Back when the pandemic began, thousands of frontline healthcare workers were brought to tears as residents of Toronto stood on their balconies and cheered to celebrate their commitment to our community health. Since March 2020, these small, powerful performances have made us feel connected at a time when we were so physically disconnected from friends and family.
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario made an announcement in 2020 thanking communities for their support of our nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers for their ongoing efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, neuroscientists have shown that the sound of other human voices lowers levels of cortisol and increases levels of oxytocin, our ‘cuddle’ hormone. This evidence suggests that our brains are able to synchronize with each other, making us feel even more connected. Further research confirmed that this feeling of togetherness is psychologically comparable to a warm hug from someone you love. As this sound of hope erupted throughout the world in 2020, it echoed in the hearts of the survivors of COVID-19 and those who continue to work on the frontlines. It is important that as we begin to get back to a new normal, we sit back and appreciate the small moments that we were able to share together, and the impact that our actions have on others.
Feature Image: Samantha Mason, Used with permission