Tenzin Palzom, Banff AB

COVID Across Canada: Short Takes

May 15, 2020

My Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic


Tenzin Palzom


I was just back from meeting my loving family in India at Arunachal Pradesh, when Canada’s business shutdown started. I reached Banff on March 14. I spent 14 days in isolation at my apartment in Whiskey Jack Crescent whom, I share with my old mate Tsemtso Dolma. She is also from Tibet.

I went back to work on March 30 at Banff Centre where I take care of public areas. With the virus, I have to keep sanitizing places where there is high traffic, like The Hub (staff cafeteria), and free meals are offered. Basically I stay on my toes all day. It was an exhausting first day!

I have participated in virtual guided mediation every Sunday for the last 4 weeks. That has been so comforting. Shambala Centre organizes this Zoom-guided meditation where we meditate and exchange thoughts to increase basic goodness. My godmother got me into Shambala Café. She is a Buddhist practitioner from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.


Banff, Alberta. Photo by John Lee on Unsplash


I worry less these days. I feel panic brings stress and doubt that lead to losing individual integrity. Death will come to you no matter how hard you try to run away from it. If my life spans a certain time on this earth, I will die at that time despite all my efforts to avert it

Physical hygiene plays an important role in human well-being. Mental hygiene is also important. Fear of getting the virus should not hinder us from helping others. Even a smile! It necessarily does not have to be grand. We have to do our little part in the community during this deadly pandemic.

I have learned over the years that happiness is something we should pursue without losing our faith in truth and compassion. As long as I shall live, may I be in service to humanity.


Tenzin Palzom is Tibetan, born and raised in India. She was part of Project Resettlement, which helped one thousand Tibetans find a home in Canada. Before moving to Canada, Tenzin worked in a hilltop monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Delhi, and speaks four languages. Tenzin was a participant in the 2017 Shoe Project, Banff, AB.


PAINTING: Emily Honderich. The mountains around Banff