Dearest Andy Quan, I submit my KIT (Keep In Touch) below. I do not want to see your usual reminders of “write your KIT”.
My dear friends from Year 13, Year 14 and Year 15, I will cut to the chase since it is a fact that I miss you all.
The year 2020 will go down in my history books as the Lost Year. When I write news now and opinions or blog posts, I say last year mentioning 2019 as though 2020 did not exist. Reality is the year 2020 passed us all by. We were just trying to survive and avoid Corona.
I found some things which some of you also likely experienced:
1) Education went online.
2) Companies shut down.
3) We lost millions of jobs.
4) People died – around 2,4 million https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-toll/
5) We lost parents, mothers, uncles, aunties, grand parents, nieces and nephews. We lost many friends.
6) Trump is no longer president. Do I hear an Amen to this?
7) Freedom of speech was curtailed. Journalists were assassinated. Activists of social justice were killed. https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/02/04/Lebanon-Hezbollah-critic-Lokman-Slim-found-shot-to-death-in-his-car AND this was on the back of Jamal Khashoggi being assassinated previously. Well, like butchered, really.
8) Our children returned home since university is now online.
9) Churches and other places of worship were closed. Many still remain closed. Last year, 2020, was the year when most of us who are religious most needed to be in places of worship or meet with our religious leaders. Luckily, I have been keeping in touch (KIT) with my family’s priests. Brent and Richard. I find that this open communication with my Parish’s priests has helped me to retain a semblance of sanity.
Update on the family.
Rebecca finished at University of Toronto last year and moved to Montreal. There are no jobs currently for most recent graduates.
Natasha is in her second year at Ryerson University and is studying at home.
Andie is Rebecca’s partner and he is in McGill Law School but this university also went online and Andie is here with us in Moncton. He is taking all his courses online like Natasha and sometimes they cry together in their cups of tea. Virtual Learning is not what one would think. These kids are missing out on campus experience in big cities. You all should come to Moncton or Shediac. This is Boonie country.
Our oldest daughter Annet, who lives in Las Vegas with her family, cannot even fly back to Canada due to the border restrictions. We were supposed to all be together in Las Vegas for Xmas 2020. We all now just video chat.
We have another daughter, Dora, who lives just across the bridge in PEI (Prince Edward Island) and we have not been able to see her. Do you people know how quickly PEI closes that Confederation Bridge?
I have lost many relatives and friends over this Corona period. I even once had to read up on all the world pandemics. The last time there was a pandemic which gripped the world entire was (I think) the Spanish Flu. You can read up on it. “Pandemics which changed history” https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/pandemics-timeline
The way I look at life now is that everyone you meet is going through a hard time. We need to be compassionate with each other. Not only this, yesterday, AFP put out a story saying that the virus is here to stay for years and we need to brace ourselves. https://nangalama.blogspot.com/2021/02/corona-virus-expected-to-last-long-term.html
I am still with Exxonmobil (Imperial Oil Ltd. transferee) and while I fear for my job, loss of income, I think that with my writing & journalism, we will be fine.
Martha Leah Nangalama (Nangi)
UWC Pearson Year 14