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Wake up call

Memorial employee reflects on COVID-19, gives thanks

Campus and Community

By Sandy Williamson

I know things are getting desperate or ridiculous, and that I have time on my hands, when I start thinking about how those La Senza bras I threw out could have made colourful and effective face masks.

Going through the clutter in my apartment, I toss elastic ribbons and cloth bandanas into the “to keep” pile. I am preparing for the surge that could still come, and the next level of protection I might need.

Sandy Williamson
Sandy Williamson works at the Health Sciences Library and is a graduate of the Memorial MPhil program.

As one of my friends noted with amazement a few weeks ago, the whole world is at a standstill—and I think we are all a bit shell shocked.

A connected world

Nobody expected their lives to be so altered by a force of nature that just a month and a half ago seemed so far away.

But then again, none of us are really that far apart in this connected world—except for in the grocery store aisles where we try to avoid bursting each other’s bubbles while searching for essentials.

Daily updates, national and provincial, help us to know that everyone is doing what they can, but the fallout from not being prepared is having grim consequences.

Local and global

These consequences are both local and global, but who could have been prepared for something this extreme?  We can only hope the world will work together and that all nations act as allies.

We also hope that the delivery of medical supplies, food and yes, toilet paper meets everyone’s needs and not the needs of those trying to profit from a bad situation.  We know that there are many who are not strangers to need and we all have a taste of that now.

It is at times like these, though there is really no time like this in most of our memories, that we can be very thankful for our jobs at Memorial and the fact that we continue to be paid when many are losing jobs or taking new ones that risk their health. And, of course, those working in essential occupations are deserving of our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation.

The work of staff, faculty and students to keep this university going will pay off as the next generation rises to meet the next challenge that emerges.

Our first responsibility is to protect ourselves and our communities, but we must always remember that what happens to one of us happens to all of us.

So, as we sing our anthems, hopefully we sing them in harmony with the people of every nation who are singing theirs.


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