Over the past 15 years, I have played a little Kool and The Gang’s Celebration to kick off summer. I usually do a little dance down the hallway and groove my way out of my classroom. This year, I got up from my kitchen table, closed my computer and walked 3 steps to the kitchen for a glass of water. “Ce-le-brate Good Times Come On!”
The summer is usually a great time to recharge and refresh my energy levels so I go back to teaching pumped up for the new year. This summer is definitely going to be different. There are no triathlons to compete in, no concerts to attend and no weddings to dance at. Although things may look different, I think Dr. Bonnie Henry’s mantra of Be Kind, Be Calm and Be Safe is good advice for this unusual summer.
Be kind as many of us are struggling with mental health.
Be kind to those front-line workers who have been our foundational glue that has kept society running such as grocery store workers, truck drivers and health care professionals. One of my students has only seen her dad for one full day since this all started as he hasn’t had a day off from his job as a truck driver.
Be kind to your neighbors as they might be one of the millions of Canadians who have lost their job and have extreme stress about upcoming bills.
Be calm with members of your community who appear to be not following Covid guidelines. You don’t know what underlying conditions they have that prevent them from wearing a mask.
Be calm with yourself. Slow down, take a moment to breath and give yourself a break from the unbelievably difficult school year you have just completed.
Be calm with your family. Being indoors with the stress of jobs, online learning and the longest winter EVER is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. Hopefully, with the beginning of summer and some fresh air there will be a chance to regroup and enjoy time with family again.
Be safe in your home. I have fallen down the stairs twice since this whole thing has started mostly because I was on edge and trying to move too quickly. Slow down and save yourself some bruises.
Be safe in the outdoors. For many of us, this summer will be filled with new activities that we have never tried before. Before you decide to take up downhill mountain biking because pick up basketball games are not allowed, investigate the gear required for this sport and reflect on whether or not the sport it right for you.
Be safe in your community. Continue to social distance, wear masks and meet in small groups. Your actions will save others.
Have a wonderful summer of 2020. Be Kind, Be Calm and Be Safe as who knows what 2020-2021 will bring.