I had fully intended NOT to write a post featuring this dastardly disease that is running rampant around our planet, but how can I not? Sadly, it is the focus of our days, hours, minutes. Every morning I listen to our Prime Minister standing outside Rideau Cottage speaking to the nation and, whatever one thinks of him and his politics, one has to empathize with the guy facing such an enormous challenge. Every afternoon I watch and listen to B.C.’s wonderful Dr. Bonnie Henry, our provincial health officer, hoping that the news she will impart will contain some positive points. I think she is truly amazing and have from the beginning when I heard her talk about the very first deaths that occurred in the first care home in BC to be struck by the virus. It was so evident in her voice and in her demeanour that she was holding back tears, and not very successfully. Her daily reports are great; she gives us the facts and numbers clearly and simply and she always attempts to find something positive to end her report with. And, on a rather frivolous note, I love to see what unique necklace she is wearing each day. She must be soooo tired. Adrian Dix, our Minister of Health, who speaks with her is doing a good job, as well, in my humble opinion. So many other reports on the media are filled with doom and gloom and negative projections. I’m not saying we all have to be a “Pollyanna” and continually play the “glad game,” but a little positive news and thoughts really go a long way.
Lines of poems and songs keep circling in my head. “In my hour of darkness, in my time of need….” and “The world is too much with us….”. I think a poem that is particularly appropriate at this time is Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach:”
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So vicious, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
That sounds like a downer and I didn’t really mean it that way. There is hope and we have to count on that and hang on to it and keep reminding ourselves that “this, too, shall pass.” And we have to keep thinking about the good and the positive and what we, as individuals, can do to make the best of a difficult situation.
Walter and I are being good and following the “rules.” We are keeping the correct distance from others, we aren’t travelling and are staying home, Walter is doing the grocery shopping once a week–Thursdays from 7 to 8 when our local grocery store is open to seniors. It’s tough not to spend time with our kids, grandkids and friends. One thing, though which has really surprised me, is that I am much more of an introvert than I ever thought I was; social isolating is okay (ask me how I feel in two months about that!) and I’m enjoying reading, knitting, sewing, texting friends and writing emails, binge-watching and not feeling all that guilty about it. We are walking each day, getting exercise, changing our scenery, and enjoying the fresh air.
We have bent the rules a little. We have had “deck” visits with each of our daughters and their kids, making sure we keep at least 2 metres apart, and we have come up to our cabin on Stuart Lake where we are this weekend. I have rationalized that’s okay and shouldn’t be considered “travelling,” because the cabin is only 45 minutes from home; we get into the car at our front door and get out at the door of the cabin, with no interaction with anyone in that time. And, we have no close neighbours here.
We are all feeling the the effects of COVID-19. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones or whose loved ones are suffering or who are suffering themselves. It is unimaginably difficult to not be able to be by the sides of sick family members or to not be able to have celebrations of life for those people who have died. I feel badly for those who have had to abandon anticipated plans of travel and for all of us, particularly this weekend, who can’t spend the Easter and all other special celebrations at this time, with close friends and family.
We have to be brave and to get through this time as best we can. Be safe, my friends.