We are halfway through January, already at the same point as before, although many more people are sick, in hospital and ICU. Our Carol O’Neil works with people trying to make a new life for themselves, which is even harder for them. Many tell her how they feel.


“It isn’t burnout because they still have energy. It isn’t depression; they didn’t feel hopeless. They just felt somewhat joyless and aimless.” It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.


Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2022.


As scientists and physicians work to treat and cure the physical symptoms of long-haul Covid, many people struggle with the pandemic’s emotional long-haul. Rev. Elaine Hall of Port Perry called it “wallowing,” not a very pleasant description of anyone.


Again, some light is needed, whether it is sunlight, a good laugh, some time with friends distancing outside, talking on the phone or other ways to connect. Most of us are lucky that we do have people with whom we can connect, but others don’t, unfortunately, and now there is a third “pandemic” being mentioned.
The first is, of course, COVID in its ever-changing form, the second is the number of drug overdoses that has sharply increased in most cities, and the third is mental health or lack thereof. Unfortunately, like our other doctors and nurses, our mental health professionals are also burned out, languishing or wallowing. Follow the rules, get vaccinated and let’s get rid of this quickly.


Back in December, I seriously neglected to mention the birthdays of three of my very good friends from Sandford. In the days when we were doing choir, it was easy to remember but not so much now. The birthday girls were Carol Meek, Cathy Ellig and Nancy Wolfe. A huge belated happy birthday to you all!


Happy birthday to Jeff Steward! Jeff is one of the sons of Doris Brandon and Ron Steward and has kept very busy during the pandemic with helping all his customers stay safe online since so much has been done on computers these days.


Big birthday wishes to Darrel Sultana., husband to our Melinda Delorme and keeper of the books for the Newmarket SPCA. He is also a special caregiver to their dogs and cats, which he greatly enjoys!


Brad Clark is a busy man looking after all his cattle and farming a large acreage but has lots of help from his busy four daughters and lovely wife. He always takes time out to have fun with all of them.


Ted Meyers is always a busy man being on a number of committees and lately helping out his wife as she recovered from her knee surgery, but everything may be good to go now. Happy birthday Ted!


Another busy man is Scott Campsall, who runs a couple of businesses to keep fit and enjoys working with his amazing wife Jennifer when she isn’t singing up a storm. Happy birthday to you too!


Another birthday wish goes out to Dave Uren. Dave grew up in Uxbridge while his father, Norm Uren, was the policeman for the town. Those were the days when the police officer knew everyone and everybody knew him, and they lived in the town they worked in! Dave still maintains many contacts from those growing up years.


Tomorrow the kids go back to real school. I sure hope it lasts as they have missed so much, not just in learning but also in socializing and other growing-up lessons. By the time you read this, we will likely have a pretty good idea whether it will last or not. Fingers crossed!


More and more churches are holding virtual services, it seems, most are taking another look at things by the end of the month. Most have pre-recorded or live-stream services, so those who don’t have those facilities can join with them. That, and Carol O’Neil continues to provide a full service for us, so we are well looked after. No time has been set for our members to start thinking about returning.
In closing, here is an Apache Blessing:

“May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, May the rain (snow) wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.”