What changes will 2021 bring?

by Ruth Griffiths

Usually at this time of year I challenge myself to make a few predictions, but how can you predict the future in a time where everything changes overnight?

Who could have predicted a global pandemic? Well apparently quite a few experts did predict it, but like earthquake predictions, we know it’s coming but we just don’t know when.

I confess, this year I got a little jittery. Every time I did something, I wondered, “Will this be the last time?”

Will this be the last time I get to hug my grandson? Will this be the last time I teach a fitness class? Will this be the last time I meet friends while quilting?

We’ve had some serious health issues in our family this year and I wonder, will this be the last time I see my love one (never mind not being able to hug)?

This year has forced me to learn, and even embrace, some new technologies. I learned to do Zoom meetings. I now love to pay bills by electronic transfer. I learned to order products on-line. I even did Sunday worship by Youtube.

Our book club meetings have moved on-line and I love it. I can’t drive at night and I certainly don’t drink and drive, so when we meet on-line I can drink tea or chardonnay, my choice, and participate well after sundown. I hope we can continue this type of meeting in the future.

The same goes for board meetings where people live all over the province. It is so much easier in the midst of a Canadian winter to meet on-line. No traveling, no time wasted.

My granddaughter hurt her hand and I phoned the walk-in clinic. Well, apparently you don’t just walk in and wait anymore. I phoned the receptionist who arranged for the doctor to call me at home. Waiting to see the doctor is a whole lot easier when you are at home. It turned out the doctor wanted to see the injured hand for herself so we drove to the clinic, sanitized and masked, and walked directly into the treatment room. No more sitting in a waiting room full of coughing patients. I love it! I hope we can continue this type of pre-screening in the future.

I attended a church Christmas music fund-raising concert on-line. Zoom had a hard time with the sound, but I was able to switch to Youtube for an almost simultaneous version that I greatly enjoyed. Singing carols together is an important part of Christmas for me. I stood at my computer all by myself belting out Joy to the World. It still gets the heart pumping.

A few months ago I said “change” should be the theme word for 2020. I wonder what 2021 will bring? I find it very difficult to predict.

I do know that our appreciation of family and personal relationships has increased this year. Economic hardships are real and many of us have less this season. But we can better appreciate what we DO have.

We have a health-care system that cares for rich and poor without bankrupting us. Our municipal government provides services without dividing us into blues and reds. We have an education system that emphasizes learning but also teaches citizenship, cultural diversity and leaves no child behind.

I predict that in 2021 the headlines will move from counting the number of C19 infections to counting the number of vaccinations. I predict that this year we will embrace some of the changes that have been forced upon us by the pandemic and reap the benefits of living a kinder, healthier lifestyle.

Happy New Year to all!