Family: Vaccines are getting us through this

Treena Mielke

Well, Albertans, looks like we are slowly coming out of lockdown.

“How does that make you feel?” I ask.

The slow release of the COVID-19 chains that have kept us locked down for what seems like such a long time will, no doubt, affect us all in different ways.

I am so grateful that the businesses that have been forced to keep their doors locked will be able to be open and be ready for customers (at least with partial capacity for now).

Of course, in my own little world, being able to sit on a patio and sip a cold beverage will feel absolutely wonderful, almost like I am on a holiday.

Living in a resort town and cruising down main street during the lockdown, is weird. Simply weird.

It is summer. There should be laughter. There should be people doing what people do in the summer. Eating. Drinking. Gathering in little groups and chatting. Young girls wearing bathing suits that make staid and respectable older women such as myself cringe. If the truth be known, I feel more than a little bit of envy that these young ladies can get away with being dressed so scantily and still look good.

Oh, to be young again.

Anyway, it seems the vaccines are slowly gaining foothold on the virus and we are beginning to see its backside.

I certainly hope so.

On the flip side, it is interesting to see how people survived, and perhaps even thrived during this pandemic.

Of course, the most common refrains seemed to be, “I’m so bored, there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go and I can’t even see anyone.”

In my family the cancellation of organized sports threw a monkey wrench into the wheel of familiarity and routine, bringing it to a quick and abrupt halt. Suddenly hockey jerseys took an unexpected hiatus and the arena, once a familiar destination, was no longer open for business. My granddaughter, whom I am proud to say, is a competitive ball player was well on her way to enjoying a season of fast paced, exciting action on the diamond.

And then she wasn’t.

That being said I think all of my grandchildren learned that organized sport is not the end all, be all to being active. Hockey great, No. 99, Wayne Gretzky learned his best moves on a backyard rink built by his father, Walter Gretzky, for crying out loud.

And I was absolutely delighted to see a group of boys, two of my own grandsons included, playing their version of scrub the other day in a park across from their home.

“We played until we couldn’t see the ball anymore,” they told me, later.

It was long ago, and it was far away, but I remember it well. Those days of my own childhood when my brother and I, in our own imaginary field of dreams, played until the sun went down.

As for myself, I have accomplished nothing great and wonderful during this pandemic. In fact, I have probably watched too much Netflix, ate too much and all too often gone to bed wondering what in the world I had accomplished, if anything, during the day.

But I have allowed myself the luxury of delving into books. The historical fiction genre is my favourite.

And the more I read about the horrors of the First and Second World Wars and the illnesses and the plagues that swept the country, the more grateful I feel that we are living in the here and now.

True, I will feel even luckier when I am sitting on an outdoor patio sipping a drink and feeling the golden rays of the sun caress my very self.

Soon! It will happen soon!

Treena Mielke is a central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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