Jun 4, 2021 | Leadership, Community and Partnerships, Faces of HDGH
I was on a call today and found myself saying that “I’ve found my lost optimism.” I didn’t realize until the words left my mouth how true they were. I don’t know if you all are starting to feel more “regular you” and less “COVID all the time you” but I am. I spent some time this past weekend thinking about the shift. Why am I feeling “better”? Why now? What’s changed given the world is still in the grips of the pandemic and all the associated illness, loss and death? And I think I have a couple of things that have led to my more optimistic outlook. It could have something to do with our provincial number today, June 1, being the lowest since October 2020 with 699 new cases. I thought perhaps I could share these thoughts with you all. Maybe something will resonate with you – maybe not. But I hope I’m not alone in feeling this way.
First it’s spring! The weather has been relatively unstable but the sun is shining in the morning when I get up (usually) and the birds (and their babies) are singing. Generally, it’s the time of renewal, hope and regeneration. I’ve always had a special affinity for spring and summer – not sure I can fully explain it but for me fall and winter signal darker times, and by definition for me harder times, so spring is part of my optimism being found.
Second many in my family are vaccinated and by my own definition safer. I don’t know if I shared with you all how scared I have been that someone I love would get COVID…. specifically my hubby BK. BK has a number of health issues and I’ve worried a lot about him through this past year and a bit – this past week he got his second dose of AZ and for the first time in a long long time I didn’t have a nightmare about him contracting the virus. My family is everything and I’ve been incredibly worried (as many of you have been) about bringing the disease home or him getting it shopping, managing our household while I was consumed with working and keeping the hospital moving forward. The vaccination is key to this lightness I’m feeling.
Keeping with the vaccination theme, the third and final reason I thought of is my volunteer experience at the WECHU vaccination centre. I will tell you it fills me with great joy to have a part in administering the vaccine to some of the 245,782 (as of May 31) W/E residents who have received at least one dose.
It is a big reason why attend my volunteer shift every 2nd Saturday on my days off and I love every moment of it. From the older folks who are so excited to be getting closer to hugging their grandkids to the essential workers who have been living and working in fear – every conversation is a jewel of hope and optimism. Just like COVID, joy and happiness is contagious and I come home on Saturdays exhausted with incredibly sore and sometimes swollen knees – but I sleep deeply and happily knowing I’ve done a small part in making our part of the world a little safer. I’ve been asked why I volunteer when I have such an “important” job as a hospital CEO – but I’ll tell you that there is nothing more important than helping others to be less worried, less scared and more secure in living their lives right now.
I spoke with one lady who told me she hadn’t been out of her home since the pandemic started and she came out to get her vaccination so she could see her friends again. One young man who was an essential worker told me that he has been so anxious to get the vaccine so he would not worry about taking COVID home from his retail job to his mom who is sick. One young woman told me she got it to protect her kids … so many stories and so many conversations. The common denominator is relief of anxiety, fear and a need to take back their life on their terms for themselves and for the people they love. For me I feel that this is something concrete that I can do for them, for us all and for myself. I am a nurse after all first and foremost (since 1984) and I’ve always believed that part of the reason the public trusts us so is that they know we are there for them always – not just when it’s convenient – but always.
If you haven’t got the vaccine please do so – not just for you but for more so for the folks who love you and who you love. If you are looking for some helpful information on vaccines our Windsor Essex County Health Unit’s www.WEVAX.ca is a great local resource.
As always if you want to talk about any of this just reach out. I’m here.
Thanks all and be safe.
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