Not Able To Work From Home!

Today Attila returns to work. His only other option is to stay home with no income, and since we still need to eat, need shelter, well, he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. So here we are, dreading the possible exposure to Covid-19, taking every precaution we know of to prevent either of us from contracting the virus, and living as healthy a lifestyle as we can under the present circumstances.

Our stress levels are going to be very high from now on, because our precautions may not protect us. We feel vulnerable to the stupidity of greed, that sees low risk people at home without work, and high risk people working when it would be wiser to isolate at home.

If Attila is infected, we will know it happened at his workplace.

The virus is more often fatal for vulnerable people, two of us here, and yet there is very little consideration taken to support isolation for the most vulnerable people who are living independently. If the employer calls an employee with co-morbidities into work, if the employee needs an income to survive, the employee will go back to the workplace with all those who are younger or have no co-morbidities. If the employer calls an employee living with a vulnerable individual, or a senior, then the employee will go back to the workplace with all of those who are not living with vulnerable people.

Co-habitation and family are not part of the economic equation of protecting the vulnerable members of society. To be honest, I am having trouble seeing just where the protection for the “most vulnerable” is actually going on. The only truly visible support for the long-term care homes where many, many people are dying, is the national military stepping in, and responsibly reporting abysmal conditions in for-profit run care homes, after which the Premier suddenly decided to take over the care-homes reported by the military.

Why did people have to die before the issue was addressed?

I accept that this is the way it is, but I have trouble listening to rhetoric that claims our leaders are taking care of the most vulnerable.

For Example:

“As we face some of the darkest times in our province’s history, we have a duty to protect and care for the most vulnerable in our society… we must go above and beyond to ensure they get financial relief, food, medicine and other essentials without delay.”
Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, April 21, 2020. https://globalnews.ca/news/6847643/ontario-coronavirus-additional-funding-seniors-vulnerable/

I guess “most vulnerable” didn’t really cover the people in long-term care, who are still dying in great numbers, some living in appalling conditions that our Premier calls “gut wrenching”. I guess “most vulnerable” didn’t really cover seniors and people with serious co-morbidities who live independently and need to work to survive. I’m not sure just who got the financial relief aimed at the “most vulnerable”, I fear top heavy “helping” agencies are fattening up with the dollars, but I do know it wasn’t us, and it still isn’t us.

Anyway, that is my perspective on Attila being forced back into the working world during this pandemic.

I am scared, and not ashamed of being scared.

I admit to having a little cry after Attila drove away. A good cry can be very cathartic.

Now that I have that off my chest, it is time to carry on.

Our garden received new plants from the local nursery this year. Most of the plants were healthy and are doing very well. BUT the most expensive plants, the shrubs, arrived heavily diseased, which became apparent after about a week in the garden. Aphids attacked both plants, a red currant bush, and a high bush cranberry bush. The red currant bush seemed to be fighting them off with success, but the high bush cranberry was losing almost every leaf to those dreaded little beasts.

I started with a spray of insecticidal soap. It slowed the aphids down for one day, then they were back worse than ever. Watching the shrub slowly die just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. So I brought in the big guns, which I haven’t needed to do over the last 10 years, but this nursery baby was so severely infected when we got her, that our usual organic approaches to insect control would not overcome the issue.

I have been waiting for a day without wind to spray the high bush cranberry with an insecticide, as I do not want the chemical spray drifting anywhere else in the garden, where it is not needed and would kill the insects we welcome. The weather has been very windy! But this morning, at 6:00 a.m. the air was calm, so I put on my protective clothing, and out I went to relieve the bush of its aphid infestion. I hope this works!

I am not impressed with the local nursery, who sold us the two infected shrubs for top dollar.

Today is baking day, Attila will need muffins for his lunches, as well as more loaves of bread for sandwiches.

I’ve been mending again. This time I am working on mending my “new clothes” purchased at Costco over the last five years, one pair of pajamas, and two shirts. I don’t buy many new clothes, so having to mend the only ones I’ve purchased in the last five years is truly disappointing. I will contrast those poor quality clothing items from Costco with the other piece of clothing that is being mended, a linen shirt I purchased used for $10, 25 years ago. After 25 years of wear the fabric itself was wearing thought at some pressure points. The Costco clothing needed repairs to frayed seams (cheaply made with inadequate seam allowances) after less than 5 years of very light wear. I hate remaking new clothes because they weren’t made well in the first place.

