The curfew is as if we were extending this dark tunnel, the end of which we could not already see. And we were already exhausted from walking in it for 10 months …
Of course, on the other side, there is the promise of the vaccine, which we are already being told that it will not have settled everything even when it has been given to the greatest number. It only reinforces the impression that this is all endless.
It is true that there is worse than having to stay at home, to limit oneself in our outings and to deprive oneself of certain activities. We don’t live under bombs. It’s done by people.
Also true that there are people for whom it is worse. It’s worse for isolated seniors in CHSLDs or RPAs. It’s worse for people who live alone, in tiny apartments, sometimes in poverty. It’s worse for teens who have precious years of their lives stolen.
But we are right to find it hard. We are right to be bored of the activities and habits, sometimes banal, which make up the sum of our daily lives and which we are right to hold onto.
What is hardest is that it is endless. We would have been told in March that it would be even worse in 2021, we would all have gone wild.
We want to invoke the prayer of serenity, known to Alcoholics Anonymous, a text that finds its sources in Antiquity. Some attribute it to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius who, when he was not busy ruling Rome or being killed by his son in the film Gladiator, was also a celebrated Stoic philosopher.
This prayer therefore calls for the grace to have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, the strength to change what we can and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.
What we cannot change is the virus. A microscopic organism, which appeared somewhere in China. Who has toured the planet, traveling from one country to another aboard his hosts. This bug is very dangerous for old people or people with certain diseases, but not only. That is a reality that cannot be changed.
What we can change, however, is the way we handle ourselves in this. Collectively, we can adopt more or less strict rules to slow the progression of the virus. Through our government, we can better protect health care workers and take better care of our patients and our elderly.
Change at home
Still, each on our side, isolated in our homes, we have very little control over all this. So we can only take care of what we can control.
The way we take care of ourselves, what we eat, what we do to move, the hours of sleep we give ourselves. How we take care of others, the little ones who live with us and the friends, parents, grandparents that we can call more often. The way we protect ourselves from the virus, too, to avoid catching it and, above all, to avoid transmitting it in our turn.
In this long tunnel, in this eternal dark January, that’s what we control. It feels like it’s not a lot, because it’s true that it’s not very exciting.
However, it is essential. Accept what you cannot change. Change what we can. And differentiate between the two.
Casually, it’s a program that goes well beyond February 8 …