Coping with COVID-19

My world has changed since mid-March. Appointments for the rest of March, all of April and May, have been cancelled. Even my cleaning lady stopped coming. I was living a life of absolutely no commitments and loving it. While some of my friends were finding the isolation very difficult, I wasn’t lonely, I wasn’t bored, and I had no desire to be “out and about”.

The days seemed to fly by as quickly as always. Just what was I doing with all the time I had? I have read a lot of books – but probably no more than usual, I have done a huge pile of jigsaw puzzles – I can get lost in one of them for hours, I have been playing online bridge with one of my bridge foursomes, I have done too much on-line shopping, I have been gardening and I have been baking and sharing the results with neighbours to avoid eating it all myself.

I have the bulk of my groceries delivered using a great system – one where I can “chat” with my shopper if she has any questions about my list. I do make the occasional trip to Farm Boy for fresh fruit and veggies. My pharmacy has a drive-thru window so I have no need to go into the store for prescription renewals.

I started watching the PMs updates at 11-11:30am followed by “the Panel” and then Ford – but soon found this to be repetitive and frustrating since JT refused to answer any of the questions posed by reporters. I no longer watch this but read the paper each morning and do the puzzles – both crossword and sudoko. The TV goes on for the 6pm news. There isn’t often anything worth watching after that!

As the weather improved, so did my social life with friends stopping by or vice versa for a chat on the porch, always trying our best to maintain the required social distancing. From the start, my “bubble” included one neighbour and friend who often joined me at the jigsaw table at my house or hers, was always happy to taste my baking efforts and provided a lot of help with my garden. We also treated ourselves to take-out now and then – pizza, Swiss Chalet, Baton Rouge etc. Having a friend in my bubble – and of course my cat Herbie – helped a lot.

I did have to cancel a planned and booked getaway to Lake on the Mountain in Prince Edward County. That was disappointing but we’ll book again for next year.

I had two telephone appointments with my GP – one a diabetic check and the other my annual physical! How strange those were. I had a better “chat” with my GP than usual and not all about medical stuff. I think some form of these will continue with the doctors only seeing people face to face if the telephone appointment results in a need to do so. It will save everyone time and money.

Now, in mid-June, other appointments are being re-scheduled and I find myself resenting most of them! I would be quite happy to be left in partial isolation without the commitments that make me feel “too busy” most weeks. Being retired is a busy business!

I, personally, don’t know of anyone who has or has had COVID-19. I do know that I don’t want to get it. Between age and my diabetes, they say I am in a “vulnerable group”. We certainly have never experienced these drastic measures before – not for the flu, not for N1H1, not for SARS, etc. This global pandemic is likely the worst event in most of our lives – sort of like a war.

I don’t know what the future holds. Will we have another wave of this awful virus and go back into isolation? I hope not for the sake of most people – people who are still working, kids trying to complete their schooling and for those who get cabin fever if there is a need to stay in the house more than two days in a row. And I have a trip to Italy planned for next Spring – fingers crossed that it can safely happen.

I consider myself very fortunate to have, at least so far, escaped the virus but also because the measures taken to ensure we stay healthy haven’t made my life difficult or miserable in any way. I guess I’ve learned just how lazy I can be, lacking motivation to accomplish much of anything! Isn’t that what retirement is supposed to be all about?



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