EDITORIAL: 2021 101: A guide to the New Year

May we live in less interesting times, editor Adam Louis writes

I’m a bigger guy. Not height-wise; I stand a towering 5’7 and that’s about as high off the ground as I ever intend to be, except for that one time I dressed up as Herman Munster.

I’ve tried to lose weight on multiple occasions with varying degrees of success. I’m still about 15 shy of the biggest I’ve ever been, but that’s obviously not enough and a good portion of my wardrobe happens to agree. The problem is I’m a creature of habit, and in the case of my relationship with food, that’s not necessarily a good thing. What I know works is consistency – in my case, sticking to a high-protein, low-carb/fat diet, plenty of veggies, cardio and strength training a few times a week, and we’re golden. The problem lies in forming new, healthier habits and avoiding falling back into that old comfort zone that got me into trouble in the first place.

This isn’t a column about weight loss or a new year’s resolution to get healthy – although there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. It’s about consistency.

We’re facing a crossroads as 2021 comes. On one path, we cross the finish line of 2020 and chuck this year into the frozen depths of Cocytus, never to be heard from again. We risk losing the lessons this year has brought on, slipping too quickly into a normal routine, prompting a third wave of the pandemic.

On the other path, we take a more gradual approach. This pandemic did not come overnight and neither will the healing. The good news, however, is we’re on the right track. As I’m writing this, I’m seeing COVID numbers go back down, the result of the new gathering restrictions bending that dreaded curve back down again. Vaccinations are not a silver bullet but an extremely important component in the healing process. However, it will be consistency in applying the usual common-sense ways to prevent COVID’s spread that will accelerate healing and bring us back to normal in due course.

Though it’s great to have this hellish year in the history books, it’s vastly more important to remember what we’ve learned so far, pandemic-related and otherwise.

We’ve learned that though COVID’s survival rate is high, we don’t yet understand the long-term health complications. We understand that though it most impacts those with underlying conditions and of older age, even the healthiest among us can get very sick and die. We know staying home, though certainly not ideal and at times a heart-rending sacrifice, helps slow its spread. We know there are a few misinformed people out there who will continue to believe until Judgment Day and trumpets sound this is all a conspiracy to track and control the people.

While some of our neighbours have shown great ignorance and cruelty during this trying time in our history, there are many among us who show great faith, compassion and love. People have innovated in the way they reach out to those in need of physical or emotional needs. All but a few fringe faith groups have learned the true meaning of the church (gurdwara, temple, mosque, etc.) being the people, the flock, not the building in which they worship. People have rallied behind local non-profits to bring help to those who need it most.

2020 has shown us the light and darkness humanity has to offer. If you resolve to do nothing else this year, may you be a light. If enough of us are the light, where can the darkness hide?

Happy 2021, everyone. May God bless us with more boring times.

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