Love for friends and family

The importance of time in the COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, losses and knock-on effects have made it unclear how much time we have left with our loved ones. Time is the biggest gift we have and one we can never get back.

It’s always important to show our friends and families we love them, especially during this pandemic. The stress and pressure the pandemic bring means we need to give more love and need more love in return as well.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been doing two things to share my time and show my love to my family. 

The first is playing cards with my mom. 

We started off with the card game Gin, which my mom taught me how to play. We also play Euchre often, which I knew how to play with four people but recently learned the two-person version.

The second is going climbing with my dad. 

We go to Seven Bays Bouldering, a climbing gym specifically for bouldering on Chain Lake Drive. My older brother, who is graduating from Waterloo University in Ontario soon, introduced us to climbing back in October 2021 when he came to Nova Scotia for Thanksgiving. My dad got into it right away, but my mom and I were more hesitant. It took me some time, but I ended up getting really into it as well. 

My dad and I now climb at Seven Bays twice a week. I find it really helps us both, and we’re always less stressed after climbing. I get overwhelmed easily, and climbing is really the only thing that clears my mind anymore.

Virtual wedding and socializing with friends

Something else I’ve been doing is making an effort to connect, even if only digitally. This is something we had to do a few days ago for my cousin’s wedding. It was in Hong Kong, but he set up a live stream so we could watch it on the other side of the world. 

My aunt and uncle, who live in Malaysia, flew to Hong Kong and were quarantined for 14 days to be able to attend in person. It was incredibly touching to be part of my cousin’s wedding, even with the pandemic preventing us from attending in person. 

The morning after the wedding, my mom, dad and I had a Google Meet call with my cousin, his wife, my aunt and uncle, and my brother in Ontario. It was so nice to see all their faces.

As for friends, spending quality time has been increasingly difficult due to us all being incredibly busy. I do my best to talk with them when we have time, mostly through Discord, a social media platform. 

I keep in touch with my friends from high school, and we have a “friend call” every Friday night. With my new university friends at Dal, we occasionally go out for dinner and drinks on Friday evenings when restrictions allow.

Time is limited

In Nova Scotia, there have been a total of 212 deaths from COVID-19. In Canada, the death total is over 37,000. With the Omicron variant being so easily spread, getting COVID is becoming more and more of a reality. This dark cloud of possibility encourages us to reconsider who we want to spend the most time with before it’s too late.

Why does this matter for international students whose families aren’t in Canada? The total deaths worldwide from COVID-19 have exceeded 6 million. The pandemic affects all countries, not just Canada.  

All this socializing from a distance makes it clear that our time with our loved ones is limited, especially as the pandemic continues. 

The additional stress, pressure and fatigue that comes with the pandemic have unpredictable knock-on impacts. For me, this makes it more important than ever to express our love to the people we care about when we can.

All in all, it’s key to spend time with our loved ones and express our love when we can. 

I love my family and have a close relationship with them, so it’s easy for me to write about family. I realize that not everyone has that privilege. I’m lucky. 

My heart goes out to those who don’t have strong familial relationships during COVID-19. I hope everyone has someone to love and enjoy spending time with.

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