Here are a few images of my mending projects.

The bottom pant cuff on my almost new pajamas has frayed and detached from the cuff, the seam allowance was not wide enough. Two thirds of the cuff had detached after only a few washings.
I repaired the cuff by turning it up on the right side, stitching it, then used a zig-zag stitch to secure the frayed material to the turned up cuff material. Not elegant, but very functional and good enough for me!
The collar of my 25 year old linen shirt is fraying badly, the fabric has just worn through with use. Not bad for 25 years of wear!
I turned the collar to the inside, stitched it down on the collar band, then stitched the collar edge for stability. I like it better than an actual collar, it will never be out of place.
This is where the fabric wore out along the back yoke of the linen shirt.
What you see here is all of the material left from a shirt I rescued from I don’t know where, it would be over 50 years ago. I’ve used the material from this shirt for various projects over the years, most recently for my face mask. This fabric looked nice with my linen shirt, so I cut a piece from it for mending.
This is the mending patch pinned to the linen shirt, ready for stitching. This floral band was sewn to the seam of the yolk, which has several layers of fabric and is very sturdy. It will then be pressed over the area of the yolk that has worn thin with aga and wear, and sew on.
The linen shirt, the collar turned in and stitched down, and the new floral patch applied across the weak fabric in the back yoke. This is a very big floppy shirt, almost like a cape it is so big and loose fitting. I love it, it offers cool covering that protects me from the sun. It isn’t a particularly pretty shirt, but I wasn’t willing to give it up! We have seen some good times together , this shirt and I.

I like mending better than I like clothing construction, there is something satisfying about rescuing much loved clothing items!

Worldly

Weather

22°C
Date: 1:40 PM EDT Friday 29 May 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 22.2°C
Dew point: 18.8°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: WSW 9 km/h
Humidex: 29
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a” gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
Harper Lee
1926 – 2016
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

10 Comments

  1. It’s ages since I did any mending, I must admit! I need cataract surgery, which has been postponed due to the virus, so close work is out. I love several of the fabrics you show. Well worth the effort to mend them, I think!

  2. Thanks Diane, about the fabric on my clothes, I become very attached to my clothing!
    Yes, mending is close work. I hope you get your cataract surgery sooner rather than later! I will eventually need it too I think, but so far I am getting by with my glasses. My Mom had cataract surgery when she was in her early late 70s, and she said that the first time she looked in a mirror after the surgery it was shocking, lol. I look a lot younger when I don’t wear my glasses, in the mirror that is. 🙂
    Stay safe dear friend!

  3. Sandy

    Hi Maggie. I’m sorry to hear that Attila has to go back to work. Can he wear a mask or bandana while working? And gloves? I’ll be sending tons of prayers for him (and you).
    I hope you can get rid of all the aphids.
    I love Eddie Bauer clothing. It pretty much lasts forever.

    Stay strong, my friend. Hugs!

  4. Sandy, thanks for the kind thoughts and prayers.
    Attila’s work place provides masks for everyone, and wearing them is compulsory. There are plexiglass divisions in the cafeteria. Employees have to take their temperature, do a health check, and report the results before every shift. The company is taking this pandemic very seriously, thank goodness. There will be gaps of course, he will have to watch for those to keep safe, but he will be diligent. When he arrives home from work his work clothes will directly into the washing machine, he will wash thoroughly with soap and water, and i will spray his hair with hydrogen peroxide unless he feels he wants to shower, which he frequently does. In our vehicle his seat is covered with a towel that will be washed. He keeps a squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer in the car, as well as a container with soap and water and a cloth to wipe things down.
    He is operating under the assumption that somebody there is probably a virus carrier, and working from that assumption.
    I have my fingers crossed the insecticide will kill the aphids. I will be keeping an eye on that poor plant. We had a sunny breezy day, so the insecticide would have dried on the leaves, branches and blossoms. When it is wet the chemical kills insects, when dries it repels insects, and it doesn’t wash off right away, so I am optimistic that it will work.
    I love Eddie Bauer clothes too, they are so well made! My linen shirt is very old, it was well worn when I bought it 25 years ago. My other piece is a GoreTex jacket from Eddie Bauer that I bought on sale about 20 years ago, it will outlive me I think! I also love GoreTex, my parka, which is about 28 years old has been worn all these years, and is great for walking in the winter rain, or in extremely cold winter weather with a heavy sweater underneath, it is windproof. Once I have a piece of clothing that works I fall in love with it, and no matter what it looks like, I feel like a million bucks in it.
    Stay safe dear friend! Hugs to you!

