A Few Tears

A Few Tears

Today I made the decision to suspend my purely recreational activities, that involve meeting with other people. After making all the arrangements, I sat down and surprised myself by shedding tears. I let them flow, for myself, and for the people whose lives have been taken, or turned upside down by the COVID-19 virus.

This decision comes after watching how the coronavirus is being monitored in Ontario, Canada. News of the GO Transit bus, on which the person with COVID-19 traveled, was my final deciding factor. The honour system in Canada, where people flying in from other affected areas of the world decide for themselves whether they will self-isolate for the incubation period, after arriving back in Canada, has failed the public interest, in my opinion.

At this point we don’t know if there are other infected individuals on public transit, in malls, in restaurants… we don’t know. There may be none. There may be one. There may be many. It only takes one to share the virus with many. I won’t be eliminating my chances of infection by avoiding groups of people, just reducing the likelihood of exposure.

This was a difficult decision for me, I will heartily miss my social interactions. But I am of an age to be designated in the high risk category for serious symptoms, so I am being cautious. It surprises me to see quite a few people in the digital world expounding on COVID-19 not being a serious issue, because it’s worst effects are felt by old people, or people with existing health conditions. I find that offensively insensitive. All lives matter. But then I remember that when SARS was spreading, I was relieved that I was not in the group of people considered to be at high risk. However, I would never have diminished anyone else’s concerns because, “it’s not my problem”. And of course, many perfectly healthy young people are succumbing to the virus, so bravado seems inappropriate.

Attila must still head off to work each day, and who knows if he will encounter the virus there, it is a large facility employing people with family from all over the world. He has no choice but to continue to work in that environment, so we are fervently hoping that no one connected to the place contracts the virus! It is out of our hands though, we can only hope. If Attila gets it, then it is likely that I will too.

In the meantime, I am happily taking to my decision to avoid recreational groups of people. I love Mist Cottage, and do not find it a hardship to spend my time here. We will continue to eat well, avoid autoimmune medications, stay well hydrated, stay active, get adequate sleep, and remain hopeful that all will be well.

And with any luck the need, for such a measure as I have just taken in regard to recreational groups, will prove false, and I will be able to resume my activities soon.

Keep safe!



Date: 11:00 AM EST Monday 2 March 2020
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.3°C
Dew point: 1.1°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: S 28 gust 37 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


Everything is connected… no one thing can change by itself.”
Paul Hawken
1946 –


  1. Teri

    It’s hard to tell what kind of actions to take. I was reading about the new Ontario cases and each of them has a link to the original Ontario cases: a brother, a husband – that sort of thing. So at least for now we can say close contact was involved.

    DH and I are still planning to travel. We leave on the 15th, travelling to NYC for a cruise. We’re still weighing the incoming news, and probably will until the day before we’re due to leave.

    There is now one case of COVID in Manhattan, and our cruise leaves from the Manhattan terminal. All the same, there are 1.7 million people in Manhattan, so the chances of our coming upon someone who had recent contact with the lady in question are in the realm of winning the lottery.

    We also wonder what will happen with the islands we intend to visit. Two Caribbean islands now each have a case of COVID. Fortunately, not islands we are visiting. Then again, one cruise ship has been turned away from some islands, because a single member of the crew had a documented case of Influenza Type A.

    It’s unsettling but I think when it comes to travelling that things will be more up in the air a month from now.

  2. It’s hard to know just how careful we should be. What counts as “autoimmune medications”? Does the steroid cream I use occasionally for a rash count? Meanwhile, I’m laying low on travel out of the city. I’m still going to church, and the movie theater. We only go to the theater when there’s few people there, during the earliest morning showing. Restaurants? We haven’t been in one in a long time. Will we dare to go to one? Not sure yet. I sure wonder how long for all of this to play out.

  3. Teri, I hope your cruise plans are a great success! It is hard to know just what action to follow, so I think following your own intuition and assessments, is the only approach to take. Who knows how it will all look in a few weeks, better I hope! There are countries that had one case, then no more after that person recovered. Keep safe!

  4. Joan, I am being extra cautious surely! I hope. Steroids are an autoimmune suppressant. I have drops for my ears, but will tolerate flareups without the steroid until the COVID-19 issue is in the past. But that is just me, and the degree I will suffer from discontinueing the steroid is very minor, so I am not giving up much. It might not even be an issue, who really knows. Such difficult decisions, to go or not to go, really there is no right answer, so much is unknown. In my case, the woman on the bus might have infected many people, and they in turn might have infected many people, and it seems doubtful that any of them would yet know if they have the virus, so they are still taking buses, doing normal activities… there isn’t much information about how the virus transmits, although I’ve read that one must keep 10 feet from others to avoid transission. But how could one possibly accomplish that in a restaurant, a grocery store? You will know what is best in your area of the world, for your way of life. Keep safe!

