Tag Archives: COVID-19

I’m So Tired Of

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I’m So Tired Of

It seems like no matter where I go or who I’m with, the conversation always evolves into “I’m so tired of Covid.”

It’s been almost a year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. We’ve endured months of lockdowns and closures. We’ve experienced openings that were short lived and retreated backwards into more restrictions.

I’m Canadian but am in no hurry to return to Canada. I just shake my head at all the disorganization and inconsistencies that have become the norm. Here in the USA I enjoy a lot more freedom. And I was also able to be vaccinated months ahead of my friends who are in Canada.

I had a video call with my granddaughter Madeline in Kelowna. She had her third birthday yesterday and excitedly showed me some of the gifts she received. She walks around with the phone from room to room in her house. Yes, she takes grandma to see her toys or into the kitchen to eat a snack. After all, grandma lives in the phone. While I enjoy the video calls, I’m so tired of being unable to hold her in my arms and read her a story. I’m so tired of the virtual hugs and kisses.

I’m so tired of all this physical distancing. Linda and I went out for coffee to O’Grady’s yesterday afternoon. While it was a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed sitting outside, first there was the line to order and then the line to pick up before finding a table outside. I feel for all the restaurants who are able to open with only 25% occupancy.

I’m so tired of hearing about all the small businesses and restaurants who haven’t survived and have declared bankruptcy and are permanently closed.

I’m so tired of being unable to travel freely. While less than 2% of all spread can be attributed to travel, ridiculous restrictions are being enforced. The repercussions of reduced tourism have resulted in job losses and hotel closures. I want to be traveling around Mexico in the winter, not trudging through snow.

I’m so tired of wearing masks. The importance of body language cannot be overstated and being unable to observe facial expression is detrimental to good communication.

I’m so tired of exercising to videos. I want to attend classes again with my friends.

I’m so tired of watching Netflix. I want to go to a real movie theater.

I’m so tired of ranting in blog posts. That’s why my last post was about leprechauns, a frivolous topic far removed from real life.

Ok. I’m done. My goal for today is not to say “I’m so tired of” for the rest of the day.

Enjoy your Sunday!

One Down One To Go

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One Down One To Go

I was vaccinated yesterday. The first shot went well and I will have the second shot in three weeks. I thank God that I am in a country where the vaccine is available now and that I don’t have to wait several months. God Bless The USA!

Wind back the clock to September 2020. It was now possible to leave Mexico and head up north. The pandemic was raging throughout the world and travel was greatly discouraged.

I’m Canadian. Returning to Winnipeg from where I was in Mexico involved three flights on three different airlines and a minimum of two days of travel through four airports.

My other option was to come to Leavenworth. Only three airports. A flight to Dallas with a connecting flight to Seattle. I left Mexico in the morning and arrived in Seattle in the afternoon. Only about a two and a half hour drive to Leavenworth. Definitely a better option.

Leavenworth is home to me. I may only be here a few months a year but this is where my friends and my support system are. This is where my life is. I usually spend the summer and fall doing volunteer work so my time this year has been spent very differently. It’s winter and Covid is still around.

In Washington state the vaccine distribution program is working well. Appointments are made on the internet. I made mine on Sunday. Yesterday, Tuesday, my friend Linda drove me to Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, a designated mass vaccination site. I didn’t even have to get out of the car. A symptom check and the actual vaccination took under five minutes. I did have to wait thirty minutes after instead of fifteen as I have a shellfish allergy.

I was given a card with my appointment for the second shot. I had received an email reminder yesterday about today’s appointment. By the time I got back to Leavenworth I had received another email congratulating me on being vaccinated and it also included my patient record.

I also registered for the follow-up program. I receive a text daily inquiring about my health and any symptoms I might be experiencing. Very reassuring.

Thank you Washington state for your efficient handling of the vaccination process.

This Week In February.

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This Week In February.