  5. I commend your creative repairs! I’ve found shirts bought in the “men’s” department are of much sturdier fabrics than the thin, cheap stuff the manufacturers use for “ladies” garments. I hope you have a very good weekend! Stay safe and hugs! <3

  6. Thanks Joan! Mens clothing seems to be built for normal human activity, and “ladies” clothing primarily for display. I’ve not been much of a showpiece in this life, not wanted to be one, as I’ve been too busy doing the things that interest me, which are usually quite active. My linen shirt is a ladies shirt I think, sold in an era when oversize fit was popular on the beach etc. But the rest of the shirts on my alteration pile are all men’s shirts, that don’t quite fit right, but at least fit comfortably. I’ll be making changes to four more shirts, all purchased used, some over 20 years old.
    Wishing you and Julia a very good weekend!
    Stay safe dear friend! Hugs! 🙂

  7. Sandy

    Maggie it’s a relief to hear that Attila’s company is taking the virus seriously. It sounds like he has a good process in place to stay healthy. I think face masks are going to help to keep a lot of people safe. If the virus can’t enter the nose and mouth, chances are good that you won’t catch it. Hugs to you both!

  8. Thanks Sandy, he feels his employers are doing a good job trying to keep everyone safe. Masks only help a little in keeping someone elses virus away from you, not really reliable. BUT if a person is infected, and wears a mask, they are a LOT less likely to infect other people. Wearing a mask doesn’t protect you so much, it protects others from you. So if everyone is wearing one, everyone is protecting others, and everyone is protected.
    If just one person who is infected is not wearing a mask then that person could infect all the people around them even though those people are wearing masks.
    Where Attila works wearing a mask is mandartory for everyone, so it is as good as it gets.
    Stay safe dear friend! Hugs!

  9. Margarett

    Hello dear Maggie, and all….as I sit here in Texas, I am so disappointed in all of the rioting, burning, looting, and beating up on innocent people.
    This is not peaceful protesting….it is evil acts, and only proves that there are many people out there hellbent on destruction and pain. Since Mike is a retired police officer, over 40 years….his only comment is “that we do not know the real story.” I feel a deep sadness for his family, and for anyone who is wrongfully treated by the police. I do know that racism exists in our country, and in the world. But, these expressions of anger will not solve anything. First the virus, now this. I hope things don’t happen in threes….I love your mending, and I totally understand the love and connection to certain pieces of clothing. I have a navy blue blazer that is at least 30 years old. I am seeing some slight fraying around the inside of the collar. I have already had the lining replaced. So I get it. You do a great job with your creative mending. So sorry about Attila going back to work. A problem here…folks are making more money on unemployment insurance than they were making working, so they don’t want to return to their jobs. Or, they don’t have childcare. It’s a big mess. We are wearing our masks, still garage disinfecting everything, and keeping as many surfaces disinfected as possible. I think we are headed for another spike in cases. Headed for a doctors appt in the morning….routine. Then on 6/19, another back procedure. Life goes on. The twins birthday is June 7th. Jason is all I am thinking about.
    Grief hurts.

  10. Margarett, the current unrest in the USA reminds me of the 1948 book “Cry the Beloved Country”. I don’t comment on what is going on because I don’t live there, and I don’t trust the media to portray the issues without trying to gain readership by any legal means. I don’t understand hatred, it seems so, well, small and twisted. Sending love south is all I can do.

    The resistance to returning to work is about not wanting to die of Covid-19, high-risk-for-complications people, as we are, are not keen to find out if they are the statistical percentage that don’t make it. We have had one family member die of Covid-19 and would like her to be the last family member to die of Covid-19.

    People here receive 55% of the wage they received while working, certainly not more than when they went in to work. I know that is why some people want the economy to return to what it was, most people I know who are not working want it to be safe to go back to work, now.

    Working from home would be great, many of my family members work from home, safe and sound. I’d work from home if I had a job. But people whose workplace is in an enclosed spaces are right to worry about their safety.

    Like you, we are going through all the routines to keep ourselves out of harm’s way with the virus, it is a lot of extra work.

    Wishing you well with your appointments and your upcoming procedure!

    I hear you, grief does hurt. Wishing you as much healing as possible through this difficult week.

    Stay safe dear friend.

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