It has been quite a year, hasn’t it? We have all adjusted to new truths, new living situations, and new restrictions. As I look back on my year, and as I try to stay hopeful, I want to review what has changed in my life and how my life has changed me. I do this knowing that the crisis does not seem to be ending soon, and that we may all have to consider a much longer term of Covid-proscribed lifestyles. So, I am looking back in order to look forward.
My thoughts and reactions can easily be considered under three headings: Grumbles, Sighs, and Cheers.
• Reclining has made my bad posture worse. I have spent much of this year sitting in a reclining chair. Normally, this would be a small part of my day, but because of Covid-19 it has become a major part of my day. Now when I try to do anything physical, my back aches like crazy.
• My winter 2020-2021 was spent in Edmonton Alberta and not San Jose California. I haven’t experienced a northern winter in nearly eleven years, so it came as a nasty shock to my system to be almost completely housebound because of snow and ice. The lack of sunshine, warmth, and visits with my California family has affected both my physical and mental health negatively.
• Isolating at home has reduced my already-minimal social interactions to almost none. I’m now down to seeing household family members once or twice a week and my younger child about once a month. It’s enough to say “I love you” but not enough to actually do anything to exhibit any love.
• Masks are essential, but badly designed. When I started on this journey, I took whichever masks I could get, and none of them fit well and most of them fogged up my glasses. As time has gone on, enterprising mask-makers have come up with various solutions to the size, fit, and fogging problems. I have bought and thrown out more masks than I have actually worn, but I always wear a mask whenever I leave the house.
• Vaccines are reaching us slowly but surely, and some are more arriving more slowly than others. Likewise, some vaccines work more surely than others. I was ready to take whichever I could get, which turned out to be the Pfizer version. Honestly, though, I would willingly have taken the Astra-Zeneca one even with the very remote chance of a blood clot. The remote chance is minuscule but the chance of illness or death is huge.
• Politicians don’t seem to be able to decide whether to listen to scientists or business leaders and so they waffle. Federal, provincial, and local politicians in my world have shown varying degrees of wisdom around Covid-19, but on the whole have leaned towards allowing businesses to reopen. Then, periodically, they make the businesses close down again when doctors scream that they cannot take any more patients.
• Online shopping has been brilliant. Local and national retailers have reliably brought essential products to my doorstep throughout this craziness without my ever having to come in contact with other humans.
• Frontline workers in hospitals, grocery stores, homeless shelters, and taxis have unfailing turned up for work every day. We owe them, and everyone else whose services we relied on when we needed them, an enormous debt of gratitude.
• Personally, I have sorted through a mountain of memorabilia and discarded or donated most of it. I have also learned how to play Sudoku; not well, but well enough. I have read about three books each month and written in this blog at least twice a week. Now, creeping into my consciousness, is the desire to draw and paint again. I even took out my easel and put a canvas on it. I haven’t actually painted anything on it yet, but I keep looking at the blank canvas and wondering what do to with it. Baby steps, friends. Baby steps.