Categories: Anna's Musings

by Anna Ludwinowski


Categories: Anna's Musings

by Anna Ludwinowski


remember 3 years ago

Do you remember 3 years ago, where you were when the pandemic hit? Of course you do. We all do.

In some ways, it’s hard to believe it’s already been 3 years since the pandemic. Yet it also feels like a lifetime ago…

My family and I were at YVR waiting to board our flight to Mexico for spring break. My husband David was reading his news feed when he noticed a travel ban advisory. We decided to check with the boarding counter staff to see if it applied to us. After a few clicks of the keyboard, she assured us all was clear for our flight to Montreal and then on to Cancun.

That was the last time we felt comfortable that everything was going to be fine.

When we arrived in Montreal, we immediately sensed something was off. Even though it was a red eye flight, the airport felt eerily deserted. Tim Hortons soothed us while we waited. Our flight was still on schedule.

Arriving in Cancun felt the same as it had in previous years – bustling with excited travelers coming and rested travelers leaving. Since everything seemed totally fine, we started to relax and enjoy our tropical vacation.

Until the next day.

Chatting with some Americans in the pool, we heard that the US had issued a travel advisory. Shortly after, my Dad came over to tell us that they were talking about the ban on CNN. But it wasn’t just the States, it was Canada too.

Now, we started to feel like this was something serious.

In those early days and weeks of the pandemic, information was either unavailable or unconfirmed. Of course, none of us had experienced anything like this on such a scale. But that lack of communication lead to such panic and fear, for all of us.


remember 3 years ago

We were the only ones in the pool


With each passing day, the exodus grew. People were leaving as quickly as they could, eager to get back home while they still could. Flights were being cancelled and rescheduled hourly. No one could get through to the airlines. The panic and fear grew.

My family and I were some of the last people left at the resort. Most of it was closed, with the handful of us left housed one building.


remember 3 years ago

There was literally no one on the beach


For almost 3 weeks, we tried to get home.

We were grateful to be together, safe in a beautiful place, with ample food and shelter. But in so many ways we felt isolated from the rest of the world. Out there, people were experiencing something that hadn’t reached us yet. We didn’t know what to expect when we’d finally get home.


remember 3 years ago

The Cancun airport was deserted


What awaited us was panic, fear and stress.

But that didn’t compare to the next 3 years of unimaginable stress trying to keep our 2 businesses afloat, one of which was a gym. The mandated closures, constant cleaning and social distancing became a daily hurdle. We were forced to close at a time when our mental health needed physical activity the most. These were some of my darkest days.


remember 3 years ago

Masks, distancing and non-stop cleaning


Yet in those most challenging moments, something awesome happened. Quarantined in our homes, we spent time together as a family.  We played board games, read and went for walks. Our busy lives slowed down. We remembered what it was like to enjoy each other, to bake bread, to enjoy each moment.

Yes, when I remember 3 years ago, the trauma still surfaces. But, the time I spent with my friends and loved ones is indeed, the silver lining.

What about you? Do you remember 3 years ago, where you were when the pandemic hit?


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