November 2020
Three Things (Among Many) that the COVID-19 Pandemic can 
Teach us About Occupation – 
Part One

This is a two-part newsletter written by Katherine Stewart PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.)

With 2020 drawing to a close, many may be starting to look back on the year. Without question, this year has been marked by considerable uncertainty, loss, and fear, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, despite being perhaps the greatest disruption to everyday life on a global scale in recent history, COVID-19 offers us a remarkable opportunity: an opportunity to reflect upon what we have learned over this past year about human occupation through the pandemic. Below are three things that, when stopped to consider, COVID-19 can teach us: 

1. Occupation can anchor us to feelings of normalcy in times of uncertainty. For many, the pandemic has meant significant disruption to daily routines, shifting where, when, and how we work, go to school, or socialize with others. It has been widely suggested that these disruptions will persist for years to come, and that we must negotiate a “new normal” way of life. In light of these disruptions, stories of people adapting or holding onto elements of familiar routines— indeed, using occupation to acclimate to a new normal—abound. People are using occupations that run the gamut from complex to seemingly mundane, such as enjoying a cup of coffee every morning, as “tiny anchors” (Donofrio, 2020, para. 6), connecting themselves to some semblance of typical routine and normalcy amidst unpredictability and upheaval. 

Katherine will continue this discussion outlining the second and third ‘things’ for how the pandemic can teach us about Occupation in the December Newsletter.
Donofrio, C. (2020, September 1). What are your tiny anchors? A Cup of Jo. 
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