January 13th, 2021
Happy New Year everyone...we made it through 2020!! I haven't done a Blog post in a while, so here it goes. My wife Toni works at a library, and someone she works with in charge of archives said something very interesting...she said “we are currently living through history”. I’ve thought about that a lot during this COVID period, the fact that there has never been a period like this in human history, and this is a time we will remember for the rest of our lives. So if we’re living through history, I figured I should write something about this bizarre time that we are all going through.
COVID-19 first became a major factor in my family and I’s lives on March 9th, 2020. I remember the day well because it was the first day of March Break, and we had packed up the car for a drive out to Halifax to visit our family there. At that point there were just a handful of cases that were starting to be diagnosed in Canada, and no one was really sure how serious it was. I remember discussing with my wife whether we would still go on the trip or not, and talking with one of our Managers of Varsity Athletics at York about whether we would have an in-person Coaches Meeting the following Tuesday or not. At that point we thought it might last a couple of weeks, and it was difficult to find places where we could buy protective masks. Now fast forward 10 months later, and COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc all over the planet with 92,300,351 diagnosed COVID cases, and 1,977,565 deaths from this virus (as per John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center). Here in Canada, a second State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home order was just announced for Ontario and we have been averaging over 3,000 new cases per day over the last week.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel as there are two vaccines that have been approved for distribution here in Canada, but now the question is how quickly it can be distributed, and what the
new normal will look like once we come out of all this.
While COVID-19 has been taking lives and destroying families, this has also been a time of great upheaval and anger set off by the horrific murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers on May 25th, 2020. Since that time there have been massive protests all over the World, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement fighting for justice and equality for Black people in the U.S. and all over the World. Realistically, to talk about systematic racism and it's crippling and brutal effects, I would need to do a completely separate post. The injustice, inequality, and fear that those of us who live with a darker skin colour live with everyday is a weight that we all carry on our shoulders every day in everything we do and everywhere we go. What has been very moving and impactful about this time is how many people of different races and backgrounds are now jumping on board in the battle against racism and injustice, and hopefully this collective frustration can finally lead to real and lasting change.
On a personal note, the things that have kept me sane and positive during this time have been my family, times with my team where we have been able to do workouts (mostly outdoors, but a few indoors), and re-discovering the incredible sport of Golf. I had started playing Golf for a couple of seasons back in 2006-08, but once my son Isaac was born and I got into coaching full-time, I just didn't have time to play anymore. But with the extra time from COVID lockdowns, and the fact that it was one of the few activities that was allowed due to the ability to social distance and be outside, I dusted off the clubs and really fell in love with the game. I would say from playing many other sports, that Golf is the most difficult sport on the planet, and there are just so many layers to it and different aspects to work at. Even professional golfers will tell you that they still haven't perfected the game, and there is always more to work at and improve on. The extra time with family, and the time to work at my Golf game and re-learn the game have been the silver lining during this time.
So there it is, my recap of 2020 and this COVID time that none of us will ever forget. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those families who lost loved ones this past year, those who lost their health or their jobs in 2020, and all those who have been going through great difficulty. For my family, our players, and I, we are trying to focus on taking everything day by day, and hoping that brighter days are ahead and things will improve soon.