A Leap of Faith in the Pandemic
In March 2020 I was so excited about the new job at the Region, but also had a lot of mixed feelings after chatting with my prior boss. Lots to consider with the change he said, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that this job was the right fit for me, also knowing that I’ll be closer to home, and won’t have to travel all those long, lonely roads again was a plus. I had just returned from Jamaica to visit my nephew, a medical student at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, and I was blessed to secure my interview date right after my vacation. From the interview, I had a good feeling about the job, however, when the news of the Pandemic broke, and the quarantine instructions came, closure of stores, and mostly the entire country, I was worried. Being a woman of faith, I consulted my God, prayed, and took the leap forward, never turning back.
On my first day at Head Quarters, I collected my laptop and phone and returned home. I had grown used to working at home, since in my previous job, I worked at home 60-75% of the times, going outdoors for audit fieldwork, meetings, or professional development; it was not a problem for me. My real test in my job came in actual audit testing. ☺ I’ve never had to conduct EVERY aspect of an audit online. At times, I got so tired of being online, I felt sick. Worst yet, were the days when the auditees “ghosted” you, meaning, they kept their cameras off during the meetings. So how did I deal with the Pandemic? Some days I took small breaks during the day, got up walked outside, drank water, made a phone call, had a snack, or simply took a 10-minutes power nap. I also enrolled in a PhD program (a lifelong dream), to shift my focus unto something positive. I learnt to cope with the Pandemic, but I wished everything will return to normal again. I miss human interactions, such as physically talking to someone face to face, not virtually, going to a restaurant with friends, or simply sitting around chatting, having a picnic, or going for a walk by the lakefront. I also miss travelling, as this was one of the main reasons for migrating to Canada from Trinidad & Tobago.
During the Pandemic two of my older sisters’ husbands were diagnosed with cancer within 9 months of each other. This created a lot of stress and grief for our family, as one brother-in-law passed away 4 months after diagnosis. I also lost at least 15 people that I either knew personally, was a family friends, or a close relative. This Pandemic made me realize that life is too short, we need to connect with each other much more, and so I organized weekly prayer meetings and virtual events, such as celebrations of birthday parties and anniversaries. I also joined a couple virtual groups and created an international virtual group with ex-pupils from my elementary school. We are currently working towards formally establishing an “Ex-pupils’ Association” to help support the School’s mission and enhance the Community.