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It took me completely by surprise. I could feel the butterflies in my gut. My head started to spin as Kevin and I talked about what our life would be like post-pandemic. As Saskatchewan reopens, why the nervousness?

I'm soooo done with Covid. There are many things we have not been able to do for a long time.

I want to hug and be hugged.

I want to see friends and family face-to-face.

I want to ditch the masks and face shields so we can communicate easily with our staff and customers.

I want to ease the mental load of worrying about staff health. Covid has been an HR roller coaster.

I want to get off the farm and escape our groundhog day existence of Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Except for a quickie two day fishing trip last August, we have not left the farm since 2019 and "staycations" on a farm are not a thing, despite two valiant attempts!

But after 15 months of being told to shelter at home, this shift is taking a little more mental energy than I thought it would.

My mind rattles with questions. Will things go back to the way they were pre-pandemic? Is that a good thing? Will customers keep ordering and buying local?  What social activities are safe? How and when do we gather with extended family again? How do we bridge the vaccine opinion gap? Will the . . . .? What about the . . . ? And so on.

I can't wait to ballroom dance again, host friends for dinner in our home, spontaneously meet up for drinks, and go on vacation. I need those things to make me a more interesting and flourishing person. BRING IT ON!

But, not everything about the pandemic has been terrible.

I also have a “Pandemic Keep List” ---- things that have kept me sane in these odd and anxious times. I think they’re worth hanging on to, whatever comes next.

  1. Eating and shopping locally --- entrepreneurs made it easier than ever!
  2. Slow dinners and evenings
  3. Comfy Covid fashion
  4. Zoom cocktails with my bestie and her husband in Calgary
  5. Zoom cocktails with Kevin’s sister and brother-in-law in Toronto

(no judging on the cocktail consumption, ok?)

  1. Weekly calls with my dad
  2. Games with our kids
  3. Tree walks in summer
  4. Snow shoeing in winter
  5. Embracing my inner introvert
  6. Reading novels
  7. Offering continual grace to myself and others

So as the world reopens and we've had our second vaccines, I will squeeze into my hard pants, keep my mask handy, and say "hello world" (knowing my yoga pants await me at home)!

What are your “pandemic keeps”?

P.S. I must be making progress because I'm already scanning travel sites to use up my airline credits from 2020 . . . 


  • Thanks for this honest post, Melanie. I feel the same as you – we have been fortunate during this time, and I have lots of the same “keeps” as you. Supporting local is even more important to me now: seeing all of the “for lease” signs on businesses in our community makes me think about the kind of city I want us to be, with lively, local operations. I give tremendous kudos to businesses like yours for your creativity and adaptation in this tough year.

    Please don’t go back to “hard” pants. If we all decide to stay in comfies, we can start a revolution :)

    Christy M.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about this too! I definitely want to keep the online local grocery orders, the vulnerable conversations, allowing space for everyone’s needs, regular dog park visits with our Covid dog, and blanks on the calendar where we get to enjoy some family downtime.

    Really looking forward to in person mask-free visits and travel out of the province, or even to other cities!

    Noelle Chorney

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