One Year In Isolation

One Year In Isolation

It is raining cats and dogs out there this morning! The snow that was slowly receding has been hurried along by all this wind and rain. The weekend brings February to a close.

Today is an anniversary of sorts. I have been in complete isolation for ONE WHOLE YEAR! I am glad to be here to celebrate this achievement! As Attila said to me over breakfast, “you’ve done it, and you are still smiling!”

Early in the week I made a loaf of Pumpkin Pie Bread in the bread machine. I have been enjoying a slice now and then ever since. It is a very moist bread, perhaps a little too moist. It would be better with a longer rising period and a bit longer to bake. The next loaf will be made into a dough in the bread machine, then divided into two loaves and baked in the oven, where I have more control over the baking time. That should improve it!

Yesterday I decided to a health check on myself. I checked my blood pressure, and am happy to report that it is completely normal for my age. Great! I checked my blood oxygen saturation, 99%. Great! I checked my weight, well not bad, a bit overweight but not anywhere near obese. Good! I took note that despite all my age related aches and pains, I take no pain killers. Great, and pretty lucky! I took note that I can still walk a mile, get down on my knees to do things like clean the tub, reach for items in the high kitchen cupboards, and bend down to put on my socks and shoes. Great! The finger issue is worrisome, still no diagnosis, but I could have surgery if I chose. I won’t risk death by Covid to have the surgery, so hopefully the issue is benign enough to wait until next summer or autumn. All in all I think I am doing very well indeed.

Covid-19 Related – What it is like to be a Senior In Ontario, Canada February 2021

Like many other older people, I haven’t seen anyone, family or friends, in over a year, not since a year ago Christmas. I haven’t had face to face contact with any humans other than Attila for a whole year. There were four brief and necessary exceptions, when masked and face-shielded I purchased grain for our bread, had a Shingrix shot, had an ultrasound on my finger, and had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon at the hospital to assess my finger. That is it. Three of those interactions were very unpleasant, the people I had contact with were rude and unpleasant. One interaction was friendly and pleasant. So in one year I’ve had ONE pleasant face-to-face interaction with a human being other than Attila. Isolation has been an experience! The upside of all those negative interactions is that I don’t really want to be around people face-to-face, it is very ugly and to be avoided. This works in my favour for the moment, as there is little choice but to remain in isolation for the indefinite future. I think though, that I may have some serious adjusting to do, God willing, when all this disease and death dies down.


I won’t be eligible for a Covid vaccine shot until May at the earliest, and most seniors who live independently are in the same boat as I am. Attila will not be eligible until July at the earliest. It is going to be a LOOOONG stretch of months, waiting to see if I or Attila lose the Covid lottery and join the growing statistic of seniors who didn’t make it to the vaccine goal post. Just one shot can protect us from serious harm, but where we live two shots are given, so half the number of lives are protected.

Attila’s workplace is the only pathway the virus has to us. He cannot leave work, too young to retire, but old enough for his life to be in grave danger. If he were offered early retirement by our federal government he would take it in a shot. But alas, that avenue of protecting older people is not under consideration by the powers that be.

It is puzzling why our government says it wants to save lives, knows that almost all of the lives lost are people over 60, and yet offers no opportunity for those over 60, but too young to qualify for a government pension, to retire and isolate. That would save hundreds and hundreds of lives, but for some reason this strategy isn’t even on the table. If all seniors could isolate, it would keep most people out of hospital, out of ICU, and away from ventilators. So, what is the agenda really, when such obvious strategies to save lives are completely ignored?


I find it very challenging to listen to politicians congratulating themselves on how well they are doing protecting vulnerable people. It isn’t lost on me that most of the vaccines we do have have gone to the people who are in long-term-care, and the people who care for them, where private corporations are making a very big profit by “caring” for our seniors inadequately. If the privately run LTC homes had been doing a good job, the seniors in long-term-care would be the MOST PROTECTED people in our country. That would have let us vaccinate the vulnerable seniors living in our communities. That would have kept the curve flat. But alas, no such investment in contagion control has been made in most privately run long-term-care homes. They are a fantastic investment opportunity, lots of money to be made for shareholders! Line up for profits!

Now, although I don’t read about it much, most of the seniors dying are those living in our communities. These seniors won’t be eligible for a vaccination for weeks, most for months.

