Pandemic Thoughts

I am sitting in my easy chair, gazing at my computer screen, where I can see my reflection as I type. There I am, sunlight and shadow playing across my face, as the branches of the tree outside the window wave in the breeze and share their delight with me. And I amazed at how rich I feel, breathing freely, smiling at myself, at my good fortune in this moment. How good it is to be alive.

Here we are, almost mid-May and a Polar Vortex has descended upon us! Tonight the temperature is supposed to dip to -6C, so it will be interesting to see if those wee radish plants make it through the night tonight. The radish plants lasted right up until mid-November last fall, but it may be harder for young seedlings to hang on through frigid temperatures, than it is for established plants. If I remember, if we don’t get the predicted snow overnight, I will mist the radish seedlings with 20C water in tomorrow morning, that might help.

Although it is quite cold, it is bright and sunny this morning, but the weather people say it will cloud over by noon. A heavy frost has encrusted the landscape, melting away at the sun’s first gentle touch. The house was 17.5C this morning, the heat has been turned off since last Sunday. This morning, since my fingers and joints were feeling quite stiff, the heat was turned on again.

I’ve just been reading (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) that we could expect the pandemic to circulate for about two more years, which was estimated by some from the very beginning. The easing of the restrictions does not mean we are free and clear, it just means that human leaders are attempting to keep our infrastructures going, and the curve flat enough, to ensure those who will survive-with-care can access care, there may be more lock-downs to come, and more severe waves of the viral infection to come. I hope they are wrong of course, that we are nearing the end, and I hope not to be one of the inevitable deaths in this pandemic.

I don’t feel optimistic about a vaccine arriving in time to save everyone. I guess we all know how it feels to wonder if we will survive this time of trouble, except children without underlying health issues, they seem to be surviving, a blessing, even though there are now concerns about the need for hospital intervention for some otherwise healthy children.

I suspect that when we think about this time, years from now, we will remember how interminable it seemed, the not knowing, the worry for loved ones, the isolation, the financial chaos, the toilet paper shortage that seemed so silly a way to usher in such changes, and yet was so very apt.

The birds are still singing merrily in the trees, perched on once bare branches, where leaves are just beginning to unfurl. Squirrels are digging furiously in the gardens. Rabbits are frolicking on the lawns and in the hedges. Small insects dance together in the early and late slanted rays of the sun. The world, the natural world, is as fresh and clean and beautiful and happy as I have seen it since I was a child. Mother earth seems to be breathing a lot easier these days, sighing with relief.

Here at Mist Cottage we are making the most of our time, focusing on the things we can do, on what we have. What we have is safety at home, adequate food, adequate shelter, and our health. We pay as little attention as possible to our greater context. Each morning we read a bit about what is going on around us, talk about it, express our fears, our hopes, our dreams. Then we put the outside world away, tuck it into a loose lidded box until the next morning comes along. The danger for us is to either grow tired, or to forget, that the pandemic is real even though we can’t see it. Our morning reviews help us to remain vigilant, and flexible. We feel we have agency while we are still healthy, so we focus on our health, and our happiness, because that is also important for good health.

We are so very lucky that we have lost only one extended family member to the virus, on Attila’s side, and no friends or loved ones. Everyone in our circle is being careful, doing their best, protecting themselves and others. We are in this for the long haul.

Stay safe dear friends.

Worldly

Weather

2°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Friday 8 May 2020
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 1.6°C
Dew point: -3.9°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: W 28 gust 39 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.”
George Burns
1896 – 1996

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11 Responses to Pandemic Thoughts

  1. Sandra says:

    A lovely summary of the state of your world and of the plague days in general. Your musings have a soothing zen-like tone that makes me feel more relaxed.

  2. Sandra, glad to hear from you. I hope you and yours are all well! These are very intresting times, and to be honest I feel more connected to people here, and in general, than ever I have in my whole life.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  3. Teri says:

    Something shifted out of place in my left pelvis last week, so I lay here on the bed waiting for pain meds to take effect. I was doing better yesterday but got back into bed the wrong way this morning and have slightly pulled something again.

