March 27th. We are now in the midst of a pandemic, how is this even possible? 2020.
This is a year when I thought I would be celebrating and enjoying a new life. Celebrating my first year being retired. Travelling with friends to hot sunny places. Visiting my sister and her family. Taking painting classes, looking forward to doing whatever came into my heard, whenever and where ever I chose. Instead we are practicing social distancing, physical distancing, lining up outside of stores as we wait our turn to be admitted to see sparsely filled shelves and limits on what we can purchase. We are living in different times.
I think of the dystopian books that I have done with my students over the years and see connections everywhere. In Life as We Knew It, we followed a family’s experience during a earth shattering event that changed life in the world. We are now living in a world where a virus, Covid-19, has changed ‘life as we knew it’.
March Break, generally a happy event for students and teachers, became an event filled with fear and anxiety as numbers of those infected grew in the world and showed up in Canada. Being told to self isolate, to avoid public places, and to stay at home, seems very un-Canadian.
Being an introvert, staying at home is not a difficult thing for me. I enjoy being by myself, reading, going for walks, and generally amusing myself. Being told not to go out is different that choosing not to go out. I have now fully exhausted my reading materials and am eager to visit a library, none of which are open for the foreseeable future. It looks like Chapters will be the way to go! (So much for shopping local!)
How long will this last? I anxiously tune in to hear Prime Minister Trudeau each day, to get an update on what new sanctions are being put into place, what will now be closed, what the government is doing to help, and what new information I need to know. Not a huge fan of Trudeau or Premier Ford, I must say that I have been impressed with how they have both stepped up to show true leadership during this situation. I am proud that they are looking for ways to help Canadians in their daily lives, and are appearing on television each day to keep us informed.
It is a different reality for us. When will it change? Not in the foreseeable future, I think. We will tune in everyday and hope that people will begin to pay attention, to stay at home, to practice physical distancing, and finally to #plankthecurve.