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Is it Safe to Go Back in the Water?

by Ray Cardello for July 6, 2021 Season 2 / Post 22

I have fond memories of endless summers as a kid. Mornings at the field with my glove, bat, and ball. Afternoons at the neighborhood pool. It was alternating schedules back then-girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon. The next day it flipped. Nights and weekends were saved for family time, and it was everyone into the pool. It was a huge day when you took your swimming test. If you could swim two laps of the pool, you graduated to the other side of the ropes-the deep end. You were one of the cool kids when you were out of the shallow kid’s end. It was such a disappointment when you heard the rumble of thunder in the distance, and the clap of lightning lit the sky. That loud whistle-blowing meant everyone out of the pool as a storm was coming. We all gathered in the locker room, waiting out the storm so we could get back into the water. The sound of the whistle this time meant we could jump back in-it was safe. Let the fun resume—what a simple pleasure.

I get the sense we are all in the locker room these days, waiting to get back into the pool. We are making an effort to resume our everyday lives, but there is a sense of anxiety in the air. It may not be safe just yet. We had a fun time with extended family on the 4th of July. There was joking and laughter and story-telling, but you could feel that everyone was a bit guarded. There was not the usual carefree feeling in the cabin at the pond. I do not feel like everyone is convinced that the storm has passed and it is safe to go back in the water. Not just yet.

It is understandable. We have survived the biggest universal threat in our lifetime. The COVID-19 Pandemic is supposedly over, but with all of the false narratives we have been fed for eighteen months, can we be sure it is okay to be normal again? We hear stories of deaths in India. We hear of the lack of vaccines in Canada. We see masks still worn in Europe. We see a reluctance to get the vaccine at home, and we hear rumblings of the Delta Strain waiting in the wings to put us all back into lockdown. There is a reason for anxiety. That reason is the unknown. We do not have all the answers. Heck, we don’t even know if the ones we do have are real. We are told to have faith in science, but can we have faith in scientists? That is the biggest question of all and the core of our anxiety to get back to living life without fear.

The fight to beat the Pandemic was a global war, but we are now at a time of individual battle. We all need to make our own decisions on how we will resume our lives. We can, and should, support each other, but the future is a personal choice right now. The whistle is blowing, and we are told it is safe to get back into the water. Each of us has to look inside to see if we have the faith, and the fortitude, to get our bathing suits wet again. We are survivors. Each of us will find our way back to normal. It will be at different speeds, and that is okay. That is why a highway has many lanes. Patience, understanding, and that inherent will to live will guide us all back to normal. Let’s be ready to celebrate like the old days when the stragglers make it home.

Everyone in the pool took their test when they were ready. Everyone knew when they could finally swim those two laps. By the end of the summer, everyone was in the deep end, and the rope was taken down. Let’s get back to life like the rope has been finally taken down. Come on in. The water is fine.

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