The weather forecast for this pandemic is surely, 'Cloudy, with sunny breaks, chance of rain, maybe a thunderstorm." These are crazy, pandemic times to be sure. Social distancing, social distancing, SOCIAL DISTANCING. UGGH!
I had two friends come over for coffee recently and I made sure to not let them touch my doorway. We sat in my sunroom six feet apart, opened windows and didn't let them touch anything except their own coffee mug. Even then, it felt weird and slightly disconcerting. One of them even told me he had recently babysat an hour for his daughter and felt unsure about doing even that. What is the world coming to?
Of course, one could do like so many others are doing and disregard everything; carry on as usual. Have fun, come and go with family and friends at the cottage. (A dead horse as far as I'm concerned, that train has left the station despite pleas from cottage country mayors throughout the province and throughout Canada really). Many residents everywhere are having large backyard barbecues, many in town. You hear about this everywhere in Ontario, Canada and the States. But not in our family. Our family and my many friends I know realize asymptomatic people (no symptoms) and the young, and students who may not get sick but can be vectors, (carriers) that manifests weeks later in their many contacts with family and friends, not to mention with each other.
Not with my significant other coming and going from her nursing job and my daughter working in Emerg, the ICU and the OR. She showed me a picture of how the team had to dress to perform a recent operation or any operation. I almost cried. She looked like a creature from another planet. Masks under masks, under shields, under gowns, under caps, thicker gloves - a million layers. It was a father's nightmare. The pic took my breath away. She was wearing so much protective gear I didn't recognize her (except for her eyes). She said it was unbelievably hot to wear. I can only imagine. My friend's wife is a cleaner at GBGH. That's as exposed as one could get. I'm sure she dresses the same way. My son won't come near me, hasn't in months. I don't know when I'll see him again, maybe outside sometime when it warms up. But with my health issues, he's paranoid of coming near me. I'm thankful and pleased that he's taking it serious. I'm sad for him too and his fiancé. They've recently cancelled their Jack & Jill and the upcoming wedding is very much in doubt. And they're not alone.
On the bright side, I saw my daughter and two grandchildren visited yesterday. Except for a quick car "window hello" a few weeks ago, it was the first time I'd seen them since this all started. Well an 8' distance perimeter visit is better than no visit at all. It was so great to be with them. I got to watch them play on the beach here at Peekaboo and they had fun but it was so weird; no hugs, no kisses, not touching anything of theirs, they not touching anything of ours - anything. Even 6' apart talking was difficult with my terrible hearing. When my granddaughter got out of the car, my daughter asked her, "Why can't you touch or hug Pepere?" she said, "Because of the bad virus." It was so sad. It was certainly better than Facetiming or Zooming. My daughter showed me (without my touching her phone) the 'possible' or suggested social distancing measures if there is school in the fall. It's awful. She said she wanted to cry and not sure she wants to send her. I'm sure will be traumatic for the younger ones.
But we have to take it seriously as awful as it is. Nobody is immune. Like someone said, " wearing a mask now is better than wearing a ventilator later." With more cases popping up in Barrie, the region and even here in Penetanguishene and Tiny, this is such a dangerous and complicated virus. In some victims it causes loss of taste and smell, unexpected blood clots, something called "Covid toes and fingers", strokes from blood clots and neurological issues, liver damage, attacks the lungs and weakens the heart, death. These are the extremes for sure but who wants to be 'the one'? And it doesn't just attack old people.
As one epidemiologist said just this morning on CNN:
"This virus is so wily. There is no other word for it. Every day and every week, we're discovering new things about how it attacks the body, and the types of disorders it causes. We now know that it can latch onto numerous organs, not just the throat and the lungs like we initially thought, but we're now seeing kidneys, intestines, these very strange syndromes. The news this week . . . we learned how its causing post-inflammatory syndrome in kids, but we're seeing a long and very prolonged course of recovery for many people, not just those in intensive care, but also those who may get a little bit sick and may not need to be hospitalized. I think that we're just starting to see and realize the long-term effects of this virus and why it's so important to protect ourselves and those we love, from infection in the first place, because the science still does not know everything yet about what the symptoms this virus causes."
With things starting to socially open up, here, there and everywhere, we'll know in two to three weeks whether we've been too paranoid, too careful, too strict or if we haven't been enough. I think no matter what, our lives have been changed forever. Things will be different. That's for another day and another blog.
For now, be safe out there. If not for yourselves, then for those you love and those around you. The weather is unpredictable. And it sure messes with a Hildegard writer's concentration!