Living Through the Pandemic

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As I sit tonight and put in my mandatory hour in front of the keyboard, I am thinking about the evening news a few days ago and the fact that January 25th marked the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Canada. Yesterday, we marked the same anniversary for British Columbia. What a year we’ve lived through. Brutal for many, barely a change for others and, for countless more, every variation of impact along that continuum. I think the disproportionate affects of this global crisis are among its most salient and heart-wrenching features.

We happen to be in the group who didn’t experience a significant amount of life upheaval. I came up with the following list of 10 factors to explain why:

1. We are somewhat introverted at the best of times.

2. We have both retired, our income is fixed and we harbour no dreams of world travel.

3. We live in a rural, isolated area.

4. We (Bruce and I) are neither of us, alone!

5. As a general rule, we keep our cupboards and pantry stuffed to the brim.

6. We love to garden and preserve our own food and we’ve been doing it for years. So, we are well provisioned with all the necessary supplies.

7. We hardly ever go to a restaurant and we don’t care much for shopping.

8. With so much heartfelt gratitude, we have not had to travel to be with sick, injured or dying loved ones.

9. We are both (as far as we know) healthy and have not needed to worry about seeing doctors or specialists.

10. We don’t get bored around our cabin home because there are simply too many things to do to ever consider boredom as an option.

So, we haven’t been turned inside out by Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t fully aware of the devastation others are going through. Nightly news, podcasts, media articles and contact with friends and family keep us updated.

My heart goes out to all those who lost a loved one to Covid-19. I experience a sense of frustrated, hand-wringing hopelessness when I think of our poor seniors, so vulnerable in the care homes that can no longer care for them. I stand in solidarity with all the different types of front-line workers who have no choice but to be out in the world every day. Equally, I feel for those relegated to working from home when it may not suit them. I’m sorry for the kids missing out on school and beloved activities, to say nothing of the devastating loss of social connection. I understand how difficult it is for the small business owners who watch the hard work they have put into building their dreams go down the drain.

Even though our experience of this pandemic has been easier than what has been felt by many, I am sad for time lost with kids and grandkids. We would have been together more if we could have! I also miss the simple things, like a friend dropping by for a visit. Offering coffee and cake. Being able to share food and conversation around a table.

No one drops by now and if anyone did, they would be six feet away and wearing a mask. Coffee and cake would be a problem outside in the pouring rain or wind.

Suffice to say, these are difficult times. Here’s hoping we stay the course, stick to our best healthcare practices and pass through these days with a thought to how our individual actions may affect others. We can only live in the moment. Let us face that moment with integrity. As our provincial health officer for British Columbia, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has often told us, “Be kind, be calm and be safe.”

I am missing these people and their pets!

Dropbox 5My lovely daughter, Kristen; her husband Matthew, delightful granddaughters, Emma (with knees showing) and Brit; tried and true dogs, Gixxer (Boxer) and Zoey (Border Collie, Sheep Dog cross).

Dougie and Maggie (2)

       Mika             Doug and Cookie

My son, Doug and his lovely wife, Maggie along with their fun-loving cats, Mika (senior – white) and Cookie, playful newcomer.

11 comments on “Living Through the Pandemic

  1. Behind the Story says:

    You have a lovely family. I hope we’ll all be back with our families soon.

    I like your list of 10. You truly are in a good situation to weather the pandemic. I don’t know whether it’s better to hope for the best and expect it to be over soon or to expect the worst and be ready for it.

    Some months before the pandemic hit, my sister did some research on and found out that our aunt had died as a child from the Spanish flu in January of 1920. That was the first time I realized how long the 1918 pandemic lasted. So I’m not really surprised that COVID is lasting so long. I do hope it will be over soon, though.

