The last few days the weather has been wonderful! Temperatures have risen above 15C every day, sometimes higher, and the sun has been shining brightly. The windows have been thrown open in the afternoons, to air out the house and enjoy the breezes. This all ends tomorrow, perhaps today, when the rain clouds roll in and the temperatures drop to normal seasonal levels. Still, with highs of 10C every day for the upcoming weeks, sitting on the back porch will still be a comfortable and welcome daily activity.
Attila is enjoying his garden! He has one of the little greenhouses that was built on the raised beds, up and running. He has our brassica seeds planted, lots of herbs, peas, Swiss chard, spinach, radishes, and many others that don’t come to mind just now. His days are spent in the yard, preparing soil, planting seeds in the ground, and preparing seed starts for the little greenhouses.
The garden is waking up! The rhubarb leaves are small and beginning to unfurl. The garlic is almost ten inches tall. The Heliopsis is about five inches tall, and has spread. Some of the VeeStar strawberries survived the winter, their leaves greening up and new growth showing. The Lungwort in the front garden is blooming. The wild violets are blooming all over the yard.
The birds are wonderful. The bird bath has been up for a few weeks now, and has only frozen over once in that time. This has given the bird population a chance to find it, and it is now frequented. Robins in particular use it to bath, they splash about, displacing so much water that it needs replenishing when they are done. Other species of birds visit the bird bath to drink, mourning doves, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, grackles, and robins are frequent visitors. It is such a pleasure to sit out on the porch in the early morning, sipping coffee and listening to the informal choir of birds. To remind us that nothing is perfect, every morning the robins have a raucous squabble amongst themselves, in the fir tree beside the porch.
Today Attila is working in the front garden. It is on a slope and the soil is eroding and exposing the roots of our perennials. He is using small granite boulders that we collected at our Camp, to create ti soil retaining tiers. It is a lot of work. It is very pretty.
In the kitchen I have a batch of vegetable broth on the range. There was such a volume of frozen vegetable scraps that they would not all fit in the steam juicer, so four bags of scraps had to go back into the freezer, to be dealt with at another time. Some of the broth will be used for this evening’s meal, Cabbage Role Casserole. It will be made in the Instant Pot, using ground beef, frozen organic garden cabbage, carrots, broth, canned organic garden tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices, and rice.
Attila and I have received our first vaccination shots. We opted for the AstraZeneca vaccine, as it was available to us in the most timely manner. The trip to get the shot was the fifth time I’ve been away from home in the last year and two months.
The result of being vaccinated is an improved quality of life, beyond measure. For the last year and two months, Attila has had to work as an essential worker, and could not work from home. We are both at high risk for complications of Covid-19, so the threat of exposure and possible death has been very real to us, particularly since two relatives died early in 2020 from Covid. That sneaky little virus has been the elephant in the room for a long time at Mist Cottage.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is much maligned, as there have been rare cases of a blood clotting disorder that have been associated with it. This is real, it is very rare, one is far more likely to die of blood clotting issues with a case of Covid, or during birth, or from so many other situations that aren’t mentioned by the media. Media reports offer little sense of perspective. The issue is being investigated by the scientific community. The same sort of disorder has been found with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and some cases as well after the Pfizer vaccine. Something is going on there. Since we are old, and the ravages of catching Covid are far more likely to kill us than a rare event from the vaccine, we chose to carry on with the vaccinations. Even if we were in our 20s or 30s, I would not hesitate to take the AstraZeneca vaccine, giving it no more thought than I would choosing to travel on a busy highway. I find it interesting how much truly bad publicity has been aimed at the AstraZeneca vaccine. It seems to me their vaccine is being targeted for some unknown reason. Where Attila works there are quite a few people who will choose not to have the AstraZeneca vaccine, because they are waiting until they can get “the good one” Pfizer. The media has a lot to answer for in the way they are reporting during this global crisis, the way their stories are told, is having a profound effect on some people’s choices and actions.
We can still catch the virus, there is no doubt of that, but if we do, we are very unlikely to need hospitalization, or to die from our infection. Still, we maintain our cautionary lifestyle, in which we err on the side of caution. Although we are protected from hospitalization and death, we can still become unpleasantly ill, and we can still carry and spread the virus if we catch it and are not respectful of others.
This may be a temporary reprieve though, as so many populations in the world, and in Canada, are not able, or willing, to take the necessary precautions to curb the spread. This is a less apparent and less immediate issue than hospitalizations and death from Covid. In some populations the transmission of the virus is rampant, such as the 20-29 year olds in Ontario, many of whom work in high risk essential workplaces, or who do not respect public health, such as university students congregating for parties and recreation, or young people who “have” to go to public places like restaurants, bars, and gyms. The transmission of the virus is rampant in such groups, and variants can easily develop. This could also happen in our schools, among children who are not at risk from the current forms of the virus. Vaccines won’t necessarily be effective against new variants, so this whole pandemic could very easily begin all over again. New variants might do undesirable and unpredictable things, like target children. New variants with new challenging characteristics could mean we would be back to being concerned for our lives. It would leave us once again wishing Attila could work from home, so that we could isolate and stay safe. People who can work from home are very, very lucky!
So for the next little while at least, Attila and I can focus on respecting the virus, rather than fearing it will take our lives.
A week ago Ontario went into another State of Emergency, and there has been a stay at home order, to last four weeks. Cases of the virus, due to variants, are soaring, and the hospitals ICU units are filling up fast. Covid patients are being shipped to alternative hospitals now without their consent, to wherever ICU beds are still available.
Since the lock down came into effect, in my neighbourhood there are two residences that have had at least three extra visitors cars parked outside their homes, hosting get togethers. When Attila and I were last out in the car, there were groups of neighbours, one consisting of persons from four different houses, standing within a few feet of each other, mask-less, having a gaggle. Groups of women, five is what is allowed, walk down the sidewalks, laughing and talking together, mask-less. It has been this way where we live since the Pandemic was declared. So far no one in this small area has died, so I guess the consensus is that the Pandemic has passed us by. Well, I hope this hubris proves to be correct, but I am not about to bet my life on it.
In my opinion, our provincial government set this situation up by loosening restrictions just as the variants were taking hold in the province. The lack of forethought is staggering, in my opinion. We get a bit ahead of the virus, the the population and government lose their heads and try to open things up, and as a result we see these incredible surges as the virus takes advantage of our collective stupidity. Every time we go through this, the virus gains more ground. We don’t learn. We fail to understand the nature of our enemy. Unfortunately, the virus understands us.
Updated on Sat, Apr 10, 10:45 AM
FEELS LIKE 14
Wind 19 SE km/h
Humidity 74 %
Visibility 20 km
Sunrise 6:33 AM
Wind gust 28 km/h
Pressure 101.2 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 7:45 PM
“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”
Ivy Baker Priest