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Wednesday 8 April 2020

Progress report

We have survived four weeks of isolation with periodic walks along the boardwalk when weather permits. We haven’t felt any great need to do any more house cleaning than we normally do. For me, reading, writing, phone calls and tv fill the hours since I am not a craft person. My husband and I have tried a few new recipes but we are limited by what’s available in the house between grocery runs.

The isolation has changed our lives in important ways. We haven’t seen the grandkids for weeks, except via technology. We’ve been spoiled living near them and seeing them so often. One of our granddaughters had a birthday this week and we saw her at a distance. I know it kept us all safe but it was sad nonetheless. 

By mid April every year my husband and I begin our excursions around Prince Edward Island, bringing a picnic with us. The first such adventure every year is special as it signifies the beginning of another picnic/hiking season which we look forward to after the long winter. It won’t happen this month and not in the foreseeable future. 

Nature has progressed while we’ve been inside. Ice is finally gone from the harbour and none is visible in the Northumberland Strait. Birds have returned for another season and the grass is showing on our lawn again though a huge mound of snow has yet to melt. The barbecue is out of storage and there has been the occasional time we can sit on the patio in our lighter jacket.

A seed company on Prince Edward Island is doing five times its usual business shipping seeds. People are eager to grow their own food in these times, many for the first time. It is a reminder of the days when many people had home vegetable gardens. It will be interesting to see what people grow as the season progresses. Our own vegetable patch and flower beds will receive some TLC when the temperature increases.

Grocery shopping every two and a half weeks is a dreaded adventure. Wash, wash, wash, hands and everything you touch. I am wary of everything and everyone outside the house. I’ve used a large bottle of bleach and my hands are rough and dry. 

The last grocery trip involved lining up at 7 a.m. with fellow seniors in the pouring rain waiting to enter the store. People in the stores are focussed on the job at hand. They don’t make eye contact or even look up from the task. At the check-out, everything is wiped down between customers and the cashier is behind a piece of plexiglass. Masks aren’t common here yet.

Where would we be without these workers? It is interesting that the billionaire owners of two chain stores here have increased the salaries of their workers during this pandemic. At $15.00/hour or less, the workers take risks many are not willing to do. How about a living wage for these essential employees all of the time? How many billions are enough?

Everything but the essentials are closed and people are out of work. Food banks are busier and more in need than ever. The provincial and federal aid packages are rolling out slowly as rent and mortgage payments are due. People are really hurting. 

Meanwhile gas is down to $.72/litre. We haven’t seen these prices in years. In one of the great ironies though, we can’t go anywhere. However my husband and I are merely inconvenienced.

Seeing the price of gas reminded me of my Granda O’Brien years ago. When he was seventy, he developed diabetes which required medication and a change in his diet. He said, “I worked all me life to get a bit ta eat and now dat I got it, I can’t eat it.”

Unlike diabetes, this too shall pass.


A change in wind direction has blown ice back into the harbour and we had a ton of snow overnight and continuing this morning. However, we are cozy, warm and safe inside.


DJan said...

I wonder how much longer this time will last. It won't be a short isolation, but I worry about how well we will fare when the economy comes back. This is the month that our annuities are refigured to decide how much we will receive every month. It will be a hit, but how much is unclear. As you say, though, we will survive this pandemic eventually. It will be so good to see other people again in person!

Barbara said...

Missing the start of your picnic season is really a disappointment as is not being around the kids. I miss mine too and I'm so glad they had an early Spring Break at school and got to stay with me a couple of days. Video chats is just not the same.

Ruth Hiebert said...

What you describe is much like what I am experiencing . I do go out for country drives, just to keep my sanity. Our gas is at .69 as of last night.

Celia said...

