Ghosts of the COVID-19 pandemic

November 20, 2022

A few weeks before snow settled on the Yukon, I started to take notice of soon-to-be ghosts around downtown Whitehorse.

Ghosts, as in symbols of the COVID-19 starting to fade into memory. Come spring, I imagine most of these will be gone or at least barely visible anymore. I thought I would capture a few for posterity.

For example, painted sidewalk dots near a bus stop indicating how far passengers should stand apart while waiting.

Dots on a sidewalk

A long ago empty hand sanitizer bracket. I remember touching the bank ATM keypad and then turning around to realize I wouldn't be able to clean my hands afterwards. I felt so contaminated and a small amount of panic would occur.

Hand sanitizer, long empty

Stickers outside another bank asking customers to maintain #socialdistancing, when we used to call it that. At some point, at least in the Yukon it became #socialspacing.

Social distancing stickers

Tape outside another bank to again, keep your distance from others, this time around a corner. I recall standing in these types of slow-moving lines in the frozen depths of winter, trying to keep warm and waiting for my turn to enter.

X marks the spot

It's hard to believe that it's been over 2 years since we first went into lockdown, and the whole world was plunged into the pandemic, together and at the same time apart.

There wasn't a lot I enjoyed about living through the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am really grateful for the increased time I spent with my family, especially in the spring and summer of 2020. Those experiences reminded me of how deeply privileged I am, and to have what and live where we do.

There were also some scary and sad times; we had 2 uncles tragically pass away and all I have left of them now are memories. Uncle Jack and Uncle Corny, we love you. Your kind, caring souls will not be forgotten.

So now it's these ghosts - the painted dots, empty brackets, social distancing stickers and x-marks-the-spot tape - that persist. They remind of what we endured as a species, and what we gained and lost individually.