Promoting inclusion and mental well-being | Promouvoir l’inclusion et le mieux-être mental
Inspirations Articles / Inspirations | Blogger articles

We’re all in this pandemic together

Joanne Charron
Montreal - Tuesday, December 1, 2020

By Joanne Charron

As have you, I have been living with the effects and consequences of COVID-19. I have also been watching it on TV, reading it in articles and witnessing it in real time and on social media. How could one possibly sum up this pandemic and put it into words? Does everyone have a knot in their stomach like me? What is everyone’s experience given their circumstances? What is everyone feeling? How is everyone coping? Are you okay? Am I okay? What can I do?

In normal times, our life situations tend to divide us into sub categories, “clubs” that we never wanted to be members of, such as special needs, cancer survivors, Alzheimer’s groups, and the list goes on. COVID, however, has united us all in one category, in one global group. Regardless of our realities and circumstances, the commonality we share is fear. The pandemic has forced us to confront our true reality and rethink our lives and our social structure. It has brought us right to our cores, seeping into each and every aspect of our daily lives. It has revealed the strengths and weaknesses of ourselves, our social systems and our society. And it is creating change.

The pandemic has become a window into our lives and the lives of others. It has allowed us to connect with ourselves and share with others on a profound level. Confronting it has led us back to our true selves and the meaning of life, which is innate in us all. That meaning is to help others in whatever way we can.

COVID-19 has washed away all the noise and clutter in our lives. It has showed us what is truly important and what our priorities are. That less is more, that it’s okay not to be okay and that receiving help is just as important as giving help.

We have good days and we have bad days, and together with fellow members of our global groups we get through another day – whether it be via Zoom calls, social media posts (such as a beautiful picture of a sunset), a phone call or a special delivery.

In these uncertain times one thing is for sure. We can count on one another. And that is how we will continue to cope with, and get through, COVID.

Joanne Charron is the president of the C.A.R.E. Centre, a recreational and educational day program for adults over the age of 21 with physical disabilities, and special advisor to Inspirations.

Rainbow creation by Lyne Charlebois, executive director of the West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped. (Photo, Lyne Charlebois)