The World’s Growing Impatience

Social[1]Long before the pandemic began, I habitually browsed through a variety of news sources to find out what was happening in the world. As I do so these days, one question keeps replaying in my head…how long can people reasonably be expected to social isolate before they chuck it in order to visit cherished family and friends, or to salvage what’s left of their business? As you all know, millions of folks are missing out on paychecks, medical procedures, visits with ailing family members, and educational prospects.

Here in British Columbia, talk has started about a slow and careful reopening, although we’re still two weeks away from lifting the state of emergency. Our provincial health officer isn’t ready to provide specific dates about starting elective surgeries or re-opening classrooms. It’s worth noting that B.C.’s lockdown hasn’t been as strict as it is in other provinces, and that many of BC’s closures are self-imposed. Still, I sense that people are starting to become really frustrated and even angry about the lack of work and accessibility to services. Here in the Lower Mainland, we are seeing more vehicles on the road than there was two weeks ago, although what this actually means isn’t clear. Maybe people just want to go for a drive. After all, gas is really cheap right now.

As I’ve mentioned before, self-isolation is easier for some than others, depending on circumstances, but is there a line that some will cross before health experts give the all clear?

The day that line is crossed will be different for everyone. Mother’s Day is coming up, as is the Victoria Day long weekend in about three weeks. If the weather is hot and sunny, what will happen then?

Governments aren’t bottomless pits of financial aid. They will run out of money and things will have to re-open—hopefully in a smart, safe way—long before a vaccine is developed. Will the majority of people be back at work this summer? Will the beaches and parks and malls re-open? If so, will the numbers of people allowed in be restricted, and if so, who will regulate those wide open spaces? It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

I don’t know what my own personal line is, but my daughter will give birth sometime in late July. I haven’t seen her in person since March 8th, and although I would never do anything to jeopardize her health, the urge to go see her will become overwhelming as time passes.

Yes, we’re all in this together, but as I’ve seen on the news this week, there are different interpretations of togetherness. Many of us are still doing our best to stay home, remain patient, and see what unfolds. May should prove to be an interesting month.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

10 thoughts on “The World’s Growing Impatience”

    1. Thanks, Julie. I went out for a walk today, so missed part of her broadcast. I think most people are waiting for those specific dates. It will be really interesting to hear what she has to say!


  1. Hi Debra. This is a timely post. I am of the firm belief that this topic is already being discussed. Methods of part normal return to work for all types of business. It likely depends a great deal on rate of infection by region internationally. Some close quarters businesses will wait especially if it involves tens of thousands at an event. But at some point people are going to take the risk especially if the risk to them seems nominal.

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    1. Yes, I wouldn’t be surprised, if a lot of families are having conversations about this right now. It’s such an incredibly difficult decision for many who might be in danger of losing their homes. Work, or stay home?


  2. The government of Spain has implemented reasonable gradual ease of the restrictions. The goal is to have everything back to normal by the end of June. All being well of course. At the end of the day, this has been a relatively short period of time in our lives. The strict restrictions have certainly worked. There have been no deaths in our region for 5 days. But we can´t remove all the restrictions too soon. Stay safe. xo

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    1. I’m so glad to hear that things are getting better, Darlene. And it sounds like a reasonable plan because the government’s giving people dates to look forward to. I think the hardest part for many is not knowing when things will start to re-open.

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  3. We too in the US are watching and waiting. About a third of the states are opening up somewhat (what is considered Phase 1 of 3). Not mine–California. Sigh.

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    1. Your country is an interesting situation and not unlike ours, as each province will decide when and what to re-open. Plans for re-opening are further ahead in Manitoba, but B.C. is now proposing to lay out a plan next week. I worry about you all down there, as I’m not convinced that the worst is over in some areas of the U.S. The economic and mental health ramifications will be there long after things open up, which is a whole other level of stress, worry, and recovery.


  4. I too sense a growing impatience with the restrictions. Sure hope we can all hang on long enough to dodge a COVID resurgence. It must be very difficult for you not to be with your daughter right now.

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    1. Thanks, and yes it is difficult, but for a good cause. Her doctor hasn’t wanted her to venture anywhere, so she started self-isolating a few days before the rest of us, and so far she’s doing really well. As was pointed out, though, this is a relatively short period of separation in our lives and I’m confident that things will open up for BC folks in May! As for resurgence, I think many of us will maintain our hand washing & 6 ft apart guidelines well into the fall for fear of exactly that. Can you imagine having to self-isolate right at Christmas time?

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