Written by Ozlem M. Manness
It’s hard to believe that this is where we’re at... or is it? I said to myself, out loud, “can you believe this?” as I learned of the number of cases and the new restrictions, and then sadly, I realized, “oh, I can... Unfortunately.”
The date is April 27, 2021, and Nova Scotia, our sweet little province on the east coast of Canada, is in a complete lockdown, just over a year after the initial lockdown because of Covid-19. Last year, I was talking to some lovely friends and clients, who thought that in six months time, we would all be going to Disney, but here we are, one year later and no where near the happiest place on earth.
In my heart, I think I knew it... I knew this was going to be like a movie, I felt as though our world would be no where near normal... At this stage, I feel like I can say that I have a pretty good sense of these things, perhaps even a sixth sense. All year, I kept wanting to believe that it was going to be short lived, but like I said I just knew it wasn’t, I felt it... I kept hoping I would be mistaken.
My husband constantly reassured me, time and time again, but I always shook my head at his positivity. I hated that I was being a pessimist, if you will, but I did not feel optimistic as I would say to Doug, “this is going to take a while, you positive soul!!!” I truly hate to admit that I was right; I so wish I was wrong.
So where am I? A year later? Well, physically I’m exactly where I was last year, as we all hunker down and stay at home... Mentally and emotionally, I am running on empty. The truth is, I am beyond exhausted; I have a feeling of constant worry gnawing at me, especially after both of my parents were diagnosed with covid last month. They spent 12 days in hospital at home in Turkey, where they experienced fevers, fatigue, had to be put on oxygen, and even received steroid treatment. It was such a terrifying time for us, but thankfully they came out of it, covid free 🙏 They are still not quite back to themselves by any means, but they are doing much, much better, no longer in hospital, and that’s all that matters. Well, that’s what I tell myself, yet I still have my worries... I just miss my family in Turkey so much, every day; it’s painful.
On top of that, I am constantly worried about my family here in Halifax as I try to run my business as normally as possible while navigating restrictions, look after my daughter, and attempt to let go of control, something that always brings me comfort (I am a planner in case you didn’t know). Both my and my husband’s families, including my lovely grandmother, are far away. One family is in Ontario and the other is on another continent, Chiara being the only grandchild to both families. It’s lonely, it’s scary, it’s unnerving... Trying our best to keep swimming, living the new normal we had established, when in fact the moment we felt we were safe, we no longer were.
Throughout the greater part of this past year, anxious feelings have been abundant. This is something that has become known about me, something I have expressed countless times, something that I share with so many others. It is interesting, though, that there are still some who find this sort of talk “too much,” that sharing it all is not necessary. It happens to be a part of who I am, take it or leave it, and I find that being transparent, open, and honest, brings us together even more... don’t you?
I have a tattoo that says “dreamer,” my first ever tattoo, simply because I am someone who dreams and then creates. At a time like this, I feel a bit lost in that regard, my creative side unsure of where to go, how to stay afloat. I try to be a realist, and I ask myself, “do I want to be?” and the answer just shouts back: “Absolutely not!” but it’s hard... It really is hard. I feel very sad to see other countries, like India, suffer so greatly while somewhere like the US is fully reopening; I can’t help but feel disheartened, disappointed even, as we are in lockdown.
So where do we go from here? What do we do? Well for starters, follow public health guidelines and try to hold onto hope. That’s what I’m trying to do amidst my many feelings. Yes it can be hard to feel a shred of optimism at this time, but I find that writing it all down and talking to family and friends reminds me of what I have to be grateful for, even when I feel like we are all struggling, even if we feel as though we can’t stay afloat, our dreams sinking, slipping away...
I know the bad days are going to impact me greatly, and they seem like they are here to stay, but I also know that sunshine always follows rain. We are stronger together, even when we are apart, and I hope that if we all try our best, put in a collective effort, we will soon see the sun again... Maybe not Disney quite yet, but hopefully downtown ♥️ Let’s do our part, stop the spread, and stay safe.