Still waiting for the joy of summer


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/08/2021 (655 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Everyone is tired, it seems. Tired of talking about COVID-19, tired of COVID restrictions and tired of the constant threat that each wave won’t be the last.

I thought it was just me but after talking to others about how their summers were going, it seems many are feeling the same way. Things just feel off. No one really knows why. Maybe we’ve become so accustomed to behaving in a prescribed manner that when we come close to something we used to call normal, it feels strange.

In real normal times, July is my favourite month. This year it came and went and I’m still waiting to feel the joy of summer. Did the hype around the province’s 4-3-2-One Great Summer campaign raise our expectations too much?  Or maybe it’s the relentless smoke from the fires that’s putting a damper on things.

Photo by Mikaela MacKenzie / Win People walk along the Red River near The Forks on a recent smoky day. Has the endless haze contributed to sapping the fun from this summer? Folks walk along the river walk at The Forks, as seen from Tache Promenade, on a smoky day in Winnipeg on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Standup. Winnipeg Free Press 2021.

For the most part, things are pretty much the same. Despite the fact that more than 70 per cent of Manitobans are fully vaccinated and almost 80 have had at least one dose of a vaccine, it seems some of us are still convinced that if we happen to walk too close to someone or touch an object someone has touched, we just may get infected with the virus.

I can understand the continued need for mask wearing but do we really have to steer clear of anyone within six feet? If you do happen to make eye contact with someone over their mask, the advice to smile with your eyes doesn’t really work. It’s hard to look friendly behind a mask (for obvious reasons).

The loosening of restrictions in late June that allowed us to sit in a restaurant with people outside our household – as long as we have proof of full vaccination – was a freedom we were all looking forward to, I think. But, at the risk of sounding like a whiner, I’m not feeling the excitement I expected. I can’t really put my finger on why. Maybe we’re having trouble putting the disconnect of COVID behind us.   

I recall writing a column along these lines last spring, when the pandemic started. I wondered how children would recall this time in their lives. Would they grow up thinking it’s normal to veer to the left if you see someone approaching you?

Now I’m starting to be more concerned about us – the adults.   

By the time this column comes out, we will know more about the new restrictions scheduled for early August and, since lifting restrictions are dependent on vaccination numbers and we seem to be meeting targets, we should a step closer to the new normal.

There are a couple months of warm weather left so hopefully there’s still time to feel the joy of summer.

Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

Donna Minkus

Donna Minkus
Charleswood community correspondent

Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

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