    I’m quite content with where life is, for now. There is a 5% chance that DH could lose his job but that just hovers in the background and seldom touches my consciousness. It’s not the first time we’ve lived with that threat.

    Other than that, I have a warm puppy laying beside me as I look out the window at maple tree branches tipped with green. I hope last night’s cold doesn’t damage them.

    It’s nice to lay here in the effortless warmth, the thermostat keeping the temp comfortable.

    The province is opening up greenhouse sales, today. I think DH and I will go visit our local nursery tomorrow. I’ve been wanting some plants, some flowers, though I may have to keep them covered for a night or two. Just one of those spring adventures that makes the world a bit brighter.

  4. Eileen Barton says:

    Praying that you and everyone stays safe. I have a few family members that had the virus but thankfully have had mild symptoms. Hoping for the day that we can all go and hug each other without fear of getting sick.

  5. Sandy says:

    Those moments of contentment really bring happiness don’t they? I do worry that they might not be able to create a vaccine. It’s hard to comprehend all of the changes that might flow from that possibility.
    On a positive note, about 20 honking cars just passed my place. They had some brightly decorated stickers and signs in their windows. The only one I could read was “We miss you.” I think this was a drive-by for some person confined to home. At least I hope so. They had a police car at the front and back of the line of cars.
    The father of a friend passed away from Corona complications. But a high school friend had it and it looks like she’s almost recovered. She stayed at home but had daily calls from a hospital nurse.
    There’s always hope. Stay safe everyone!

  6. Teri says:

    I’ve witnessed 2 parades in the last few days. One was at the local church. About a hundred cars in a line with balloons and signs, waving to the pastor and letting him know he’s appreciated. The other was yesterday. About 2 dozen cars going down our street, again with signs and balloons, wishing “Virginia” a happy birthday.

    They made me smile.

  7. Teri, sorry to hear about your injury, glad to hear you are safe and warm and comfortable and recovering in good company!
    We found a nursry that will deliver to the trunk of our car, so we will be buying mostly from them, although I don’t think I can keep Attila away from plants for sale at the local grocery store, he will suit up and go I think. I always worry a bit for a few weeks after he has been out there, wondering. So far, so good though.
    The gardens are going to be a real source of joy this year!
    The parades sound lovely! We haven’t seen anything like that here, it is mostly construction workers and construction trucks, diggers etc. up and down the street. It is a bad mix, with seniors who live in the new development getting our for walks, they have to maneuver on the narrow street, lined with vehicles, with all that construction traffice going up and down. A few days ago a worker in a pickup truck was honking at two seniors trying to get out of the way, I hope they complained!! If we are in the front yard people say hello though, from a distance, which is nice.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  8. Eileen, so glad your family members had relatively mild cases of the virus! I hope the great immune systems run in your family! We only know one person who had the virus, and unfortunately she died from it, an older woman, Attila’s step-father’s neice, on the MA Zaandam cruise ship. But I guess we might know lots of people who have had the virus and not known they had it, we know my son-in-law was exposed weeks and weeks ago, and had no symptoms, nor did the rest of the family, so who knows.
    Won’t is be wonderful when we can freely interact with and hug our people!!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  9. Sandy, “There’s always hope.” you are so right!
    I am finding it heartening to hear about the people who have had the virus and are recovered/recovering, the news is all about how bad it can be, which we need to understand, but the news of those who are making it through also brings additional knowledge and hope, that are needed!
    I agree completely too, that the moments of happiness do bring contentment.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  10. Sandy says:

    Maggie it is heartening to hear stories about people who have survived. My high school friend is either 69 or 70 so she (and I) are well into the at risk group. One thing I noticed is she has an extremely positive attitude.

    Hugs!

  11. Good to hear Sandy. The positive attitude is important I think, it gets us through!
    Hugs!