Welcome to At The End Of the Day. I’m Hannah Sung and I write this newsletter for a people-first perspective on the news. If you’re a regular reader, pay-what-you-wish via Patreon.
Hello from my desk
I’m in year-end mode, which means that my home office has turned into a “hide the gifts” repository and I’m currently betting with myself (who else?) how long it will take to finish this tin of store-bought cookies.
I originally bought it “as a gift.”
I am eating the whole thing, slowly, by myself.
As I inhale a steady stream of biscuits covered in chocolate curly-cues, I want to cheer, “Yes! This is what it means to be an adult!
Half a second later, “Am I really doing this?”
I could really use another person to talk to. And maybe a place to be that isn’t my desk. Now that our lives are being shaped by Omicron, there’s a déjà vu vibe in the air.
Ready to holiday with my nearest and dearest
At school drop-off this morning, I said goodbye to my daughter as I usually do (“Run! The door is closing!”).
I have no idea how we were late again because she jumped out of bed this morning, looking forward to a Pyjama Day class party. (Whereas I would have died if I had to wear my pyjamas to school as a kid, I get that Pyjama Day is the de rigueur way to celebrate now, elementary-school-style).
So there we were, my 7-year-old daughter in her rainbow turd emoji onesie (what a world).
Her entire class had already trooped upstairs and a student was gamely holding open the door for us, watching as I handed off my kid’s giant backpack, a bag of candy canes and hand-written cards for her classmates, a wrapped gift for her teacher and her giant, blue stuffie, Alpaca-Poo (Pyjama Day = stuffies welcome).
“Go, catch up!” I quickly passed all her ridiculous parcels to her and watched her retreat.
I texted my husband. “She JUST made it in the door, loaded down with a RIDICULOUS number of bags. Will she even make it up the stairs???”
“She brings the party,” he texted back.
Parents have been worried about whether school will continue, whether it will be in-person in January. I don’t have the energy to speculate. I’m just floating in the wave. If you’re exhausted, so am I. And for now, what I want is to close down this computer, and my desk, and get into some more cookies.
You know the drill
It’s time to hunker down again. I’m past the point of being irritated or sad about being on the cusp of yet another pandemic holiday with another wave of Covid. I’m just tired. And to a certain degree, still grateful.
Cut your contacts. Wear a mask and favour well-ventilated places (outdoors — it’s so airy!).
Be up to date with your vaccines (I am going for a hat trick today by getting my booster).
But please, we can’t be human islands. Please don’t forget to make room for other people in some way. Zoom and group chats and going for a walk with a friend are all easy yeses for me. Indoors is more complicated. If you’ve scored rapid tests, watch a video on how to use them.
There’s no one way to be safe, it’s a combination of factors and they haven’t changed.
Some days, I prefer to think about all the things I can control and just shrink the world down to those factors.
Eat all the cookies. Wear your rainbow turd onesie. Get your shots and stay safe.
Most of all, take a breather. That’s what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks.
The work never seems to be done but the day does end and for that, I’m grateful.
I’ll be doing my best to decompress with my little party animals and I hope you’ve got your people, too.
Thanks for being a big part of what’s been keeping me afloat in 2021 and 2020. And here’s to all the best for all of us in 2022.
✨✨✨ At The End Of the Day is edited by Laura Hensley ✨✨✨
With thanks to Storyworks students at Centennial College: Luna Carrick-Brenner, Hassan Fakih, Oruj Chaudhry
From the vault
Light at the end of the tunnel, March 2021. I’ve been thinking a lot about what medical anthropologist Madeleine Mant said to me earlier this year, on the history of pandemics
3 ways to beat pandemic fatigue, February 2021. Thinking about a cozier, quieter holiday
What my 7-year-old says: Coping skills for all of us, July 2021. Going to do what I love and “ecsersis” (read: exercise)
Thank you for reading At The End Of the Day! If you want to hear an ATEOD podcast, pay-what-you-wish via Patreon. Listening will feel like this.
Photo credit: Madison Kaminski, Unsplash