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.