Back to the future

Jasper Avenue on a snowy, Covid-19 Sunday on April 5, 2020. The street is almost empty.
Audreys Books, on Jasper Avenue, has posted a sign that says, “We love you Edmonton.” My book, The Raven Named Flight and How She Learned to Fly, is sold here.

I was walking to pick up a prescription from a downtown Edmonton store on Thursday when I heard shouting. Another pedestrian (two metres away from me) was yelling at a taxi driver stopped at a red light. The cabbie was yelling back. I’m not sure what had transpired moments before but the noise shook me. The streets were almost empty and I had been admiring some of the signs local business owners had put up in their windows, encouraging us to remember we’re all in this together. The shouting match, though, was a sign that we’re all under intense pressure. What if we can look to the past, for the future?    

Some people are starting to get snippy. A friend in Nova Scotia had a woman bark at her for standing near her in the grocery store line. We’re dealing with a new illness, new societal guidelines and a new normal for everyone. It has to bring out raw emotions while we grapple with staying indoors constantly or fighting Covid-19 or being worried about a loved one who is sick with it. There are a myriad of other things the pandemic has brought down on us, too like –lost jobs, lost opportunities and loads of stress.

A sign posted in Audreys Books window that says We love you Edmonton.
Hard to see but reads, We love you Edmonton.

Most of us are stuck in our homes, not able to go out to see family and friends or do what we usually do in our lives. I’d like to ask you to remember a favourite person, place or activity. Perhaps it’s playing hockey on Saturday night at the arena or grabbing a coffee at a local cafe with a friend. Let’s use social media to shout out to a local business that you miss frequenting. Post a funny story from the gym you usually train in or share a memory about your grandmother who you can’t visit. Use the hashtag #backtothefuture. Stories are a good way to remind us that we’re staying home now, so we can have all these things later.

I’ll post my story here next week. What’s your story?