The New Normal: Reconnecting to Wahkohtowin

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw refers to Albertans getting used to ‘a new normal’ in her daily Covid-19 / Corona Virus updates. Worldwide, people have been thrust out of daily routine into this ‘new normal’, in order to survive sharing space with the unwanted disease.

What is the New Normal?

It has been clear, there is more to the ‘new normal’ than the litany of important requirements to wash your hands, and stay two meters away from people. It’s going to take a minute to carve out and adjust to a ‘new normal.’ Especially when the ‘normal’ seems to be evolving at an alarming rate. Creating new daily routines, re-configuring wellness plans, adjusting household budgets, and working out creative ways to stay connected are just a few of the challenges that our unwelcome guest has foist upon us.

This morning, I was making coffee and preparing to work in my home office. I was thinking about this ‘new normal’ and how it will look because Dr. Hinshaw suggests these recommendations will be ongoing for several months. Just then, an Elder from my personal Elder advisory committee called me.

An Elder’s Teaching

The moose that was outside my home office window

He is adjusting to a ‘new normal’ too. We discussed the current challenges, and he offered some teachings. He said, collectively we are being called to reconnect to Wahkohtowin at this time. That is to regain the understanding and importance of our connection to all living things, our ancestors and to each other. Re-identifying with family, community and mother earth will be increasingly important now.

My New Normal


For now, part of my ‘new normal’, is working from my home office. I miss the regular interactions with the folks in my office. However, we are working on new ways to stay connected. Technology makes that easier than ever before. I’m not sure how that model will look in the future and I am sure it will evolve over time.


This morning, two moose visited my yard. Indigenous’ teachings share that being visited by an animal like a moose, bear or an eagle is a blessing. Offering tobacco in reciprocity for the blessing is often practiced. I went outside to offer my tobacco and said a pray of thanks; giving gratitude for the many blessings that still remain.


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Be well.


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