COVID 19 is what most experts are deeming a once in a lifetime pandemic. Each and every one of us has faced consequences from it. Whether that is the inability to see family members, the new normal of wearing a mask in public or those of us who unfortunately have experienced illness or loss as a result.
ATU Local 583 Members know firsthand the struggles of carrying on and trying to provide a level of “normalcy” in these trying times. Transporting those still using Transit, our members cleaning the fleet to ever increasing standards for a pandemic our City was just simply not prepared for, and of course continuing to do all this in spite of looming threats of layoffs and contracting out to an inferior service provider.
Of course, there are also the effects on personal lives. On our abilities to be social and see each other. This year has seen a massive decline in everyone’s ability to gather, to see friends and family or even coworkers in our downtime. This inaccessibility to one another has many downsides, not the least of which is potentially feeling isolated.
This year has seen an increase in the use of Skype, Zoom and other video calling apps that allow us to see and interact with one another. Of course, nothing truly compares to being in the same room, safely, with those you care about.
In 2020 we had to cancel all of our social events and gatherings. This has meant our Family Picnic, Retiree’s Banquet and Children’s Christmas Party were all cancelled. As well, we had to cancel smaller but still important events like our Steward’s Appreciation and the annual Candy Wrap.
The impact of losing our ability to socialize is huge. Whether it is our ATU 583 annual events or just being able to meet up with friends for a night out or a sports event. We have greatly missed seeing our Members and being able to kick back and spend some time together outside the workplace.
We also have ever growing news of vaccines and their imminent distribution. We look forward to the impact that will have on decreasing Covid’s risk and its reach.
We’d also like to direct you all to an earlier blog post of ours on Covid, EFAP and Mental Health. These are trying times and the possible isolation and feelings of not having control can be overwhelming. We urge our Members to recognize this and to take steps for themselves if needed. In that same vein, please (safely) watch out for one another.
Until safer times when we can meet up en masse once again, stay safe and be well.