My Mom is a talented Bridge player. After a two year hiatus, she is going to be able to play the game with her friends once more. Yay!
This inspired me to think about the last couple of years, so I recorded my thoughts here.
It was two years ago yesterday, February 27th, 2020, that I last stepped foot in a grocery store. Canada wasn’t taking the Pandemic seriously in those days, even the Prime Minister’s wife was off to England to a big shindig in early March, where she contracted Covid-19. Many claim we “didn’t know”. A lot of us did know though, and began to take precautions. In early February of 2020 Attila and I began to wear masks, and had to endure public ridicule as a result. I often wonder if the people who openly mocked us, some of them old enough to sport grey hair, ever felt the bite of the Pandemic, but I will never know because they were strangers.
In March of 2020 a family member died of Covid-19 on the Zandaam cruise ship.
Then the lockdown came and Attila was home for a number of weeks, and it was quite a relief that he, and me by proxy, could avoid the virus. The lockdown ended, and as an “essential worker” Attila went back to work in that busy environment, constantly mixing with hundreds of people. It was a worrisome time, and we envied people who could work from home, as they could choose their risk of exposure. There were cases where Attila worked, and workers only found out through employees communicating with each other, “gossip” that was actually first hand news of fellow workers.
Then we lost another family member to Covid-19. He had followed all the safety protocols recommended, attended a “car show” thought to be a safe activity, where he contracted the virus, quickly became very ill, and passed away.
My only outings from February 2020 on, were for medical appointments. The people I dealt with for those appointments were all brusque, officious, and some were downright rude for no reason. My only social contact was negative.
2020 was a year of fear, isolation, adjustments, and social unpleasantness.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2021 that we were able to receive a vaccination that offered some protection from severe illness. It was difficult to get the shot, everywhere I called was booked solid, or had run out of shots. There were waiting lists, we added our names to the lists. I made hundreds of telephone calls to finally get appointments for those first shots.
In 2021 the people I dealt with for medical appointments were gentler, kinder, more patient, the change was striking and welcome. By 2021 Attila and I were comfortable and efficient with the routines we felt prudent to minimize possible exposure to the virus. We found ways to obtain food and other necessities online, without having to enter sticks and bricks stores. We disinfected items that came into the house. Attila worked out a routine to deal with clothing worn at work that might be contaminated by the virus. We developed a routine to let mail sit for a few days before it was handled and opened. We used soap and water to sanitize wherever possible, and used hydrogen peroxide where soap and water weren’t practical to do the job. We washed our hands frequently. We kept our distance socially.
2021 was a kinder, gentler isolation in many ways, and a partial release from fear with the coming of vaccinations. Isolation, however, was tiring.
Christmas 2019 was the last time I had face-to-face contact with a relative or friend, other than Attila.
It has been a long two years, here at Mist Cottage, where I spend the majority of my waking hours in my own company. It will be a big adjustment to enter social spaces again. It isn’t quite time yet for us, in a few months we will see how things are going, assess risk, and maybe, just maybe, go grocery shopping.
Updated on Mon, Feb 28, 12:25 PM
FEELS LIKE -12
Wind 2 S km/h
Humidity 52 %
Visibility 21 km
Sunrise 6:47 AM
Wind gust 3 km/h
Pressure 102.8 kPa
Ceiling 10000 m
Sunset 5:54 PM
“The movies are the only business where you can go out front and applaud yourself.”
1879 – 1935
… and then came the age of selfies!
Saskatchewan powers that be have removed all restrictions as of today. I will continue masking in public and avoiding public places and gatherings until medical experts say these precautions are no longer making a difference. No doubt I’ll be the recipient of some rude remarks from those who prefer to follow the dictates of our right-wing, all-that-matters-is-the-economy premier. We shall see. I’ll be taking advice from those who know what they’re talking about, not those who choose to stick their heads in the sand like the Saskatchewan premier has done. -Kate
I am with you Kate, following the medical experts advice, perhaps erring a bit on the cautious side of that advice. It pays to pay attention to people who know what they are talkinga about. Stay informed (as I know you are) and stay safe!
