It’s been about one year and five months since the whole world felt the lockdowns due to Coronavirus, popularly called COVID-19 Virus. People stayed home, work places were closed, religious houses were shut, and hospitals teemed with the sick and the dying. Typically, these situations would make us stop on our tracks to think about what really matters. Governments of different countries and the World Health Organization worked round the clock to tackle this monster. However, we have yet to know the genesis of this onslaught to the world that we all love.
Today, there are signs of hope at the end of the tunnel. Countries are reopening, schools are beginning again, and public places are allowing people back. Importantly, people of different faiths are beginning to return to their worship and liturgies. All these are signs of recovery from the pandemic.
For the members of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), there are many things we need to consider in our recovery program as we aim at high readiness posture. As we look at the Canadian economic recovery, we ought to work to recover from what I call “the COVID-19 bodies.” Some of our members may have added a few pounds because of the downscaling of training, PT and exercises. Alberta as a province, in regards senior homes, wasn’t badly hit like Ontario where I came from this APS season. In Ontario, members returning to work from the first lockdown looked quite different from their usual selves.
How did we get our “COVID-19 bodies?” Some psychologists, especially Professor Adam Grant believes it was because of the situation called “Languishing.” The term was coined by Corey Lee M. Keyes, a Sociologist. For Adam Grant, it is the feeling of “blah” in individuals, not really being hopeless; but having “a sense of stagnation and emptiness”[i] As members of the CAF, we are used to high readiness posture, but the lockdowns affected us heavily. Many of us worked from home and may have lost contact with our fast-paced schedule of trainings and working environments. Hence, there were some sort of stalling effects of both National and Provincial COVID-19 guidelines on our working schedule, leading to a state of languishing. This languishing led to unmotivated approaches to our daily experiences. When people feel unmotivated, it can lead to stagnation and weight gains.
Our focus now as CAF and DND members must be to begin the work of gradually shedding our “COVID-19 bodies” by engaging in regular PT and other activities that will return us to a posture of high readiness again. We need the encouragement of our peers and coworkers in getting to our rhythm again, in order to give our highest service: Canada before self.
Summer is a great time to get out of the house and enjoy the environment. The Snowbirds gave us some encouragement as they performed recently for our community of Cold Lake. Hiking may be a good activity for people wanting to get out and enjoy nature. Road trips are perfect for families and individual to connect once again with each other. There is a whole lot we can do to recover from the affection of COVID-19. Just find what interests you and get on with it, to have sound minds in sound bodies.
[i] Sarah Simon; “What Is Languishing, And What Can We Do About It?” What Is Languishing, and What Can We Do About It? (verywellhealth.com)
From Petawawa to Cold Lake: a Surprise Journey
Let’s get to know Capt. Ezeonwueme
Posting Seasons in the Military come with lots of surprises and growth experiences. Members juggle opinions and expectations. Individuals are entitled to their opinions about places like Cold Lake. Some think it is isolated, while others think it is the best place to live; away from the noisy world we have created. For Capt. Anthony Ezeonwueme who has lived a decade in Ontario and knows not so much about other provinces in Canada, the name Cold Lake comes across as a place so cold and lonely. However, he has come to love this place as a welcoming community, where everyone values and cherishes each other. Wherever you turn, people welcome you with a smile and care. This is a perfect place to house a Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Capt. Ezeonwueme is the newest chaplain on the Wing with two other new chaplains posted from different parts of Canada.
As an Army Chaplain, Anthony ministered to members in the busy CFB Petawawa; normally referred to as simply “PET.” He was the padre for the medical units and the Roman Catholic chapel. Before joining the military, Anthony spent twelve years undertaking studies in philosophy, theology and religious studies. In 2019, he concluded a Master’s degree in Theology from St Michael’s College Toronto. Giving back to society was what led Anthony to join the military. Having been in a religious career environment for nineteen years, he wanted to help individual of all faith and of none, hence he chose the military. Anthony confesses that he has enjoyed working with members and has been encouraged by the dedication of CAF members to duty and service to Canada.
As a new air force chaplain, he agrees that things here are distinctively different from an army base. He once confided in a friend that the reason why he joined the army was that: “I’m not good in the air nor in the water (swimming), but at least I can stand on the ground.” He is already hoping to get over his fears of heights in case he is offered a ride-along in a jet soon. Meanwhile Anthony is focused on being there for the troops as a sign of support and positive reinforcement.