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  • Writer's pictureMarc Lalonde

The light at the end of the tunnel

There's still hope for 2020 - I think

It has been a brutal 12 weeks for me. It’s been horrendous in many, many ways, not the least of which was my perceived worthlessness and the pummelling that my self-esteem and my identity took after gyms closed and the seniors classes I had been enjoying teaching so much also went on indefinite hiatus.

I vacillated between between hyper-vigilant of my nutrition some weeks, to eating three bags of chips in a week in other weeks. I roller-coastered emotionally, high as a kite one day and moribund for three days after in some instances. Or, the opposite. Three days of happy-happy-joy-joy, followed by a day of feeling lower than a worm’s bellybutton.

I can remember some late nights in particular where I became more and more despondent as I pondered my burgeoning irrelevance in the pandemic sphere. The more time I spent inside my head, the worse it got, and filling the days was a challenge, to say the last, for a long period of time.

Daily routines have been thrown into an uproar and my children are becoming sort of feral. Bad news after bad news comes for my daughter. Now, it appears as though it will be a long time before her elite-level hockey resumes, and we suspect it might well affect the beginning of next year’s hockey season, and will impact whether or not Lac St. Louis will even offer a triple-A program.

The 2020 tackle football season is still very much up in the air and I hope against hope that my son’s optimism will be justified in the long run. This pandemic and lockdown has created a situations wherein dear friends have had to chosen to move away from the area, thereby further personalizing the pain I feel at times, when I think about how much we have lost. And that's before I consider the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been lost around the world.

Not to mention the uptick in racially-polarizing rhetoric caused by George Floyd’s murder earlier this month at the hands of Minneapolis police. To the city’s credit, the offending police officer and his complicit brethren were fired and subsequently charged with the man’s murder. The U.S. President took the opportunity to further divide the country – already a political powder keg – by tear-gassing peaceful protesters so he could waddle across the street and hold a bible in the air for a photo op– and I still remain surprised by the fact that he didn’t start to spontaneously combust from the religious icon being in his hand.

So in the final days (it would appear; don’t assume further Russian interference won’t push Trump’s ignorant ass back into the White House for a few more embarrassing years) of Trumpistan, we watch as the seeds he and his ilk (I hesitate to use Conservative here as a descriptor. More like awful ignoramuses) have sown in the name of creating an ‘other’ to fearmonger.

So, we’re locked inside and even though things are starting to reopen, it is not A) happening fast enough for my kids and B) it’s not the way they would like. I want to be able to tell them exactly when they’ll be able to play team sports again, but I can’t make that promise, because I just don’t know.

Also, it’s a natural transition time thanks to the weather and it’s the time when the kids would normally be out of school (and spare me the idea that they’re in school via Zoom. It’s a suboptimal learning experience at best).

But yet, I am gripped by optimism and hope, weeks after I feared all hope had been taken from this place and I had absolutely zero fucks left to give. Today marks a serious improvement in both my outlook and the amount of things that we are allowed to do in Quebec. We are on the road to recovery – I think.

Isn’t that cause enough for optimism? I think so.

Either that, or the light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming straight for us. At least it won’t be boring!

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