Code Red

Almost two weeks ago, the Government of Manitoba announced Winnipeg’s transition to Code Red – Restricted in response to skyrocketing COVID-19 case numbers. The announcement for a provincial lockdown came several days later and with it, a ban on social gatherings of any type.

Personally, I can survive without dining in at restaurants, seeing movies in the theatre or meeting friends at the bar for drinks. Does that mean I don’t miss it? Of course not. But I can live without it.

The one thing with which I will have difficulty, however, is not seeing my family. Don’t mistake what I am saying — this is necessary, and we must adhere to these rules. For the safety of us all, this is what we must do. The reality of this being our second ‘lockdown’, comparable to the one we had back in March, didn’t hit until today because all I could think about was my family.

It seems fitting that on this day — Remembrance Day — we are given time to reflect on the past, on those who have made sacrifices for our health and safety and freedom, and not just in regards to war. Over the past year, a countless number of people have sacrificed their own well being for the sake of others’, whether they be health care professionals, grocery store employees, public transit operators, or even our neighbors.

We are at a turning point. Our second wave has come, and we must all rise to face the challenging times ahead. Isolation is hard, but we’ve done it before and survived. We are gifted with incredible technology that allows us to work remotely, access resources that we need and most importantly, stay connected to one another.

I’m a realist, which means that I understand the necessity for cloudy days –without darkness, how can we appreciate the light?– but I’m also an optimist, which means I always make an effort to look for a silver lining in the grey. Today, my silver lining is this: tomorrow is the first day of lockdown, but it also happens to be…

November 12th.

When it comes to the holidays, I used to adhere to strict rules dictating that any Christmas decorations, music or other festivities would not commence until December first. I have since thrown those rules out the window; out of respect for our veterans, I wait until Remembrance Day has been observed and after that, anything is fair game. I know there are others who follow this guideline as well. Naturally I cannot be the only one who has noticed that the first day of ‘lockdown’ takes place the day after Remembrance Day. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Sooner rather than later, we need some Christmas cheer–and I’m not talking about Mariah-Carey-on-repeat, unnecessarily-fancy-gifts, SALE-SALE-SALE, gaudy-lights-in-your-face type cheer. I’m talking about taking the time to sit down and do something meaningful, like making a gift by hand even if it isn’t perfect. I’m talking about writing a long-winded letter to your loved one and filling it with drawings or glitter and sending it by mail. I’m talking about decorating your house with lights or hanging artwork in your window for your neighbors to see as they walk by, because even though we may not get to be together, we are still a community; it is now more than ever that we need this connection, and Christmas has a magical way of making that happen.

So with the commencement of our provincial Code Red tomorrow, I will be taking the liberty of implementing my own ‘code red’ by dancing to Christmas music and decorating without fear of judgement–because aside from work, I won’t be seeing anyone anyway!

Don’t worry though, I will refrain from playing Christmas music in the clinic room until December, assuming we don’t get shut down by then too.

Stay safe and take care,

Randi

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