Here we all are (speaking collectively, as in “all the world”), social distancing and self-isolating. I hope we’ll come out the other side clamouring to spend time in public with the rest of humankind.
In the meantime, here are my favourite 19 things about distance and isolation 🙂
19. Working from home is a real possibility for those not working in customer service.
18. Rush-rush-hurry-hurry is over. Errands are virtually forbidden – if it’s not essential, don’t do it!
17. No social pressure to make plans or go out.
16. The Great Outdoors is still here. Parks and trails and beaches to walk along. And plenty of space to maintain our distance from each other.
15. Catching up on indoor chores suddenly seems a good use of time.
14. Pets like having us around.
13. Plenty of time to visit relatives and friends whom we know are healthy…
12. …and plenty of time to check on those who are unwell, anxious or need practical help.
11. We can deepen virtual relationships, through tweets and messages and texts and emails and maybe even picking up the phone.
10. Our thoughts and dollars can be turned toward those who are experiencing unpaid sick leave or business closures.
9. We are so informed and prepared, we can disconnect for a while and stop that news feed.
8. It feels good to cook and bake and fill the freezer.
7. We can progress from #stormchips to #quarantine-munchies (What were your stock-up snacks?)
6. We can appreciate the good health that has brought us this far
5. Warm homes in March and wearing jammies in the day
4. Imagining scary scenarios and knowing we’re safe
3. Delicious time to explore Spotify, make playlists, and catch up on releases from favourite artists (lately I am alternating between Riot Girl and 60s girl groups)
2. Movies and TV! Recently I watched State of the Union on Sundance (free trial) and next will be the remake of High Fidelity (as a series with Zoe Kravitz) on Starz
1. Books, books, glorious books! Load up at the public library before it closes or load up your e-reader. I have read 3 good books in a row: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White, and Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox. Next up is Debbie Harry’s Blondie memoir, Face It.
Between Thursday night and Friday morning of this week, everything about the pandemic suddenly got serious. Government announcements were coming fast and furious, and my workplace spent a whole day putting an emergency plan in place.
I am ever-so-thankful for our coordinated, national, free health care system, that already has pandemic plans in place because of the previous H1N1 and SARS scares.
The Library is offering an additional 2 weeks paid sick time for any staff who need it due to the virus or for family care.
Normally our house has a “just in time” food buying system. We buy only what we need and use it all up. Last week I brought in a couple of weeks’ worth of non-perishables, which felt very strange, since we usually eat all fresh fruit and veg (of course we have apples, oranges, carrots, etc.) I bought extra for our local food bank because not everyone can afford to stock up.
I did bring home a stack of library books for myself and another for my mom; not that I will have so much time – if the Library closes, I will work from home, and I have plenty of work to do. I am relieved I have a desk job now and I don’t work with the public. But at the same time, I miss having a staff team and being able to support each other.
I am worried about my dad who is stubbornly unlikely to stop going out, but on the plus side, he will find far fewer people to hang out with when he does go out. And I worry for my sister and sister-in-law who both work in health care environments. I am worried for co-workers who are out of the country, and hope they will get back in safely. I am sad for many more co-workers who have lost thousands of dollars on cancelled events and vacations during this annual school break week. I am concerned about schools and daycares closing, educational time being lost, and parents being overwhelmed.
Despite all this, there are no cases of Covid-19 in my province. Sometimes it is good to live in a remote area. There are 250 cases across Canada. And we are a geographically huge country. Compare to 21,157 in Italy, 2900 in France, 1629 in US, and 1140 in UK (as of March 13 and 14).
I hope everyone reading is healthy, safe, getting paid, staying in touch with loved ones, and able to get necessary supplies and services.
Please tell me how you’re doing, and what you’re doing, in the comments.