Liam’s Lowdown: COVID-19 has made life ‘simple’

Liam’s Lowdown: COVID-19 has made life ‘simple’

Under the pandemic, I feel more connected to my neighbours

Growing up, my dad always lamented the direction of society. He grew up in an era of biking without helmets, coffee cups without hot beverage cautioning and wind chill warnings.

“One day, we’ll get to the point where we’ll stay in our homes until the government says it’s safe to leave,” was something he would say.

His prediction became right, although I don’t think in the way he intended.

Some provinces and countries are starting to get ready for reopening. Saskatchewan plans to open dentistry, optometry and physical therapies by May 4 and golf courses by May 15.

Parks will reopen and overnight camping will be allowed starting June 1.

However, park access will be restricted to Saskatchewan residents only.

The size of public and private gatherings will remain limited to a maximum of 10 people.

As of April 27, B.C. has not set any dates for reopening businesses and parks.

We are still waiting. Funnily, life under COVID-19 reminds me of walking to Mexico.

Six years ago, a friend and I skied, hiked and snowshoed from Jasper, Alta., to Puerto Palomas, Mexico.

We followed the Great Divide, the hydrological spine of North America, where water on one side goes to the Atlantic/Arctic and the other to the Pacific.

The adventure was roughly 5,500 kilometres and took eight months.

We went through ten pairs of shoes, cooked over fires and took up knitting.

Knitting across the Red Desert in Wyoming. Only knitted through and missed a couple intersections…Ops. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Life was simple. We would wake up, walk, lunch, walk, snack, walk, camp. Repeat. Over and over and over again.

The day’s highlight might be an extra spoon of cream cheese on a bagel, a conversation with someone other than my hiking partner or water that didn’t come from a cow trough.

We had no schedule. Nowhere we really needed to be. We were between worlds.

While I’m not walking 50 km per day during this pandemic, my life has become simple.

At the moment, my daily high point might include in-person conversations, a long bike ride or coconut sugar in my Earl Grey tea.

Like the trail, COVID-19 has brought the unexpected, such as more familiarity with my neighbours. In February, I barely knew their names. Now, I chat with them everyday, whether it’s about our lawns, through the window or even with Facebook Messenger.

Ironically, while I’m spending more time inside instead of outside, I feel more connected to the people around me. No one walks to Mexico for money as the journey is an investment in oneself.

While COVID-19 is doing untold economic damage, for the most part people are still complimentary and support the shutdowns.

The crisis shows Canadians value human life more than the stock market.

And if that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is.



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Liam’s Lowdown: COVID-19 has made life ‘simple’