No risks in boredom


It is a privilege, at the moment, to be bored.

Yes, I’m going a bit squirrely as I work from my tiny apartment. But imagine what it must be like for those who are not bored.

Let us first consider those who are ill with Covid-19, as well as their friends and family.

Let us remember the front-line health care professionals, as well as the police officers, paramedics, firefighters, transit operators and other essential civil servants whose work risks them encountering an invisible threat.

Let’s also think of the business owners who are witnessing shrinking or disappearing transactions, as well as their staff who are already laid off or feel that outcome looming.

So yes, my boredom — my sadness at being away from my colleagues in the Ward 6 office — is really nothing much to complain about, relatively speaking.

Silence and isolation provides time to think. I’ve thought a lot about the aforementioned, as well as those who will suffer quietly with mental health issues in a pandemic.

I think of Edmontonians with anxiety or depression, which are illnesses of looping, negative and scary thoughts. Many are more isolated today than ever. Isolation, for them, means living with the bully companion of relentless, disordered thinking.

I suspect mental health support lines and online forums are busier than ever, as people attempt to cope with their fears and black moods.

I must venture out today or tomorrow, to stock up on a few necessities. I will be hypervigilant about using elbows, knees or gloved hands to push elevator buttons and open doors.

I will wash my hands like a surgeon when I return home. I will answer email, stay in contact with staff, city administration and city council. I will read the news online and then later practice my guitar or watch a movie.

I take a moment each day to consider the Edmontonians who cannot reduce their risk, as I can. 

Yes, I miss human contact. I am bored. What a blessing.

By Scott McKeen, City Councillor Ward 6