We have been under lockdown since March. We are very lucky in that we are a two income household, we can both work from home, and have a child who is old enough and independent enough to do alright. We couldn’t not have been better placed for this pandemic.
It feels like grieving.
I am grieving the pieces of childhood my daughter is losing out on – school year cut short, no sports, missing her friends. I’m grieving the normalcy we were working our way into.
We started out alright – work was very, very busy for me, but I’m used to working from home and it was nice to not be commuting. I baked – I started with cinnamon buns, we made some bread – no sourdough. We found a local place where you can rent a field by the half-hour and we got the dog out for some runs as well as getting fresh air ourselves.
I did many, many puzzles. I started a new mixed media sketchbook and practiced my drawing and painting. I didn’t expect to fill it before we got out of quarantine. I also gave my kid a small notebook and designed the cover for a 14-day quarantine.I hit my annual reading goal in September. We had no idea.
We tried to shop local and eventually order in and eat local.
We have been muddling through, just like other people who are lucky enough not to be in dire straits because of job losses and closures.
There is underlying fear. I have asthma, a history of pneumonia and am currently not generally healthy. For the first few months I didn’t really ever leave the house. If we needed something we ordered it or my husband went out. It was only a short while ago that I started going anywhere – masked and no time wasted. Now it feels like I have to scale that all back again. Numbers here are going up again and people don’t seem to care.
The biggest cause of my concern is that if/when you get it you have no idea how sick you’ll get.
The province is watching numbers go up and up and doing nothing to change it – except changing the optics of testing – and my daughter wants to see her friends. Why can’t she? The mall is open, kids are going to school. It is so hard to say no to her over and over again.
It’s been six months of cancellations and nos. I find myself apologizing to her. I find myself telling her that I wish I could say that I know how she feels but I have no idea because I have never gone through anything like this, and certainly not as a child.
Everything is just a little bit harder, except for the things that are a lot harder. It’s all just a little more complicated. And I can’t promise her that there will be an end to it all. I can’t promise her that next year will be different. I can’t tell her that she’ll be able to do all the things she loves again.
I can’t tell myself either.
One of my favourite things to do by myself – one of my favourite ways to take time – is to go to a movie. I can’t do that right now and who knows what the industry will look like if we carry on like this.
Before the lockdown I had started going to aquafit classes again – a gym near work had a schedule that I could handle at least once a week. Now I don’t know whether I’ll ever be comfortable in a gym again.
One of the hardest things is how I see other people. The number of people who refuse to put on masks – who actively fight having to wear one. I knew that we were all getting a bit more selfish, but I had no idea the lengths that people would go to to not protect those around them.
We saw a father tell his daughter who asked if they should be wearing masks inside a restaurant “they can’t make us.” You see people who don’t wear masks mocking and taunting those who do.
I never realized there were so many of those people.
Maybe we will come back from this pandemic, and maybe I will come back to myself, but I won’t be able to forget the way some people decided to behave, and how they took other people’s lives so much for granted.