Welcome December 2021! While this holiday season is going to look different than last year, we still have a ways to go before we can even think about a return to a pre-Covid holiday posture. And maybe, we don’t return to “that” normal and we find new and improved ways of connecting with each other while focusing on the spirit of human connection. Because after all, this is what all holidays are about.
Fingers crossed, the world will emerge from under Covid in 2022 and when we do I think there are a lot of things I will be happy to see become a part of our daily lives.
First for me, is the focus we have taken on the needs of the elderly and the vulnerable people in our society. Covid the catalyst acting as an unwitting ambassador has brought forward the need to make change in how we treat our elderly, our homeless and many others that for one reason or another cannot advocate for themselves.
A close second in my mind, is how families and loved ones found new ways to connect with their elderly family members and include them in their lives. While many of the elderly remained isolated during Covid, it was heartwarming to see so many learn to initiate virtual meetings, standing at windows and laughing at the antics of their family members, watching convoys of decorated and honking vehicles drive by to celebrate a milestone – I hope these things find a place in our new world.
Stopping the spread! I know this is a mantra of managing Covid, but maybe it has more value than we might have thought. I hope people stay home when they’re not well. If you don’t go out, you can’t spread your ailment and you can get the rest you need to feel better quickly.
Wear a mask – maybe not everywhere, but if you are visiting the elderly or someone who has frail health, why not put on a mask and reduce the risk of sharing something with them that they don’t need.
Hand washing – not only an effective tool to manage Covid, but another good practice to manage your health and those around you.
For myself, I am adding one more, and that is to “tune down” my life a little. It means doing smaller gatherings with fewer guests. Not only to manage health needs, but to give me and my guests an opportunity to connect more. IT also means being more mindful of what I need to buy and shopping with purpose instead of for entertainment or to fill time. And, being home more and cooking meals with my family and saving an evening out for a special occasion or times when life is simply too busy and a meal out provides a nice break in the busy schedule.
Lastly, I have been thinking about all the choices that we are faced with on a daily basis. In my profession of providing healthcare, I have learned there is no “one size fits all” for anything. Differences and commonalities play themselves out all around us in this modern world and both can be very polarizing. Where our vulnerable members of society are concerned, let’s lay aside our differences and rally around our commonalities and give space to people to make the choices they need to based on their own individual needs.
I’m looking forward to this holiday season and connecting with friends and family in traditional and new ways. I expect that some of my network will make choices that don’t align with mine, but I am committed to enjoying some time with them in a comfortable manner that works for all. Whatever you do this coming holiday season, please do it safely and with the understanding that a smile and a kind word is often all that is needed to make someone’s day!