It's very sunny here in SE Washington State with temperatures starting to creep up during the day. I can drive around and enjoy the fields and mountains but that's it. I don't see my grandkids much. I drive over and stay in the car and they come out and yell from the porch, they are about 1.5 miles from me. I really miss them. I am getting my groceries delivered and don't always get what I hoped for so I'm reading my cookbooks again. Some deliveries everything shows up. All of them and myself are well. Schools is out for the year and online. My kiddies are home schooled anyway so it's business as usual for them. The older grands are mostly furloughed, one still working in a grocery, and one who worked in a school is delivering takeout to keep the rent paid. It scares me. No masks here either. Be well all.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

These are strange times indeed. I hope you have a happy Easter!

Debbie said...

isn't it wonderful to be cozy, warm and safe...we are so lucky!!

i miss my great nieces, i do not have grandchildren. we have face timed a few times but it is not the same. we have not missed any birthdays but i am sure that is going to happen.

easter is a grand event at my nieces, that will not happen, nor will the easter egg hunt!!

we, actually the hubs, wears a mask everywhere he has to go...a mask and gloves. if he brings it home to me, i'm done. i have not been in contact with anyone since the first week in march. i do miss my friends and family!!!

Elephant's Child said...

Thanks for the update. I am glad that you are warm and safe.
And grieve for those world-wide who are not.
Anxious times, with no end in near view.

Red said...

Interesting comments on how you are surviving the quarantine. We can only do so much to fight the virus. Stay safe

Bill said...

The government just told us the restrictions that we currently have will be extended until May 5th and then the situation will be evaluated once again to see if it changes. Got to be safe and patient but some people are not. t#The Garda have the power to arrest if necessary. People have to stay within 2km of their house and could be questioned if they stray too far away.
Strange world indeed.
Happy Easter to you both!

The Happy Whisk said...

I'm glad you get to visit via the Internet with your family. Love that.

My experience at the grocery store is different. People smile and talk still and it's been pretty smooth here. Though, as the days march on and more and more people can't go out, who knows?

It's also very cool how many are baking and gardening this year. I grew up around gardens and home-baking but for those who never did, they are in for all new adventures, growing and baking. Pretty cool.

Rose said...

I have yet to venture for a real drive, but I want to. Then I think, what if we were in a wreck and Roger was exposed to the virus? He has that chronic cough, which is going to be fun when he can be out in public...and is diabetic on top of it. I do not know if he could survive it.

But still we may had been a while since we had did anything other than take a detour home...

I always get a bit unsettle when I have to go to the store. But we are blessed to live in a very small town and so far always so few people when I go. I had to pick up a prescription at Walmart the other day and just went right in. For that I am thankful cause it really gets to me to have to just stand. I can stand and work all day...but just to stand still wears me out worse than working.

Joanne Noragon said...

I wondered what I would do for zinnia seeds, and my friend sent me an envelope of some she had collected. It's good we all are as happy as we can be.

Tomoko said...

There are many big changes now.
However the time is passing. It is so good to know that the ice is finally gone from your harbour.
I bought a TV fire so that I can watch movies anytime. I had a lot of movies in my list, but I had no time to sit in front of my TV screen.
Finally I can enjoy them. I watched 'The Mule' last week. I had to cry with that story.
Stay safe, Marie.

Ginnie Hart said...

Your lament isn't much different than what I'm hearing on CNN these days, Marie, as I keep up on what's going on in America, as well as the rest of the world. Who knew we'd be in such a place as this day and age! It's all quite humbling and sobering, isn't it. The changes it's requiring will hopefully rebuild us all and make us better humans for Mother Earth. This is our wish, isn't it. We needed to do better and now are forced to do it. (sigh) Thanks for sharing what YOUR story is like there where you live.

Liz Hinds said...

We are having amazingly good - and unseasonable - weather. So cleaning is ... waiting. I can write in the dust but there's no-one to see it!

Because Husband is 70 he has been able to get on the 'vulnerable' classification at the supermarket and is entitled to home delivery! Much excitement!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

At the Costco here gas was 59.9 cents per litre last week.

