Some ideas rattle around in your head forever. I’ll never shake the sentiment of making the same mistake twice. In most circumstances we get our free pass first time around, on the second take eyebrows are raised. Some live in the repeat cycle of the mistake, while others get run over.

So here we are, beginning month eleven of the pandemic (we were asleep for the first two) and it’s beginning to look a lot like where we were in month three. Granted, there are some notable differences and a few vantage points we’ve been gifted with the benefit of time pointing to what does or doesn’t pose as much of a threat.

Much of that knowledge is from the scientific analysis. You know those guys, the experts who are both vilified for presenting the facts and almost entirely banked on for providing a solution. They take the evidence as it appears before them and come to a conclusion that, if they’re worth their salt, is void of an emotional response.

I’ve lost count of the number of opinions I’ve heard on the situation we find ourselves in this year that were based entirely on what the person wanted to believe was true. I get this. At best it’s hope, at worst it’s denial. Either way, I’m not sure we ought to pit these views against science.

But science alone won’t save us in the short term or hold our hand throughout this. The cold hard facts are more of a tough pill to swallow than a reassuring hug. A lot of how this plays out in the weeks ahead is on each of us. Elected officials have their role to play in learning from the multitude of mistakes they made when they allowed themselves to be caught off guard. Perhaps the biggest mistake we can make is relying on them to be able to do that, the early signs aren’t looking good.

Anyone could be forgiven for getting caught up in the hysteria when restrictions were first imposed back in March. Weekly quiz nights, clapping on a Thursday and rationed outdoor exercise all feel like a lifetime ago after a summer of relative normality, by comparison at least. Who knows which of our new traditions might make a comeback this time around.

More importantly, we all have a choice of how we approach the next month. I’m taking some time to reflect on how I handled things earlier in the year, what worked for me and what didn’t, the ways in which I feel made a positive contribution and how I might be able do more.

The first change I’m making for me personally is this return to writing. I’m not 100% clear on the direction yet, I just know that I’ll never figure that out without starting somewhere. I’ll leave it here for now, no poignant ending.

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