Our public social structures were created by politicians, and in my opinion they haven’t much to congratulate themselves for, they are the ones who made the decisions about public safety, long before the predictable pandemic began, and during this pandemic. Some parties are more toxic than others, but they are all culpable in my opinion. When running public health like a business, business failures put people’s lives at risk. Well that is my take on this whole mess in Canada.

As I said to my daughter, the Pandemic doesn’t look the same to people over 60. Though we all face some degree of isolation, it is has more of an edge to it if you are in a group where the end result can easily be death, or you have lost someone you care about to the disease.

Worldly

Weather

Sat, Feb 27, 11:15 AM
3°C
FEELS LIKE -1
Rain
Wind 22 S km/h
Humidity 95 %
Visibility 9 km
Sunrise 6:48 AM
Wind gust 33 km/h
Pressure 101.1 kPa
Ceiling 400 m
Sunset 5:53 PM

Quote

“depression doesn’t desire you, deprivation detests you and unhappiness finds you abhorrent.”

What an astrologer says about my transit of Venus and Mars. Luckily I don’t care for these states, and give them a wide berth.

8 Comments

  1. The vaccine situation may be worse where you’re at. Julia did get her first shot yesterday (moderna). She is 68, but as I am only 62, I have a while to wait.

    When we got back from the Civic Center (I waited in the car), we saw our neighbors to the east outside, having a yard sale (weather here is cool, but not cold). Julia told them of our success. These two neighbors, both of them are battling cancer, one of them goes into hospital quite frequently, but no….. , they are refusing the vaccine, even though they are over 65 and qualify. I don’t get it. They’d rather take the word of conspiracy theorists than scientists!

    It boggles the mind.
    I do hope some sunshine and joy reaches you where you are at….
    We love the ‘all classical portland’ radio we get via the internet. It’s a comfort, good music.

    <3 <3

  2. I am so very glad to hear that Julia has had her first shot. One shot is supposed to prevent a severe outcome even if you do get the virus, it saves lives! I hope you opportunity is soon to follow!

    The vaccine situation in Canada is dire indeed. Our supply comes from Europe, we can’t produce our own vaccines. Europe stopped shipping them to us for a bit, then reduced what they would ship, leaving Canadians high and dry. Astra Zaneca has now been approved and we have some on the way from India, but not enough to make a significant difference, or to vaccinate people under 90. We have managed to vaccinate 94% of our long term care home people, which is marvelous, but that leave the old living on their own totally unprotected. I have to admit the stress of facing severe illness and death is really wearing. I managed to deal with that kind of fear for myself, with the anaphylaxis, but I could control the inputs on that situation. With Covid it the people around us that are dangerous, and the people where Attila works, and we can’t escape their possible negligence. But I think the real tipper for me is the thought that Attila might catch the darn virus, and something awful might happen to him, I find that harder to deal with than the thought of my own demise. There is nothing for it but to keep going. I have to admit to some indulgence today, the anniversay of one year in isolation, to express my feelings about the whole situation. I will put these thoughts and emotions aside, now that I have aired them, and will enjoy the better weather that is soon to arrive!

    Wow, those neighbours are really pushing their luck! It is mind boggling! It just goes to show that the education systems in North Amercia are failing to teach people how think!

    Your weather sounds perfect!! The classical radio station sounds lovely, I am going to have a look for it!! Stay safe dear friend!

  3. I laughed so hard last night as we watched an episode of Brokenwood, where a New Zealand man says matter-of-factly in response to a conspiracy theorist: “So you DO have a plate in your head” before walking on.
    Well it would be laughable if it weren’t so shocking and dangerous that so many people aren’t thinking straight.
    Here, or should I say out in BC, my dad has come out of hospital for the fourth time and my sister called yesterday to say he’s not improving and she doesn’t know what to do. Neither do I. My being there is not going to help him, and my travelling there might actually take something ugly to him, and yet … if I don’t go, and he takes a turn for the worse again and goes downhill fast … and at his age and after three serious surgeries … I am so, so torn. I don’t know what to do, either.
    I want to be there, but I don’t want to be one of the people spreading around this plague.
    -Kate

  4. Sandy

    I also heard that one shot can provide significant results.
    My feeling through this pandemic is that many consider the elderly to be expendable. Well we’re not! I’m over 65 and have yet been contacted for a shot, despite being registered at 4 different places. But I plan to wait patiently (sort of) until the summer when the vaccine supply is supposed to increase.
    I don’t understand the reluctance to get the vaccine either. But I hope that those two elderly neighbors of Joan’s survive this and continue to lead the lives they wish.

