COVID-19 is not over with us: our summer of magical thinking is coming to an inevitable end

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These changes will come at a cost. There are lives that will be beaten by these closures. There are some business owners who may never agree. There are bartenders and chefs with kids and rents and people with mental health scars who haven’t healed from spring. It is normal to know this and always believe that these measures are overdue.

It is also normal to say that it is hard, that you are struggling, that you are grateful for the openness that we had.

Two weeks ago I was playing tennis with a friend, outdoors and remotely. When we were done I took off my shirt to change and he noticed a bruise on my fingertips on the left side of my chest. I have sometimes been so anxious over the past seven months that I have made a habit of pressing my right hand against my heart, in the hope of reducing the pain. I do it without realizing it. Until my friend pointed out, I hadn’t seen the bruise.

I have family on the front lines of the hospital in Alberta. I have a brother who is a restaurant chef in Toronto. I have a newborn nephew whom I have never met; I don’t know when I will. I have come through this job and in good health in a home full of support and love. I am in many ways in the perfect position to move to the other side of the situation, when that can happen. But I still struggled. And in this, I know that I am far from being alone.

Our summer of magical thinking is over. It’s going to be a tough fall. Never be afraid to say it out loud. Shout it out if you need to.

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