Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the ....
Decades ago, the JAWS movie franchise made swimmers and movie-goers around the globe think twice about going back to the water — and decades later, as the COVID crisis continues to circle, we continue to fear what lurks in the waves.
Open-air concerts, community hall weddings, arena sporting events ... even a visit to a piano night at the local seniors' home are once again in danger as yet another wave of the ever-circling COVID virus prepares to come in for another bite.
It's so disheartening to know that the recently reclaimed freedoms of walking in crowds without fear, hearing a distant sneeze without bolting for an exit and not needing a facemask to order a pizza could again be in jeopardy. Populations have only got back to some normalcy ... and it has been good. It was especially good considering many parts of the world endured civil unrest, protests and divisive splits of opinion as the latest waves of the pandemic stirred up currents of frustrations and emotions. And even though there are remnants and scars still remaining, the world was moving on.
Unfortunately, the virus wasn't.
It has circled back — again and again — taking bites and leaving carnage along with anger, frustration and fear each time. Each time it leaves us a little less whole. And it's a cycle we can't seem to break.
It's as if the last two and a half years were lived in a snow-globe, picked up and shaken over and over again. The world changed. The world was scared, the world complied, the world struggled ... then the world changed again, shaken up by conspiracy and opinion, emotion, anger and fear. Riots and protests happened around the world and in our own neighbourhoods. Friends and families were affected not only by the virus that continued to hunt for victims, but by the fallout of the restrictions and the fan-out of the information. And that's the frustration — that cycle has happened five or six times already. We haven't learned, and it's sad to see. Our reactions will likely do more damage in the long-run than the virus itself. Each time the world seems a little less connected, with many being afraid to go back, while others fight so hard to get back, they forget the risks and they forget what they are fighting against.
So now, as some bob up and down, nervously deciding if those risks are worth it, others only dip in a toe, while many others have dove in head-first, we see reports from provinces just a time-zone or two away that it's back — like a fin slicing through the water towards us ...for the seventh time.
It's not so much the fear of the attack anymore, it's what that fear does to us, how it can control, frustrate... and divide. Perhaps this time around, the biggest bite, the worst wound, won't come from our reactions to it.