  5. Kate, in the face of such insanity I think laughing is the immediate response, a laugh of incredulity. It would not be so tragic if these people were not endangering the lives of others, but they are. Before social media these people would be fanatics of some kind, clan members, religious extremists for example. I think they used to remain frightened and silent, now they are frightened and vociferous, and easily led.

    I am so sorry to hear your Dad is not doing well! Goodness, this pandemic has put you in a tough position. Is it feasible to travel to where he is, isolate for two weeks, and then see your sister and your Dad? Could you gain access to a covid test when you arrive, and isolate until the results come back? Surely the tests would be available to you under such difficult circumstances? How very difficult for you and your sister! Whatever you decide, you are doing your best. ((HUGS))
    Stay safe dear friend!

  6. Sandy, the research does support that once the first shot has done its work, usually about two weeks after the shot, there are no Covid-19 related deaths. It won’t prevent you from getting mild or moderate symptoms, but it will keep you alive. All of the approved vaccines offer this type of protection. One caveat though, the variants are largely unknown, although England has run the gauntlet with the UK variant and the vaccine will keep you alive if you catch it. As for the rest, the results are not in yet.
    I agree that this pandemic has shown us graphically how little our culture values our elders. Perhaps it was always so, but I preferred to have my rose coloured glasses on believing in the value of all human lives, regardless of race, sexual orientation, age, and any characteristic that has been deemed “other” in our modern world. I adored my Grandparents and would be so worried about them if they were still her during this global event.
    I remember when my Grandpa was exposed to a rabid animal, when he was in his 70s, and mentioned it to my dentist during a regular appointment, who told me Grandpa’s survival really wasn’t important due to his age. It was difficult to control my disgust with that unprofessional jerk, but I’ve been aware of how selfish younger people are, and how freely they express their disregard for older people, ever since that experience. Grandpa had a decent health care provider, got the treatment he needed, and lived another decade in perfect health.
    Wishing Joan’s neighbour’s health and survival is very kind. I would also wish all the people they potentially infect the same good health and survival.
    I hope you get your vaccine very soon! It sounds like you have done everything within your power to make that happen. Johnson and Johnson vaccines were just approved for the US, so hopefully there will be more and more shots available to people who need them, and want them.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  7. Margarett

    Dear Maggie, and my adopted friends from Maggie….you may think that I ignore you, but, I don’t!!! I have had three back injections since I last wrote to you, and it takes me 2-3 days to recover from those, and I am basically wasting oxygen during those times! Anyway, Mike and I survived the coldest weather that Texas has experienced in over 100 years. Mike took care of the outside water pipes and the inside pipes in the kitchen, laundry room, and the 2 bathrooms. So, we had no frozen pipes….YEA. We also did not lose power…we think because we are about 2 blocks from an electric sub-station. But, you should see some of the damage a whole big bunch of folks are dealing with…frozen! Busted pipes upstairs…resulting in flooding through their ceilings…or ground floor floods from frozen downstairs pipes. I really feel for them. It seems to me that the most damage was in all of these huge apartment complexes all over the metro-plex. 3 days after the coldest day, we were back in the 70’s. Crazy, as in “cray-cray”. ( a term I know teens use, since Carson is now 14.). Needless to say, we will not be able to find folks to do my cosmetic overhaul of my master bathroom. But, it will get done when it gets done. The unusual cold weather, which later than the usual 1 or 2 days, did a number on some of my plants….most will survive, but will need a lot of cleanup and clean out. Just imagine me wandering around my flower beds, using my cane, with Mike following with my tools and the trash bags….for what doesn’t end up in compost. I will have way too much for that pile. Mike says I am dreaming about “ me actually working in the garden”. He said I may be able to supervise someone…but, I want to do it so badly, and I am praying to get some stamina and strength to do some of it. Ok, Sweetie, I have rambled from here to the Mississippi River…so until soon…xxoo Margarett

  8. Margarett, I thought of you often as we received news of the terrible cold in Texas! It certainly can do a lot of damage to people and buildings and plants, and just about everything that isn’t prepared for it. I’ve lived in a climate where the winters are brutally cold and long, all of my life, so I take for granted all the things we do here to survive the cold. I can’t even imagine dealing with that kind of weather without all the infrastructural adjustments it takes to stay functioning!
    Sorry to hear about your injections, hope they help! Sending you prayers for pain free mobility in your future!
    Stay safe dear friend!

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