Slogging through solitude…

Can Covid-19 pack it’s bags and go home now? I’ve whizzed through the whole series of Good Omens (and could really use a second season). Now I’ve started on the book. Colin’s lent me his DVD collection of Doctor Who and I’m up to The Library episode now. I’ll be sad when the 10th Doctor is gone. I like the 11th Doctor but the 10th holds a special place in my heart (up in the right ventricle). I’m playing Scrabble on Facebook and a quiz game. I’m also playing a word connect game on my phone. I go for several walks each week and bounce on my mini trampoline for 20 minutes at a time. Plus phone calls to friends and family. Rinse and repeat. It’s a lot but I want to do something new. I want to window shop… go on walks with my Mom… sing karaoke with my friends… have lunch in a little restaurant and try something new. I want Sunday family dinners. I want to get my eyes examined and go back to the gym again.

I’ve made this apartment a home with pictures, word art, and plenty of cats but sometimes it feels more like a cage. There’s so much I want to do. Meanwhile a microscopic virus is hemming us all in. So I wear a strawberry covered cloth mask and slap on hand sanitizer which shows me where every cut is. I follow taped arrows down store aisles and step on the grass to let strangers by on the sidewalk. I talk to my psychiatrist and case manager by phone instead of in person and try to ignore the fact that two buses will get me to my parents’ house. I can’t take those two buses there because social distancing.

And I practice my breathing and listen to music and watch hypnotic animations and go on websites with information that’s supposed to help anxiety and depression and I take my medication. And hopefully someday this will be over. I’m tired of being alone.

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Me and my strawberry mask

Maybe I shouldn’t read the news?

I was reading an article a friend posted on Facebook today when this sentence caught my eye…

In those who survived mild and severe disease alike, the researchers found that many of the biological measures had “failed to return to normal.”

To be honest it was less like that caught my eye and more like it grabbed my eye and screamed at it. The article went on to say…

“COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disorder,” said Dr. Harlan Krumholtz, a cardiologist at Yale University. “It can affect the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the brain, the endocrine system and the blood system.”

Isn’t that just spiffy. I can understand why people who have been intubated for days on end could end up with long term side effects but mild illness? That was totally unexpected.

I haven’t been diagnosed with anything other than a mild viral infection that could be covid-19 or the flu. They aren’t tested mild cases around here, even with shortness of breath (which worried both the doctor and the telehealth nurse). I’ve had the flu before. It was horrible but it was nothing like this. And the shortness of breath worries me too, especially now. What if this is it? I’m short of breath walking from my bedroom to the kitchen and my bedroom door pretty much is in the kitchen. I live in a shoebox. Heck, I’m short of breath sitting typing at the computer. How am I supposed to walk twenty minutes to the grocery store? Or go on a nature walk? Heck I just signed up for the gym right before covid struck. This is going to be the world’s slowest walk on the treadmill. The shortest too.

I’m out of my apartment technically on Friday although I’ll probably wait until Saturday just to be sure. Hopefully I’ll be able to walk if I pace myself, I’ll just need to wait and see. And, for now, I really should stop reading articles for my own peace of mind. At least until there’s more information.

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Ironically enough this is the surprise photo my phone took while I was aiming the camera. I like it better than the posed shots.

Social distancing…

I lay down on my bed and Angel crept over from the other pillow, purring like a lawn mower. The first thing she did was try to stick her whole nostril, including nearby whiskers, into mine. Then she licked the inside of my left nostril and immediately licked my eyelid. I don’t think cats are good at this whole social distancing thing. That’s okay, I usually don’t want them to be good at it. I love waking up in the middle of the night to find five peacefully snoozing kitties around me. And I love having a cat curl in my lap. The whole nostril thing, not so much.

This social distancing means being social in another way. Online. I belong to a local group that lets people know where to find difficult items. There was a post this morning about Lysol wipes at Canadian Tire and Walmart. Of course I went to Canadian Tire first because it’s Canadian but, nope. I always bought them at Dollarama and they always had tonnes. Their stock can’t keep up with a pandemic. Walmart had both toilet paper and paper towel so I have paper towel now. I have disinfecting spray. That and paper towels will work. I have three senior cats. I need wipes. Love them dearly but they’re not always the cleanest.

So much has changed in the past few weeks. Plexiglass windows are being installed in front of cashiers and tape marks the safe distance to stand in line. No cash allowed either, even if it is washable. And there’s tables with hand sanitizer in the front of stores. People are staying farther apart than usual… usually. There are the people who decided to frolic in the 13C weather at Stanley Park last week, as if there wasn’t a pandemic.

I met the neighbour across the hall shortly after I moved in and we went for a nearby walk. Then the pandemic hit here and we’ve resorted to texting. I had a walking buddy too, the operative word being “had”. We keep in touch via Facebook messenger. It’s hard to keep 2m away from someone and walk with them at the same time. Sidewalks are not that wide.

20200324_154112-02My building is in lockdown. No visitors or guests and the superintendent is disinfecting five times a day. All the social rooms are closed too.

I want to see my parents. They left for the United States in February right after I moved in; I was still unpacking. They came home on March 10th and went right into social isolation. Then my Dad got tested for covid-19 (thankfully the results were negative). I want to make them a batch of curry and have them see my new place. I want to sit down and have a chat with them. And it hurts that I have no idea when I can. The virus hasn’t even peaked yet.

And it’s time to call my Mom then curl up and read my book… and we move one day closer to the end of this mess. Hopefully it’ll be soon.

What a difference a few weeks makes…

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My self isolation selfie

A few weeks ago I went back to the mall in Oshawa and met with two of my immunocompromised friends and my son. We did a bit of shopping, stopped off at the food court (mmm Good Karma’s chana masala) and bought our bus tickets and passes. Then we made plans to get together for karaoke yesterday and at the mall again on the 31st. You know, the usual stuff.

Meanwhile my parents were on a bus tour in the southern States and had been for a couple of weeks. They got to see such scenery as the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon and weren’t due back until the 10th. We figured we’d see each other the weekend after they got home.

Then everything escalated. My parents are in quarantine. My Dad’s being tested for covid 19. He’s 76 years old. Karaoke switched to Facebook Karaoke because it’s not worth the risk. The mall is pretty much closed. I’m not sure if I even need to buy a bus pass because where am I going to go? And it’s so hard to believe I was hanging out with friends a mere double handful of days ago.

But it’s worth it. It’s worth only going out for essentials if it helps keep our seniors and immunocompromised friends safe. It’s worth washing our hands dry (skin cream is a life saver) if it helps slow the spread of the virus. Remember, we need to slow the rate of infection down enough to give medical professionals time and space to do their jobs. All we need to do is look at Italy to see what an unchecked rate of infection looks like. Basically no beds and no ventilators.

I wish I could see into the future and see when this is over so I could reassure my family and friends but I don’t have that gift. I do know it will come to an end. All pandemics do. We just need to ride out the storm and hope the ones we love stay safe.

As for me, I’m going to sit and sip a mug of hot chocolate in my swing chair before making lunch. Mmm homemade soup.

All of you, please stay safe!