The Big Wait
Remember how it felt finally saying goodbye to 2020? Everyone agreed that there had never been a worse year in living memory and how 2021 had to, by default, be better – ‘knock wood’. Here we sit now, the first two months of 2021 have passed, and we’re at the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. So far, 2021 has been a period of waiting. Are we any less anxious about politics, the economy, education, and surviving COVID than we were before we slammed the door shut on 2020? How’s YOUR mental health these days?
Many Central Albertans have lost so much with the triple threat of low-priced oil, the general economy, and the pandemic. They’ve lost jobs, businesses, their life’s savings, and some have lost friends or family members to COVID. Others are now dealing with the debilitating effects of the ‘Long-Covid’ variant. Local agencies have been pushed beyond their limits to assist an ever-growing number of people who need help meeting their basic needs.
The brightest news is that a vaccine was developed in less than a year and the shots are already going into arms. To have a vaccine implemented so quickly is unheard of. Work continues to study the effects of the vaccine on the new variants, but this year, we already know a lot more than we did a year ago.
Public Health restrictions are being eased slowly, with the hope that together with the vaccine, we’ll return to some sort of normalcy.
Central Alberta agencies have had to provide exponentially more assistance to vulnerable populations, some have been able to keep up with the onslaught with some emergency funding or other types of assistance. And a lot of front-line-workers in these agencies have taken much of the extra work upon themselves. Their mental health is suffering as they experience burnout, depression, and more.
Meanwhile, we wait. And, waiting is hard.
(If you are experiencing Mental Health issues, please call the Alberta Mental Health Emergency Line at 1-877-303-2642 or call 211 for information on a wide variety of services.)