Ironically, just before we went into shutdown I went to see the doctor to get a vaccine against 13 viruses that could cause pneumonia. Many pneumonias are caused by corona viruses. Who knows, the timing of that shot may have possibly saved my life, making my body more vigilant to corona viruses. And this February I got the 23 virus pneumonia shot. My only trip in to see my doctor in the last year.
They’ve pretty much found out now that extensive cleaning makes little difference, it’s pretty much air transmission that’s the problem. Still, we do use sanitizer or soap and water when we’ve been somewhere unusual and never touch our faces when we’ve been out and about. We’ve enjoyed friends and family a few times from a distance these last two years. As long as you have a breeze and distance making sure no concentrated virus gets to you, you’re okay. It’s like blowing on a furry dandelion and watching thewind scatter the seeds.
We definitely won’t be ready to go into venues forva while. Better to watch and see what happens to numbers of infected as others rush to return to normal.
Our state just removed masking requirements with some exceptions. Schoolchildren in the city still have to mask. There are other groups that will have to wear masks too. I will continue to wear a mask when I’m indoors with people I don;t know. A friend and I do try to go out to eat in restaurants every so often but we’re as careful as we can be. It still makes me nervous to unmask in public 🙁
Teri, the pneumonia vaccine is a very good idea. Prevnar 13, according to the only health care provider we can access, is no longer provided to seniors by the Ontario health care system, the NP tells me I must pay cash if I want it, and that it is only for children. The 23 virus vaccine is available, thank goodness. I hope I am getting the correct information from my health care provider, but that is what they are going by. so that is what we can access.
When the authorities were monitoring where people contracted the virus, in our area 20% of the cases were of unknown origin, they had no idea where, or how, it was picked up. We err on the side of caution, no doubt, and will continue to santize incoming products, it isn’t what everyone would choose to do. I do agree, that the science shows that covid is predominantly transmitted through the air, and that outdoor spaces are relatively safe. One of the benefits to sanitizing incoming products is that fruit and vegetables stay fresh a lot longer if sanitized immediately after purchase, a plesant discovery.
This reminds me of a situation where I was in a small shop around eight years ago, and a young couple from Japan were in the same small shop. They kept their distance from others, made a purchase, wrapped it carefully and put it away in their backpack. When they left the shop they cleaned their hands carefully and completely with a sanitizer. That was long before covid, and I remember thinking how over the top it was. Now I am not so sure.
Sandy, I think you will be wise to continue to wear a mask, at least until this Omicron wave has completely run its course. I think the requirements for mask wearing will soon end here as well, and that is when we will be watching carefully how things go. Some other restrictions have lifted here, hospitalizations and ICU numbers are declining in the province, so it might not be too bad, time will tell.
Right now in our health unit area hospitalizations numbers have stopped declining, and are rising slightly, as are ICU numbers. I am hoping this is just a temporary small increase as restrictions are pulled back, and that numbers will decline again. Time will tell.
My state, Arizona, has never had any mask mandates. Julia and I are vaxxed and wear continue to wear masks indoors in public places. We are more daring than some and less daring than others. Through out, we’ve continued to shop at the groceries. We do occasionally see a movie on the big screen, at a weekday earliest showing, when few people attend (we preferred that time pre-pandemic). I don’t know when as I’ll ever feel safe for dining inside a restaurant. (Have done so only outdoors a very few times with restaurants that have outdoor dining.)
Joan, I can’t imagine going through the pre-vaccination era without mask mandates, how brave you were. In a work environment it would have been terrifying. But that is behind us now, thankfully. I don’t know if Attila’s employer will maintain mask wearing after the restrictions are lifted, probably this month, I hope so. I imagine we will have some pretty tough choices to make in the days to come!
It is interesting the range of risk tolerance that exists. Unfortunately our two relatives had a high tolerance for risk, their luck ran out, and their loss of life affected our risk tolerance early on in the pandemic.