival to pop inside and visit my cubicle while I was there, fully expecting to be greeted by an inch or so of dust atop my desk. It actually wasn’t that bad considering the amount of time I’ve been away, but some housekeeping will be required upon my official return (whenever that might be).

The coffee and hot chocolate that was set out to keep us warm as we awaited the meat truck’s arrival gave us an excuse to temporarily doff our masks. I’ve come to learn that it’s easy to accurately interpret one’s expression beneath a mask – the eyes speak volumes – but it was nice to see some genuine unencumbered smiles from a safe six or more feet away. Not being able to see others as they should be seen has been one of the worst aspects of the pandemic. Maybe once this is all said and done, there will be a big mask bonfire.

And speaking of masks, I’m seeing just as many discarded face coverings – both disposable and reusable – littering the ground these days as there are paper coffee cups. The sooner we no longer need to wear them, the better.

Surely to goodness 2021 can’t be any worse than 2020, although the numbers may say otherwise right now. The availability of a vaccine gives us hope that a return to what we consider to be normal is just around the corner.

Whatever the timeline, good riddance to 2020.

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