Wow, did I actually type those words? Is this all a dream? It just seems so surreal.
When I left on my trip to Bali, there was talk of the corona virus but not the extent that it has become.
As I travelled, I took all precautions with constantly applying sanitizer, wiping down all surfaces especially on all of my flights, washing my hands and keeping a distance from others as best I could.
Returning home was daunting. Crowded flights, every little cough I had, I was sure I was infected. I was so fortunate to have had complete aisles to myself on all 3 flights. As sad as it was to leave a place that was overflowing in health (at the time), I was never so happy to land in my beloved Canada.
I was greeted at the airport by dear friends who safely transported me home with groceries in tow.
Now, I was to settle into a 14 day quarantine. I was to stay put in my home but I was permitted to go outside on my property. I thought it was going to be much harder than it was. I am a social person, although I do love my own company and a new found love for peace and quiet. I love my house. It is bright and open and cozy so I do not ever feel confined. Quarantine is a wonderful cure for extreme jet lag and the naps I needed throughout the day to normalize . I was awakening at 3 am many days and would definitely nod off halfway into the day.
My bedtime routine was always a warm bath with bubbles and epsom salts, soft soothing music, my own aromatherapy candles lit adding a therapeutic component to the calming ambiance.
Date night with Alex Trebek. Every evening at 7:30, I tune into Jeopardy to test my knowledge as best I can. Some days I surprise myself with a majority of correct answers and other days, I’m lucky if I get one correct. I just wanted to keep my mind from going to mush.
I made a point of following uplifting friends and pages on social media and while keeping as best informed about the virus, I did not become obsessed.
Having my faithful companion, Willow by my side is a blessing. She offers so much comfort and entertainment. I am grateful for lovely neighbours who came by twice a day to make sure she got out for her much needed walks. I can only imagine how confusing that was for her. Here was mom, healthy and capable but other’s coming to walk her. She was very hesitant at first and did not want to go, but eventually she got used to the new routine.
As I counted down the days to my “freedom”, I was still surprised that I was not suffering from such isolation. As someone who loves being around people (for brief amounts of time), I found that I thoroughly enjoy my own company and always had something to do in the house that was not all about Netflix. I kept in touch with friends and relatives via phone calls, emails, social media, FaceTime, and face to face but at a distance.
Friends would bring me groceries, people in the community would reach out to ask if I needed any assistance and it just warmed my heart to experience such kindness and care.
Fitness was now yoga and pilates classes via facebook and zoom.
The day I graduated from quarantine to self-isolation was interesting. I was excited to venture further than my front walkway but was fearful for my health as I knew 2 weeks with no physical human contact, I could confidently say I was virus free.
I took Willow on our regular routine of watching the sunrise from the Niagara River, mere steps from my house. That is what I was missing most of all. I left a country rich in nature to be confined and robbed of the opportunity to continue. Getting back into the fresh air surrounded by trees, water, sky, birds and wildlife was a little thing but a very important thing for me.
I made a point of taking a drive. I hadn’t driven my car in over a month. Willow and I decided to drive to Niagara Falls. Usually one of the most populated tourist areas in the world, it was now eerily empty. The main street with all the museums and shops was also empty as it should be but it just seemed so very surreal.
Grocery shopping became a stressful event. I initially wore a surgical mask and gloves. Lined up very early and followed the arrows on the floor. The gloves proved to be cumbersome and pointless as I would remove them to pay and then put them on to open my car and then take them off. It got confusing so off they came. The mask too proved to be very confine for me and with all my research, I honestly came to find that it didn’t serve that much of a purpose. I shopped with caution and purchased enough to make sure I didn’t need to return any time soon.
I began to create and make products again. Aromatherapy candles, healing butters, lip balms, soaps and massage bars to name a few. I donated a few to frontline workers including those who work in the grocery stores and they were all very appreciative.
I stopped watching my fave genre of movies and shows; thrillers. I just found that it added a stress and fear I don’t need at this time so spent my evenings with Atticus Finch and To Kill a Mockingbird, Midnight in Paris, The Wife, Mildred Pierce. Classics and well made films. The Shaw Festival actors also entertain us with an online cabaret show that allows them to keep performing and allows us to get to know them even better.
As the weather begins to turn more to spring, tending to my property is another activity. Always so nice to get outside and there is always something that needs to be done.
Taking the time to slow things down is so important. Living a frantic lifestyle just doesn’t work for me anymore. Yes, I like to be busy but I no longer feel guilty for not being productive every moment of the day. Self healing is much more important to me now than multi tasking. I have a wonderful library of books that I enjoy with an afternoon cuppa and take the time to rest, rejuvenate and breathe.
We will get through this. We are getting through this but let’s hope it teaches us something. Our health, our relationships and our environment have never been more important. Let’s treat each with love and respect.