My musings on how to cope during these troubled times--a fourth and final installment….
1. For most of us, this pandemic has resulted in a slower pace of life. This slower pace has provided me with time to reflect on what is truly important in life. My epiphanic revelation: connecting with others is what makes life worthwhile (at least for me). The frenetic pace of my pre-Covid existence caused me to lose touch with individuals who meant and continue to mean a lot to me. My best intentions to keep in touch were sabotaged by the daily demands on my time—demands which I felt needed to take precedence. In short, this ‘downtime’ has made me reevaluate my priorities; and I have used this time to reconnect with family and friends.
2. Covid-19 is an ‘equalizer’. Your background, your social status, your race, your wealth and prestige—none of it matters. This insidious virus does not discriminate based on class, upbringing, etc. We are all equally vulnerable. And we all equally need each other to survive. We depend on each other (for instance, to respect government directives and protocols) so that we can all reduce our risk of contracting the virus.
This is the third installment of my Covid-19 blog—a blog in which I wax eloquent on the subject of coping strategies during these trying times:
I continue where I left off in Part I of “Covid-19—How Do We Cope?” To recap: my proffered coping strategies included, i) keep calm and carry on; ii) live one day at a time; iii) try to be grateful.
To be clear, I struggle as much as the next person dealing with this remarkable change in how we live our lives: how we deal with isolation (and as a corollary, loneliness); how we deal with boredom; how we socialize; how we conduct business.
Realizing my own shortcomings when it comes to providing advice on a subject of which I know little, I conferred with some doctors--more qualified than I to offer valuable insight--on how to cope…
Trite but true: these are unprecedented times; nerve-wracking, unchartered territory nobody living has ever experienced. Perhaps there are a few still living who can recall the 2nd World War. Canada, by and large, was not significantly impacted by this war. Furthermore, unlike World War II, we are dealing with an invisible foe—a virus for which there is no cure, not yet.
COVID-19, this invisible enemy, has suddenly and dramatically changed every aspect of our lives—socially, personally, professionally—for the foreseeable future and possibly, to some degree or another, forever.
At the beginning of this pandemic, perhaps many were enthralled by the novelty of these historic circumstances. The novelty, though, was fleeting. Quiet desperation has supplanted novelty. Now, we are left with a bleak landscape (both social and economic) fraught with uncertainty. Tensions rise, burgeoning anxiety and depression taking their toll. Life is becoming one big question mark: will this pandemic ever end; will life ever return to a semblance of normalcy; will I have a job; will I be able to provide for my family, etc.?
We are enduring historic times; an unprecedented era requiring everyone and every institution to adapt--and we are having to do so on the fly. Life as we knew it has changed; whether it returns to what it was is anybody’s guess.
The legal profession is not immune. Although we lawyers are considered to be an ‘essential service’, the way we practice most certainly required change. Currently, lawyers should not be conducting in-person meetings. Meetings are now handled through Zoom (or other video-conferencing technologies).
Meetings are one thing; executing important documents—‘executing’ means signing, dating and witnessing—is another. Formerly, a sine qua non of executing documents: the lawyer, and possibly a second person, needed to be physically present to be witnesses. Obviously, one is throwing caution to the wind during this pandemic era meeting with clients to execute documents. The law (in ‘Darwinian’ fashion) has adapted and done so very quickly.
Blake R. Lyngseth, Ottawa lawyer & mediator. Blogs primarily on issues of Ontario & Canadian family law & estate law.