February is a short month, and this past week has not been the greatest. The groundhog saw his shadow back on February 2nd, so maybe that explains all the snow we’re getting now. It may also account for the temperatures that have plummeted from the forties down to the teens.

But I’m not complaining too loudly. When I talk to friends back in Winnipeg I hear stories of extreme windchills and cars not starting. That’s a typical winter on the Canadian prairies.

A friend in Winnipeg is back in the hospital as they still try to determine the cause of an infection. Another friend just lost her brother to cancer. More friends in Mexico are struggling with Covid and one has died.

While Canada is imposing even stricter restrictions, here in Washington state things are opening up. I must admit that I’m confused by church gatherings with no masks and dine-in restaurants open in some towns but not in others. So much for state mandated rules.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Last year on this day I was in Aguascalientes at the park coloring and visiting with a friend. Today I’m coloring inside at home, glancing out the window at the falling snow.

The highlight of this past week is undoubtedly the three video calls I received from my eleven-year-old grandson in Culiacan. He usually calls me twice a week, so the extra call was truly a blessing. He tells me what he is studying in his online classes. He reads me stories he’s written. He tells me about his favorite videogames. Occasionally we talk about Covid.

I hope next week will be a better one. I’m tired of hearing about illness and death and quarantine.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday

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Yesterday

Yesterday was February 9th. My dad died on February 9th, 1977. That was forty- four years ago but sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday. I have learned to live without his physical presence and that is sometimes quite painful. After all, he never even met his grandchildren and has not been by my side throughout most of my life.

My dad had a heart condition. Back then there were no stints or even angioplasty. What gave us all more time together was that he was able to escape to a warmer climate in the winter. San Diego was far removed from the harsh winters on the Canadian prairies.

We are currently in the midst of a global pandemic. Travel is being strongly discouraged and in many cases is all but prohibitive. And I wonder what the quality of life would have been like in those final years if my dad were alive today.

From a mental health perspective, the suicide rate has skyrocketed during the past year. Quarantine and isolation are dangerous. Depression and anxiety have become more prevalent. Far too many people are living in fear while being sequestered in their homes. Isolation is detrimental to our health and well-being.

Domestic violence has escalated. While some families feel ties have been strengthened in their households, others have felt nothing but increased stress and faltering relationships. Zoom and other types of video calls lost their charm months ago when it comes to extended family relationships and keeping in contact with friends.

Some areas have more restrictions than others causing people to reevaluate whether the trip to the grocery store is really necessary. Standing outside in long lines in frigid temperatures just does not appeal. Nor does juggling fast food on our laps after going through a drive-thru when we’d much rather be sitting inside a restaurant with healthier food choices.

More than ever I cherish the memories of the freedom I once took for granted. As much as I miss my dad, I am thankful that he is not here now to experience the travesty of living during this pandemic.

Sunday

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Sunday

It’s Sunday again. If I were in Aguascalientes I’d be going to the small church around the corner. But that was a year ago, before Covid. This year I do church online. And that’s okay too. Yesterday’s rain has now turned to snow.

I think back to Sundays of other years. I spent a fair amount of time in bowling alleys with my kids. When the kids were grown my ex and I often went out for brunch with friends. When my marriage ended I taught aquatic classes on Sunday mornings.

And then I moved to Culiacan. Sundays were non- teaching days so parks and museums were on the agenda. When I lived in Irapuato I went to church with friends. When I lived in Guadalajara Isaias and I traveled to numerous small towns in Jalisco on the weekends. When I lived in Mazatlan I went to church and out for brunch with friends. Then I often walked along the malecon. In San Ciro there was only a Catholic church so I did more touristy things.

For the past few months I’ve added a blog post on Sundays. I write about my life, my thoughts and feelings. I often include photos. And I never really have an agenda of what I should write about next.

I’ve taken a break from working on my book. My imaginary friends aren’t speaking to me very much. When they do, it’s just nothing I want to run with. Instead I have found other things to occupy my time. There has to be more to life than Netflix.

