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Pandemic reflection: Amanda

What were the first few weeks of the Pandemic like for you?

They were a bit surreal. I wasn't sure the severity of things and being that it was the first pandemic to this extent in my adult life it all felt very uneasy. The unknown is a scary place at the best of times. At that point we weren't sure how it affected people and who it affected the most, so as a parent – I found myself not wanting to leave my home and to protect my daughter by shutting down all activities.

What was the summer like?

The summer was a bit easier on my mental health. It's been an honour to watch how my colleagues at Head Office took this pandemic on and stared it right in the eyes. I felt safe because they made me feel safe. Their confidence in protecting our clients and our staff made it easier to cope with. We spent most of our days at my parents' house. They created quite the oasis for the family. They lovingly bought the kids a pool and even a playground so we didn't have to worry about germs and they very luckily didn't miss the playground atmosphere. We also got a puppy!

What's it like for you now?

With the numbers consistently increasing – it's hard not to worry about the future. I find myself relying on my faith in God to help me through the tough days where you worry just a little bit more than the day before. I take solace in finding the silver lining. I have gotten so much time with my family and that itself is a blessing. However it's a double edged sword – I feel so deeply for my Oma in her nursing home. It's been almost a year without seeing her family. That feeling of sympathy and sadness hasn't gone away.

What does your new routine look like?

The new routine is being woken up by my daughter because at the beginning of the pandemic we started co-sleeping. Which actually has really helped me in a funny way. She's like my security blanket. Then we make breakfast and facetime her Nana and then I usually work from my parents' house so Piper can see them! Come home just in time to make dinner and start our nightly routine! Every day is the same – but that's okay with me.

How would you describe how you're feeling now?

I am feeling blessed. I realize a lot of families have been tragically affected by this pandemic. It doesn't go unnoticed that I am lucky to not have been in that same group and my family has stayed safe. My heart goes out to all the people that have had positive cases that lead to illness and unfortunately the passing of their families or friends.

What’s been the hardest for you?

I have never been good alone. While I have my daughter – the conversation lacks here and there! So I really had to learn to enjoy my own company.

We believe that we are all in leadership positions here at Arcus, what qualities do you think have been most important in leading at this time?

I believe I am a good man in a storm. I am a calm person in the face of crisis, and if I can give anybody anything it's helping them cope by helping them breathe, taking on some of their tasks to help ease their loads, or just being there to listen.

How have you been taking care of yourself?

I surround myself by family as much as possible. A glass of wine also helps once the little one is asleep!

We get by with a little help from our friends...who would you credit as helping you through this time?

My family. My daughter and my parents. My sisters and I are also extremely close so they have all helped me feel some semblance of normalcy.

Do you have any life experiences that have helped you get through this time?

I'm not sure anything could have prepared me for a pandemic of this stature. Taking it one day at a time.

Any silver linings? Small graces? New hobbies?

The silver lining is time spent with loved ones. It really showed me that there is no greater gift than time with those who love the most. Also my sister got a position on our team here at Arcus and I think that was the perfect silver lining and something we manifested together. I love that I can share my work family with her. She used to tell me how lucky I was and now we are equally as blessed. I'm proud of her accomplishment there.

What are you looking forward to the most?

I am looking forward to leaving the house without hesitation or worry. I am looking forward to giving my daughter the Disney vacation we sadly had to cancel! And I am really looking forward to our whole team to be in the office together. It's a lot more quiet with a lot less laughter and I'm really excited to hear everyone's voices. As well as give everyone a congratulatory high five on a job well done navigating these waters. I knew our team was great but this showed how great! I'm honoured to be a part of it.

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