    • As you say, Nicki, so many dilemmas – hope for the best or expect the worst? I am wishing to hold those two realities in tandem – hope for the best but be ready for the worst. Some days, I feel the virus is always a few steps ahead of us – mutating its way just out of our reach. But then I hear that residents and workers at all long term care homes and assisted living facilities in our province of BC have been offered the vaccine. Surely that is going to relieve our hospitals and front line medical workers and we are going to begin to see the death toll go down. When that happens, I will feel so much more hopeful.

  2. My husband and I are like you except we are not living in isolation. Being introverts, we rather wish we were, especially now. We don’t have children but I feel the loss of not being able to visit family and of worrying over those who have chronic health conditions. Stay safe and well. Your family is lovely and your reunion will be worth waiting for ❤️

    • Thank you for your kind comments:) Yes, indeed – when we come out of this time of global pandemic, I know that I will appreciate so much more things I took for granted in the past. A friend and I were corresponding on a topic of my initiation – how people seemed to be capable of greater sacrifice in times gone by (i.e. the war years). But she told me that people she has spoken to who lived through those years do not often speak of sacrifice. They talk of adventure, a way to make a much needed income, a means of leaving the old ways behind etc. Maybe it is only later that we cast our behaviour in terms of sacrifice.

      • That’s interesting. I think I understand why people might not have thought they were sacrificing during the war years, and yet they were willing to adjust so much more than the current population seems capable of. I can only speak for the U.S., but I so strongly feel that if we had had an adult at the helm when COVID-19 first threatened us, we would not have lost so much and so many. Now that we have a new president, I’m hoping against hope that vaccinations will help us turn a corner … us and the world.

        • I am with you wholeheartedly with that hope against hope, Marie. Up here in Canada, we breathe a sigh of relief. I saw a Twitter pic of President Biden attending church this last Sunday – sitting quietly in a back pew, masked and attentive. The caption read something along the lines of no midnight tweets or other disruptive behaviour. What a breath of fresh air. As much as can be done about this global pandemic, I do believe you are on the right path now.

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    Like you guys I’ve not been severely impacted on a personal level though clearly none of us can ignore the hardship and suffering going on elsewhere. On the impact on children, I read a positive piece a few days ago. Yes they are missing their friends and most are missing the routine of learning. But the suggestion was that many are feeling a sense of release from the unrelenting grind of ‘activities’. There’s boredom, but I’ve always seen boredom as a positive emotion. It not only allows us to rest and recharge, but it often leads into areas of new creativity. So, reasons to be positive.

    • I have heard an echo of this idea, Roy. I think it was on Michelle Obama’s podcast when she spoke of how wonderful it has been for her and her husband to spend so much time with their girls but also to see them just slow right down, see them free of all the stress of running here, there and everywhere. Boredom as the crucible of creativity – if this is true (and I can see how it could be) my daughter will tell you that my granddaughters are going to be the next Picasso and Shakespeare 🙂 Yes – let’s remain positive. Who doesn’t need a Picasso in the family?

  4. MariHoward says:

    I like this, especially your list of 10 reasons – we have some similar ones here, though living on the edge of Oxford City we are surrounded by humanity, and now have to limit our outdoors activity to our own garden. The reason? Runners. The idea of jogging to keep healthy has been taken up, by presumably, people who are working from home. At any time of day (or late at night) , approaching the front entrance, you find a jogger moving at haste and puffing out breathe, no mask on… so, we gave up our visits to the canal path and the nature reserve nearby. But, as people who aren’t into going to theatres, cinemas, restaurants, expensive holidays, we survive at home with our work and on-line groceries. We zoom a lot, too much, it is hard on the eyes! We keep in touch with family on-screen. I have to venture out today for vaccination…nervous! Thanks for sharing…

    • Exciting to hear that you’ve had the vaccination. Best wishes. I can totally picture what you’ve described with the joggers, not that anything like that happens here but now and then we see different news images – jogging has become huge. I see myself hanging back like waiting for a break in heavy traffic to dash across the street and then deciding to stay home instead.

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