Coping with Covid

Like everyone else, I’ve been coping with Covid. As a keynote speaker of large conferences and events, to say that my calendar has freed up, would be a slight understatement. On March 12, 2020 (BC- before Covid) I received a standing ovation in Fredericton, New Brunswick after my presentation- it was glorious and, upon reflection, bittersweet. On March 13, 2020 (AC-after Covid) I received numerous postponements in my inbox. Admittedly, the first week of Covid I felt like I was in a fog. Was it fear, uncertainty, ambiguity, loss, sadness? A resounding yes to all of the above. I then received announcements that both of my children’s schools would be closed most likely till September the next day. On March 15 my sister mentioned how many shifts she was taking at the hospital and how overwhelmed she was learning new information in record speed. She is a front line physician in British Columbia.

We all have different perspectives, processes and priorities, however, the one thing each and every one of us is feeling currently is grief. When my Dad passed three years ago I remember it being so painful in the beginning and my grief would hit like waves- unexpected, hard, laboured. Some days, in the beginning, were worse than others. Some days were manageable. I miss my Dad every day but I have accepted he is no longer physically with me. Though not physically with me, his spirit remains intact.  As Mr. Rogers said, “if it’s mentionable, it’s manageable”.

Acceptance can be powerful. Surrendering to circumstance builds upon the resilience that we all have within.  I read the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s not about the circumstances, but rather, what you are made of. I’d adapt and amend this. Some days we are the egg; some days we are the potato. Some days we are dining on potato salad- and that’s perfectly ok.

Your only priority currently is to remain healthy. If you are fortunate to live with others, supporting your loved ones to remain healthy is imperative. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health is your priority.

When I surrendered to these challenging circumstances my fog cleared and the waves stopped crashing; however, the water continues to ripple.

Surrendering does not mean ceasing control. It simply means controlling what you can.

For me, surrendering means learning about virtual presenting. Though most of my work has been postponed, I’ve had a few clients moving forward with virtual keynotes. At first, I was afraid (Indian IT I am not), however, realized maybe I could learn something new, perhaps adapt some of my material accordingly and hopefully have some fun in the process. Surrendering means spending more quality time with my children. They are both extroverted and athletic so I spend as much time as they are willing to spend with me exercising, chatting about online assignments and watching Youtube makeup tutorials (no- I have no interest in watching make-up tutorials, however, my daughter does so I am learning about contouring- fascinating- may come in handy with the virtual work). Surrendering means calling my Mom on a daily basis as she’s isolated, immuno-compromised and a senior so I chat about the weather…a lot….about Trudeau’s distracting facial hair and why everyone should be drinking hot turmeric drinks. Surrendering means enjoying ‘social distance’ walks with my friend, Kelly, who makes me laugh almost daily. We always wave and say hello to our neighbours whom we never knew before but, one day soon, we will officially introduce ourselves to- then Kelly will hug them- as she said that’s truly what she misses the most.

I wish you and your loved ones health, happiness, grateful moments, positive reflection, and a tolerance for the taste of turmeric.

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Tina Varughese