  5. Teri

    When we’ve been on cruises I’ve always been mindful of other people, as well as what I’m doing myself. Some might say it’s excessive but if someone sneezes around me I hold my breath until I leave the immediate vicinity. I’m always careful not to touch my eyes or face when we’re out, and always wash my hands as soon as I get home. So far, I’ve never gotten ill on a cruise.

    Oh. I also got my Prevnar13 p eumonia shot 2 weeks ago. Andvwhen I can, 8 weeks to a year later, I’ll get the Pneumovax23 pneumonia shot. Since the coronavirus deaths are from pneumonia, it sure can’t hurt.

    The Pneumovax23 is covered btw, Maggie. You might look and see if it’s safe for you.

  6. I think the scariest part is Trump is calling this a hoax. If half of America thinks this is a hoax then there is not a lot we can do. Scary times. All I know is we will be seeing a pandemic sooner than laster. Our planet can not withhold this amount of people.

    Anyway, this is Birdie. I am blogging again. Come and say hello! 🙂


  7. Teri, you seem to have made personal health in public places a routine thing, such a good idea! The pneumonia shot is something I’ve thought about, but my health care provider specifies that I need to fall into a specific category to be eligible, and I do not. I really should look into how much it costs, but that might be prohibitive.

  8. Sandy

    Oh Maggie I think I know how you feel. COVID has made our human interactions more problematic. It’s taken away my sense of freedom and safety. I’m in the high risk old fogey group too. One of my friends (also high risk) and I like to go to a local restaurant every two weeks or so. We’ve decided to meet in our homes instead. I thought about bringing some cake or donuts from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. Even that made me nervous, so I’m going to get a packaged cake at the grocery store. I still go to church but have changed where I sit (trying to avoid sneezers and coughers). Many parishes are suspending shaking hands during services. Someone else warned me to not dip my fingers in the holy water by the entrance. When I go out or get the mail, my new mantra is “Wash your hands when you get home.” My hand sanitizer hasn’t arrived yet. I know frame of mind is key and have to find a way to be more positive about this experience. So far I haven’t been able to. (((Hugs)))

  9. Sandy, it sounds like you are adapting well, lots of great strategies. We will get used to it, this being cautious in public places, and then it won’t seem so jarring, but in the meantime we have to adjust.
    Hand sanitizer if going to get hard to find I think, Attila said there was none left at the grocery store the last time he was there. I will be making our own when we run out, I found a recipe online, from Oregon.

    I don’t have aloe vera, but I do have lots of vintage hand creams that I’ll use in a pinche, as long as I include the right proportion of alcohol it should be good no matter what I cut it with.

    As scary as this is, I think we can do this!

  10. It sounds like we’re all making good preparations. I’m going to lay off peanuts and various nuts (except almonds). For some reason they irritate the rash situation, which makes me need the ointment. If I avoid those, I can go weeks without the ointment. And I’ll try to lay low on sugars. I used to do that, but have gotten back into sweets. Sugar makes inflammation, which makes it harder to fight bugs. And I’m going to wash my hands more often and be more careful of my sneezes. May we all stay well!

  11. Joan, great strategies, little things add up. Sweets are my great weakness, I love sweet foods. I have partially addressed this with liquid stevia, which is what I use in my morning coffee, which I used to enjoy with 2 teaspoons of maple syrup in the morning. I also use the liquid stevia in baking, including it in the liquid ingredients and cutting way back on the actual sugar. In baking and cooking I leave in some of the sugar though, if it is called for, but not a lot, because it does affect the taste, for the better. Fortunately, in combination with liquid stevia, a wee bit of sugar goes a very long way.

  12. Sandy

    Maggie thank you for the homemade hand sanitizer recipe! I’ve noticed that people selling sanitizers on Amazon are already price gouging. There should be a law against that. It’s nice to have an alternative with a homemade version. In a pinch I guess you could just use some alcohol directly on your hands, although it would probably be too drying. It does sound like the group here is being good and cautious. 🙂

  13. Teri

    Maggie, as I said the Pneumovax23 is covered – by OHIP. Sorry I wasn’t specific before. Had to ask DH because I didn’t want to make a mistake as to who funds it.

  14. Teri, well thank you! The link was informative. I pursued this with the local health unit, and indeed I might be able get the shot, now I have to figure out if the shot contains my allergen, which is a miserable process! I think it was a miscommuniation at the NP office, but all’s well that ends well. The shot should be more widely available than it is at present, but at least some people are covered.

  15. Teri

    Yay! Glad I could help! Anything that cancels out some pneumonia would help protect with corona.

    Have you gotten the shingles vaccine, yet? I want to get that once I finish with the pneumonia vaccines.

  16. I am sorry you have had to change your life for this thing, Maggie. So far, I have avoided most big crowds but I did go with a friend to a casino yesterday. I go to Mass and our bishops have told us to avoid hand shakes but I am not afraid in church. I stay home most days so I hope to avoid this big bad bug. You still have your online friends ….

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