The Ups and Downs of Dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic by Mark Takagi

When I first heard about the coronavirus arriving in Canada and the United States, I was concerned that a full-blown pandemic will happen. But in March, the coronavirus situation evolved. 

There were a lot of concerts and festivals being cancelled and mass gatherings being banned. 

Then when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a pandemic, everything changed.

Businesses closed their doors, an enormous number of sports events were paused or cancelled, and the stock market took a big hit. When I heard about it, I became very worried that the virus will infect and kill everyone on the planet. I also had some panic attacks.

My mom suggested that I should not go outside doing my 10,000 steps because she is afraid of contracting the virus from me. Her immune system is not very strong and her health is failing, which makes my mom more susceptible to the virus. All the plans with my friends, including Mary and Amalia, were put on hold or cancelled. I even had to sleep over at my sister’s apartment, hoping that my mother would stay physically isolated and be safe. I had been suffering from panic attacks from the beginning of the pandemic, but I have been doing much better since talking to my PLAN mentor and my therapist.

But during the uncertain and unprecedented times, there was a silver lining. I had an idea that I could be FaceTiming my friends Mary and Amalia. It was a welcome relief seeing their faces and learning about how they were coping with the situation. Soon I was learning and using Zoom to not only talk to my therapist but talk to people online. I even used Zoom to hang out with my mentor and his friends. My connection with friends has grown stronger this year. During the pandemic, I have joined some online social groups through the Thrive program. I also have done research for more fun activities to try.

And then, owing to the public cooperation like physical distancing and wearing face masks, the number of COVID-19 cases in BC went down. Businesses were gradually reopening and people were able to go out to do activities. I have been able to go for my 10,000 steps everyday and occasionally walking with friends.

Even though new cases are reported every day I am very hopeful that COVID-19 pandemic will stop because of medical advances in prevention and treatment.


“This pandemic has taught me that all things do not last forever
and that there are more blue skies to look forward to.

I hope the other PLAN families will know that we
are not alone during these trying times.

I trust that all PLAN members and their families will
try their best to stay safe and be well.”
– Mark Takagi