Covid-19 isolation log: week 3

Monday March 30, 2020

Cases are still rising and the numbers can’t necessarily be trusted. This is the news we receive today. Testing is unreliable, numbers have been skewed. It doesn’t seem like we’ll be getting back to normal any time soon. Like everyone else, I am disappointed, but it was silly to think we would get away with just two weeks of isolation. Isolation they’re now calling “physical distancing” instead of “social distancing”.

People, especially in Toronto, continue to flout the rules; over the weekend they broke through barriers to access parks, congregating in groups to enjoy the spring sunshine. The premier is threatening stricter measures.

The day progresses much the same as it always does. It’s chilly and cloudy out again. After the heavy rain we received the last couple days, the river has flooded so there will be no fishing until it goes down again. I work on my course while Evan ties flies. I still have so much to complete before my next course starts Wednesday. I feel busier than ever in a time of slow down. 

Cordelia’s exhaustion has finally caught up with her. She resists her nap in the morning, but finally sleeps for two hours in the afternoon.

I go for a run and the cold air feels good. It also means there are less people out. I’ve grown to enjoy these austere days.

I know I need to meal prep if I want to eat something healthy for dinner. The bigger part of me wants to order a pizza or just eat snacks. But it doesn’t feel right somehow, on a Monday. I roast a butternut squash, sweet potato, onions and mushrooms. Cordelia is fussy so I don’t get to the cauliflower. I know I will thank myself later for getting this done. It’s how I stay motivated, especially if the task is unpleasant. 

I post my logs from the previous week and wonder if any of this matters. It’s so easy to do nothing. No one will fault you for going about your business, for not putting yourself out there. So why do I experience so much guilt when I do not? 

Even if it doesn’t make sense yet, I press on. Better something than nothing. Progress not perfection.

Tuesday March 31, 2020

This month has felt so long. February already feels like an era away. There is just a little over a month left of my maternity leave and so much is still unknown. 

Many private day cares are shuttering without fees and income. The public day cares in our area were at capacity when I applied. I try not to worry about the future.

Cordelia’s favourite game right now is chasing the cats through the house. They enjoy it too, to a certain extent. I like anything that keeps everyone occupied.

Today my parents come and drop my younger sister off to use our internet for the day. They don’t come inside, but say ‘hi’ to Cordelia from a safe distance. The exchange makes me sad. And I worry about getting in trouble. The rules are getting stricter every day.

Wednesday April 1, 2020

We pay our rent, but many others are not able to. More businesses reduce their hours. The province announces stricter measures, especially in the city of Toronto where people continue to flout the rules. Quebec’s measures are more rigid still. All events and festivals are now cancelled until July. Physical distancing will be in place for at least 12 more weeks.

There are checkpoints now at the borders between the provinces. Some turn non-residents away. Others enforce a mandatory 14-day isolation. Factories have shifted production to produce medical equipment. We are trying so hard to avoid what is happening in New York City: makeshift tent hospitals, freezer trucks used as morgues, construction vehicles moving bodies– and they haven’t hit their peak yet.

In Italy, 13,000 people have died so far, the most of any country. Here, 14 residents have died in the last week at one rural nursing home in Bobcaygeon. All I can hear in my head is that beautiful, sad song by the Tragically Hip. It’s become a rallying cry for Canadians. 

I deluded myself into thinking this would be over soon. Like in the summer of 1914, when they thought they would be home by Christmas. I thought this week they would say, it worked. You all did well. We’ll be out of this soon. Instead, it’s just been more people ignoring the rules, stricter measures and dire warnings. 

There are security guards now in the grocery stores. Trying to keep people away from each other. The police have been given permission to intervene if people are standing too close, or congregating in groups.

Around lunchtime, the three of us go for a walk. It’s a beautiful day. We see three cop cars, watching. It makes me uneasy. We stop at the local pizza haunt, Evan wants a slice. Cordelia and I wait outside. He takes it to go and eats it as we continue. We’re not supposed to sit on the benches, or loiter. 

I work on my course while Evan plays with Cordelia. My second class starts today. I hope against hope, something I’m doing now will pay off.

I order something from Amazon and the delivery estimate is May 4. Over a month from now. Previously items arrived in two days. 

The days are longer, brighter and warmer. How I longed for summer in January. But it’s as unattainable now as it was then.

Monday April 6, 2020

It’s the full moon tomorrow, sometimes called the Pink Moon or Egg moon, before Easter. I haven’t written in the last few days. Partly from exhaustion, partly from competing priorities, but more so because my motivation takes a huge hit every month around this time. Say what you want about astrology, but without fail, the full moon makes me feel anxious, sad, discouraged and fatigued. You’d think I would have grown to anticipate it by now, but it still takes two or three days of feeling low and miserable before it clicks and I check the calendar; and I’m never wrong.

It’s harder to motivate myself to workout, it’s harder to stay positive, it’s harder to put effort into my projects. I feel listless and drained. I distract myself with household chores so I feel less guilty about my lack of focus. I lose patience with those around me. This is the first full moon since the pandemic shut the world down. It’s hard.

Evan and I have taken to calling it “COVID-Days”. When we discuss things we used to do, things we’d like to do, things we’re doing, it all falls under the auspicious banner of COVID-Days.

The news keeps getting worse. People are getting less friendly in the stores. On my weekly shopping trip a woman yelled at me for moving in the wrong direction in the soup aisle. 

The weather has been beautiful, but there is snow and rain now in the forecast. A grey day makes it more bearable somehow.

Police are patrolling city parks and trails and issuing steep fines. Most provinces and territories have closed their borders. Evan and I discuss going for a drive, just to get out of the house. But there are no public bathrooms open now, so we couldn’t go far. 

Evan’s parents drove up on Thursday afternoon. They sat in lawn chairs outside, maintaining the required 6 ft distance. Both sets of grandparents are missing Cordelia terribly. So much happens in such a short amount of time when they’re this small. I am also missing the weekly visits. By the time this is over, I will be back to work and have less free time. I am sad to spend the last month of my maternity leave this way.

Friday evening we order a pizza. I pay ahead of time using the app. When the delivery driver arrives, he gingerly places the box on the front step and backs away with his hands in the air. It is a bizarre exchange and makes me uncomfortable.

Saturday night we try out video conferencing with Evan’s parents, his sister and her husband. It is a nice change. We will likely spend Easter this way, and Cordelia’s first birthday. 

A doctor attends one of our neighbours across the street. He enters her apartment wearing a mask and stethoscope. There are a few dozen cases in the area, but the information is spotty. 

Health officials are now saying those who are asymptomatic can spread the illness. This is frightening news. Cats can also contract and spread it.

When I check our local newspaper, one of the top stories celebrates the first ship to dock in the harbour this year. The local statistics are at least a week old. Another downside of living in a rural area with a long-news cycle.

I was supposed to do my weekly long-run yesterday, but my anxiety and sour mood got the better of me. The weather is nicer today, so I will go. I know I will feel better afterward. One foot in front of the other.

Canada has over 15,000 cases and nearly 300 deaths. This pales in comparison to the United States whose death toll nears 10,000 with mass graves constructed in NYC to accommodate 4,600 deaths.

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