Happy “office covidversary” and “happy anniversary of the last party ever!!!!!” are two texts that I received this week that that would have been very confusing about 13 months ago. Similarly, I watched Hockey Night in Canada and the commentators were discussing vaccine effectiveness during the second period intermission of the Leafs-Jets game. Not something I ever would have expected prior to a year ago.
Today marks the one year anniversary since I last worked in my office. Things were happening really fast then and I remember thinking on that Friday afternoon “I wonder if they are going to tell us to work from home? I better bring my laptop home with me just in case by Sunday it’s gotten to that point.” And I got a text from my boss as I was on the Skytrain on the way home that said, “You and your team have to work from home now until further notice.” Hence the “office covidversary” text.
That evening, I met up with a couple of friends at one of my friend’s places. There were no rules about not gathering in small groups then (the “no gatherings of more than 250 people” had just been announced the previous day), but we were still unsure about what to do. We did make a point of not eating out a communal bowl of chips like we normally would have and there were no hugs. That was the last social gathering I attended indoors1. “Hence the “last party ever!!!” text.
I work for a health organization and during one of the semi-regular virtual town halls that the organization holds to keep up updated on COVID-related matters, the CEO said something that I find helpful to keep in mind. She said that when she gets down about the ongoing restrictions that stretch out for months and missing the things we used to be able to do, she imagines an alternate universe where none of the vaccine trials worked – so instead of having multiple very effective vaccines that we just need a bit more time to get out to everyone, we had none. That’s actually quite terrifying to think about.
But thankfully we don’t live in that universe and there are signs that things are moving towards better days. Days are getting longer and warmer and, as last year showed us, with the warmer weather comes less transmission. And every day more vaccines are being put into arms and every person that gets vaccinated makes everyone a little bit safer. I know a few people who have gotten theirs and it makes me so happy every time I hear about someone getting vaccinated. We just have to hope that we win the vaccines vs variants race. *crosses fingers*
- I did gather with the same friends in a backyard during the summer, when such things were allowed. As of yesterday, we can again get together with 10 people or fewer outdoors, so I guess that’s progress! [↩]