As we begin another year, news related to the pandemic and promised vaccines dominate the air waves each day and all day. Covid -19 fatigue is also a popular and never- ending media topic although, I am not sure it helps to be constantly reminded of the strain we are all under. It is a fact however, that our mental health is extremely fragile due to this pandemic and we must be prepared for the possibility and effects of personal depression.
Numerous studies have shown that volunteering and contributing to the welfare of others is beneficial both for our mental and physical wellbeing. Many of us have been able to return to the routine of volunteering but many of us have not. I realize that it is easier said than done, but do not give up hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and one advantage of Auxiliary volunteers is that our prevalent age demographic puts us high up on the list for the vaccine.
I have been reading through the histories of our member Auxiliaries and how some of our current members were able to remain active in their communities during extreme social challenges. I found the following from the history of the Alberni Auxiliary to the West Coast Hospital.
” For many years a Hospital Shower helped to stock the linen shelves and pantry but was discontinued during the war years, as was the Annual Ball. While the war years were hard on the Auxiliary, the depression hit even harder. At one annual meeting, only 6 discouraged members appeared , and no one was willing to take office. After much discussion it was decided to disband and the meeting was adjourned. But each member went away with a guilty conscience, and after standing on the sidewalk discussing the situation, it was decided they must carry on. They went back into the hall and re-elected the old officers. A very successful year followed”.
The Auxiliary in Alberni remains active and successful thanks to six dedicated members who would not give up or give in. Surely, this is a lesson for all of us as we dig down and somehow find the strength to carry on.