It's been a long 2 years, but it is finally coming to an end. Restrictions are being lifted, hopefully for the last time, and we are back to being fully open.
It's been an interesting return... well, three returns so far. Each time the effects of the lock downs on people stands out just a little bit more. We closed our doors in March 2020 before the official orders required it, and we followed all the orders. And we survived, and are now rebuilding, much like everyone else.
The effects on kids is something that often gets overlooked. It can be little things, like having a harder time speaking up, keeping their hands in their pockets, not looking people in the eyes... and it can be the more obvious signs of social anxiety.
It also shows in behaviours. 2 years of living in an online world has brought out some ugly behaviours in some kids who have lived in "internet culture" for much of the past 2 years.
Disconnection is the source of bullying and becoming a victim of bullying. It is a major cause of eating disorders and crippling social anxiety. It is a major cause of addictive behaviours and depression. And it is at an all time high now. This pandemic has left us all with trauma that needs to be dealt with.
We didn't just disconnect from others, we disconnected within ourselves in many cases. We where left uncertain on what to do, what the future held, how to relate to others, etc. It's been a rough time, and we need to be patient and understanding, especially with our children who have even less tools to deal with the situation then the adults.
Trauma is a wound, an internal wound to our mental and emotional state. And like any wound, the actual event that caused it will affect use differently as it is very nuanced. If 100 people slip on the ice, most will get a bruise, some might come out with no injuries, others might get very serious ones. We all went through the same pandemic, and the same restrictions, but it has had different effects on everyone.
As we come out of the pandemic we need to heal, and healing means reconnecting. Building back confidence, building back relationships and doing things with people. For kids this has now been a significant piece of their lives, and it will take time to adapt back to being social beings again.
For us that means being back on the mat, back to training. And the difference after only a few sessions back is obvious to anyone, it's a return to being social, to contact, to struggle, to being humans. For others it will mean other things, but whatever it is, we need it more then ever.