I am trying something new here today – my first attempt to keep a weekly diary of my thoughts and activities during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic at home in Toronto, Ontario.
Week 1 – March 15-21, 2020
On Monday, Prime Minister Trudeau – who is self-isolating at home while his wife Sophie is quarantined for 2 weeks – delivered a simple message: Stay Home. I must admit that it still took me some time to acknowledge the true meaning of these words. I had scheduled our car in for its annual servicing this week, which would have left me sitting around the car dealership for at least three hours while the work was being done. What was I thinking!
Acknowledge, Accept and Adjust.
My life – our lives – are going to change. I started looking for new activities and ways to make changes at home. I subscribe to a blog from Colossal, who posted an article on Skillshare: “Classes to keep you busy – and give you a break from the news – while social distancing.” So I signed up for a 3-month free trial and I have started to watch some instructional videos on lettering, watercolour and Photoshop.
Last week (it seems like a long time ago) I completed a four evening course on watercolour painting. I am hoping to incorporate watercolours into my hand lettering and calligraphy practice, as well as my photography. The feature image for this week is my first creation. As the COVID-19 disease begins to take hold of our lives, we are all Adrift into uncharted waters and looking for support among our loved ones.
We are Toronto Star subscribers and we get the paper delivered outside our door every morning (how retro?). The Star has lately been warning us that there could be a disruption in the delivery of our newspaper, and recommending that we subscribe to the Star ePaper edition, which is included in our subscription price. We also receive the Globe and Mail (digitally) and it is important for us to be able to maintain our routine of reading both papers each morning. All set.
We had a trip planned to Australia this spring, for both of us to visit family and for me to officiate at the 2020 World Bowls Championships. However, the writing was on the wall, and the official notice arrived this week that the championships were being postponed indefinitely. Throughout the week, countries around the world were beginning to restrict border crossings, and Canadians abroad were being encouraged to return home before the airlines stopped flying. Time to cancel our flights, rental cars and accommodations. I got to spend three quality hours on the Air Canada phone line in order to cancel my return flight from Brisbane to Toronto. I was able to cancel the flight and receive a refund, but I had to absorb a cancellation fee for my “voluntary” cancellation. Next week I will be talking to Aeroplan regarding my outward flight.
Bowls Canada also announced the cancellation of all sanctioned bowling events for 2020. This was the right decision, as many bowlers are in a higher risk demographic, and it is a social game; however, this resulted in another round of booking cancellations for this summer. It was like the “Reset” button had been pushed, and an active year has been deferred to start afresh in 12 months time.
We went out for a walk in our neighborhood village to pick up some pharmacy and grocery items. We were prepared to adopt our S O C I A L D I S T A N C I N G skills, but we found that many other Torontonians were not as careful or obliging, so it was a bit of a challenge.
We are all being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, going out only for essentials such as groceries and drugs. We visited two grocery stores with some trepidation. We have now decided to try out Loblaw’s Express Pickup service next week to try to avoid some of the crowds (and to buy some toilet paper)! Our order is now in, and will be available for pickup in a week’s time, so we will see how that experience works out.
This week I also decided to make changes to my website, hence the different look for those who have visited before. I want to include some other of my activities and interests (aside from photography) and focus on writing more frequent blog posts. With the best of intentions, I will see how this all goes and what lies ahead.
In the meantime, good health to everyone, and take care.