Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • July 2020 • Circulation 5500

Toss Toonies - leaderboard

Help is Just a Call Away

At the time I am writing this, we’re in week four (or five? I’ve lost track) of this new world we live in now, and it still seems surreal in so many ways. I was reading and watching various news outlets for the first couple of weeks. I’ve since stopped and only watch a wee bit each day. I’ve found that this overwhelming flood of stories and reports from healthcare experts and government leaders really isn’t doing anything to keep me any safer than I was, nor improve my spirits.

My mother, like her mother before, was a nurse. I grew up in a home where hand-washing and proper hygiene was the norm. I have been working from home for years, so a lot of this was perhaps easier for me to adjust to. And I have two puppies and my wife to keep me company.

But my real concern is for those who are alone – who do not have either family or pets to keep them entertained or occupied. Even a pet who cannot talk can listen, doesn’t judge, and requires some interaction throughout the course of the day. I’ve found myself thinking about friends and family that I’ve not spoken to in a while, and have been making a point to reach out and connect. I’ve sent emails weekly to the other MCL board members to check in and see how they are making out. And, while most of them have family and friends within their circles, it is the social interaction outside of the home that we rely on so much.

We are social creatures. The lack of external stimuli can have a dramatic impact on our overall sense of self. It is the little things that matter and in a new world like this, when so much of our social interaction is gone, we are all at risk.

We are social creatures. The lack of external stimuli can have a dramatic impact on our overall sense of self. It is the little things that matter and in a new world like this, when so much of our social interaction is gone, we are all at risk.

I learned many years ago to identify and deal with stress head-on. It was not a natural behaviour, but a skill I had to learn. I found that stress had a physiological impact on my overall well-being and, by learning to identify it, I was able to navigate through it. Not avoid it or pretend it wasn’t there, but to keep an eye on it much like watching the handrail when descending a steep set of stairs. You don’t need to grab it, but your mind knows where it is.

We are that stair rail for each other. When we are together, we recognize if someone is happy or sad and react appropriately. That’s not so easy now, and even harder to notice when we rely on merely text or email. Even videoconferencing doesn’t always do it, and not everyone has a computer to access. But you can call and talk to someone, listen and share with them, hear what they are saying, and connect.

If you’re stuck and feeling alone, know that there are others out there like you. I encourage you to call your neighbour or an old friend. Connect with someone, anyone. And if you’re really stuck, you can always call the Hall and Oates Emergency Helpline (Callin’ Oates) at 719-26 OATES and listen to one of four amazing hits by Hall and Oates. And if that doesn’t cheer you up just a little, I don’t know what will.

Be well, wash your hands, and look after each other. We’ll see you all on the other side of this.

_Greg is the President of the McCauley Community League. He can be reached a_t league@mccauleycl.com.

Subscribe to our newsletter

News from the neighbourhood delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up and stay in touch!