Great things often come unexpectedly, or how our human faces change these days

At the end of the last week, I finally received good news. Mom’s fever went down.

The disease is not completely gone yet, as her temperature is still higher than normal and she is weak, but she is doing better. It’s been two weeks so far for her, and about three for the rest of the family, and none of them has fully recovered yet, so for me comparison to the “regular flu” definitely doesn’t stand the grounds (let alone that mom felt way worse than during any flu she had before).

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But at least last weekend I finally could get some good sleep and focus attention on other issues.

Unfortunately, it still didn’t go too far from COVID-related problems. Soon after I talked to mom, I came across news about a 53-year-old man stabbed to death after he demanded a couple to follow the rules on wearing masks on public transportation in St. Petersburg. Masks are mandatory there, so that person confronted a man and woman who weren’t wearing any face cover. The confrontation turned violent and continued after all three got off the bus. The victim was stabbed during the brawl.

I got goose bumps reading it. That’s my hometown, known for its hospitality, famous for its culture and intelligence, celebrated for its outstanding friendliness (which is even more noticeable when contrasted with most of other Russian regions). But even though I was shocked, after all the violence that flooded the U.S. past summer, this incident almost didn’t sound like anything outstanding anymore (I guess it’s the best indicator of how crazy the times are).

This once again made me think about how we cope with the challenges coming our way non-stop since at least February. Economic crisis, psychological pressure of the pandemic, instability and constant, mostly negative changes are hurting I’d say almost everybody, to different extents. As I said before, we may notice it as much and it may not feel real, unless it becomes our personal reality. 

But what also matters is how we react to that.

When I shared the news about my family, I received a great deal of support, a lot of which came from people from Estevan I don’t even know. Those who read my column commented and texted me, saying that they were praying for my folks, wishing them to get better and extending their support. I passed all these words onto my family. My dad’s face, when I told him about it, lit up.

It’s assumed that your loved ones are meant to be there for you during hard times, but to know that there are that many people who you don’t know, but who, even if for a brief moment, thought of you and wished you all the best, was really strong for them.

That sense of community I felt when I was reading warm words from friends, acquaintances, people I hardly know or don’t know at all, became my pillar, something I felt I could lean on or come back to during the past week and a half. Those few words for me crossed out all other negative noise that exists in the contemporary social media field and helped to keep me going through this time.

I’m pretty sure that people here who found strength to support me, may also have hard times because of the pandemic. They may also be experiencing challenges of one or the other type. But that was their reaction.

While thousands if not millions of us give in to pressure and allow their worst to come up and take over, turning what’s already a pretty chaotic life into something even more unbearable, others remain humans and as humans they are doing their best to be kind to each other.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I kept hearing that we are all in this together. I guess it’s true to a point. The pandemic hits poor and rich, people of different faith and religion, colour, ethnicity, etc. But we all cope with it very different. It’s like travelling through an ocean. Some people refuse to believe that storms exist, others prefer to believe that they happen in other part of the ocean, some gear up and get ready to face it, and others are fighting it already. One way or the other when the storm hits some stay strong enough to be humans even then, and it’s the peer support and team effort that wins us our way out in the long run.

I guess all I wanted is to share my happiness and excitement with you, as I believe sharing the positive is even more important than opening up when it hurts. And I also hope that this little drop of good news (as in loved ones of someone we know made it through, it was a battle but they won) would give you a tiny bit of courage and strength, or maybe just will put a smile on your face and will help you get through your stressful moments.

This too shall pass.

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