by Michael Cooper (Shawnigan Lake)
When the pandemic started almost a year ago, all our activities came to a grinding halt. Linda, my home sharing provider (I like to call her my foster mom), and I were spending a lot of time indoors. We started taking karaoke drives to other towns like Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Sidney. We would drive and sing for an hour or so then stop by a Dairy Queen for a break.
During these drives, one of the things I love to do is wear my outfit. It helps my anxiety and makes me feel confident. Linda called me the “Anti-COVID Warrior.”
People would ask me what the suit was for. I would say “I’m the Anti-COVID Warrior and I remind people to wear a mask, wash their hands and stand six feet apart.” The response was well received. This was a way to feel like part of the solution and community, by staying positive and trying to encourage people to follow the rules.
Besides reminding people about ways to stay safe, I also collect bottles for people who are homeless in our community and hand out coffee and sandwiches as well. I would like to get hired to stand outside a store or office building and be an ambassador for reminding people of their responsibilities in a positive way.
Helping people makes me feel proud. It is a good feeling to give back by doing things like carrying groceries to someone’s car, opening the door for other people and letting them go through first, or doggy sitting and walking. I have been raised an optimist and try to practice that every day.
I have a lot of support from Linda. I have been with my foster mom for 16 years and she has taught me how important it is to give back. She is my bubble, so I keep her busy and she spends a lot of time with me so I don’t get bored.
If I could give everyone one piece of advice for staying positive during challenging times, it would be to do something kind or say something kind every day. It really does make you feel good.