Anvilcloud said...

I could more or less write ditto to this post except we haven't been grocery shopping yet. We have a friend who will help and will get our third pickup order on Monday.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

It was my granddaughter's birthday also Marie, we celebrated via Skype, probably will be the same for my grandson's birthday in June also. I think what I'm going to miss the most is the huge family picnic in the park we have had every Easter for as long as I can remember. Still there will be many more to come I'm sure. Let's hope everyone keeps doing the right thing and we can knock this on the head soon. Take care and happy happy Easter ✨

eileeninmd said...


I am glad to hear you are hanging in there, there is not much we can do about it. I guess we can be grateful for what we have, stay strong. Growing your own garden veggies is a great idea, at least it would be organic right and chemical free. I agree our grocery workers are essential, they should be paid a decent living wage. I am thankful they are there for us. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

jenny_o said...

It's good to hear from you and know you are safe and well, Marie. It's hard, though, not to be able to get out and do the things in nature and with family that we want to do. Stay safe. There will be an end to this eventually.

Angela said...

I totally relate to the feel you have when going out for groceries. I have an app for walmart. I order my groceries online and go to the store to the pick up area. The grocery lady places all my groceries inside the trunk and I then leave but still scared! The pharmacy girl met me at the side curb of the pharmacy and gave me my medicine but I was till scared that I had to open the window of the car to answer a question.

Catarina said...

Our attitudes and behaviours have changed forever! I don’t remember much about the SARS outbreak except that’s when we started using hand sanitizer on a regular basis when outside of the house. I will never forget Covid-19… but then there is no comparison. Most people are wearing masks. All colours, all shapes. Some light, some heavy duty… like the one a friend of mine (in hers 30s) was wearing at the supermarket. With the physical distancing and a heavy duty mask I could hardly understand what she was saying. : )) Something new at this supermarket today. One-way aisles have been implemented. I like that!
More snow?!!! brrrrr
Have a pleasant Easter Sunday, Marie!!

HWIT BLOGG said...

It will be a different Easter this year...
Take care now!
Lots of love from Titti

Shammickite said...

I know how you feel as it is exactly the same here. Everything closed, no school, cheap gas and nowhere to go! Yes, it WILL get better.
Meanwhile I have ordered a very yummy take-out Easter turkey dinner from the diner in town.... I really want to keep this little restaurant in business. It would be so sad to see it go after so many years!

Retired Knitter said...

This time in self isolation is beginning to wear thin for me. I feel like my life (at least the life of my family) is passing me by and I am not there to be a part of it. It gets me down more than I care to admit. But when this passes I am sure I will appreciate what I had and have more than before.

Mage said...

I wouldn't mind this so much if I could be with George. He's miles away, and i'm inland. You sound awfully good.

Stewart M said...

These are strange times indeed, and we will learn new skills (I hope) during this time.

I'm just not sure what the skills will be!

Hope you are well - Stewart M - Melbourne

baili said...

i sorry that you could not see your granddaughter at her birthday dear Marie i i can feel it is sad indeed
this will pass too for sure
what is good that you are safe ,warm and cozy inside :)
nice to hear that spring has arrived at your corner ,though you cannot hike or wander still you can inhale spring magic and this is blessing :)

people are scared and this pandemic has filled them with fears but i believe all is timely and will vanish away soon by the grace of Lord!
stay well and enjoy you r reading ,writing and baking :)

Danielle L Zecher said...

I'm sorry you weren't able to be there in person for your granddaughter's birthday. Thank you for being responsible! I see so many people who aren't taking this seriously, it's refreshing to see someone who is.

I've ordered seeds for a garden this year. We didn't have one last year, and before COVID-19, I wasn't sure if we'd have one this year. It seems like some years we really struggle to keep up with it. But, it seems like a good idea for so many reasons this year.

I hope your weather improves soon.

William Kendall said...

When I'm not working, I'm mostly at home, perpetually distracted.