A 500 piece puzzle dominates the dining room table, a Christmas gift from my friend Joyce. It’s been years since I’ve done a puzzle. This one is a scene from England complete with double decker buses.

I learned how to bait rodent traps this week. My friend Steve has a pest control business and I helped him out one afternoon. Apparently rats, mice and voles are quite active in Washington state.

I had my hair cut the other day. No more long hair. It’s now in a short bob. Thank you to Lisa at Shears here in Leavenworth. No need to travel to Wenatchee for a style anymore.

I actually did go into Wenatchee yesterday with Ann. Walmart and Macy’s. I also had a lovely long walk. 50 degrees and sunshine in February. Very different from the brutal winters on the Canadian prairies.

Yes. I still play Candy Crush. But I play Candy Crush Friends now, not Candy Crush saga. I also play word games.

I still color. I’m enjoying the Thomas Kinkade coloring book. I’m learning how to blend colors with pencils and water now, although I still adore my gel pens.

Google Duo has become a good friend. Video calls with my grandkids are treasures, although I hope that someday virtual hugs and kisses will be replaced by in-person ones.

I read a lot too. It’s nice to have a library close by with books written in  English. Although the library is closed, curbside pickup is available for books reserved on-line.

Another good friend is Duolingo. I don’t want to forget my Spanish as I do intend to return to Mexico when it is safe to travel again. Oh how I miss traveling!

Time to tune in to Church of the Rock in Winnipeg.

Happy Sunday!

Time To Vent

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Time To Vent

Is it just me or is anyone else having trouble remembering things BC? Before Covid is starting to feel like a far away dream.

Why can’t the children play nicely in the sandbox? Democrats and Republicans need to put the people of the USA first instead of merely themselves.

Back in 1968 the downfall of Canada began with the election of Trudeau as prime minister. And now in 2021 Trudeaumania continues with the next generation in the form of the mishandling of the Covid situation and the latest ridiculous cash grab re quarantine.

COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I expect that it will be around long after my lifetime comes to a close. It’s time to acknowledge this and learn to live with it.

Vaccines will not make Covid disappear. Travel is far from the leading cause of transmission of this virus. Rewarding people with more money to stay at home rather than work is disgusting.

Avoiding bankruptcies and lowering the suicide rate is where the focus should be.

That’s my rant for today.

Wear your mask, wash your hands often and do your best to maintain physical distance. Maybe then we stand a chance of opening up the world again. Maybe then we’ll be able to hug our kids and grandkids again instead of just blowing kisses on video calls.

My New Reality

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My New Reality

Yesterday I had planned to meet a friend in Cashmere. However when I got up in the morning, the previous night’s rain had frozen over. The sidewalks and streets were glass. It was too treacherous to venture out. We would have to reschedule.

I checked my Facebook groups from Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Blewett was closed due to spinouts. Stevens was closed for avalanche control. These are the two main passes through the mountains to get to Seattle.

Leavenworth got over a foot of snow. Here in Wenatchee we got less than one inch. There were power outages all over Chelan County but not here in Wenatchee. The highway between Wenatchee and Cashmere was icy with lots of spinouts. While freezing rain and snow continued to fall in Cashmere and Leavenworth, here in Wenatchee the sun actually came out and melted the little snow we did get, although more rain is in the forecast.

This is so completely different from the Winnipeg winters I experienced before moving away just over ten years ago. Plummeting temperatures and bitter windchills are just memories now. I think I chose a good place to spend the winter this year although I’d much rather be in Mexico. I miss the sunshine and warmer climate. And even though I don’t need boots yet here in Wenatchee, it isn’t exactly sandals weather either.

A year ago in January I was in Aguascalientes visiting museums and coloring in parks. I met friends for coffee or lunch. I took long walks and browsed through my neighborhood tienguis. I listened to rosters crow and watched children playing in the streets. I call this time the new “BC.” These two letters now stand for “Before Covid.”

Winter in Wenatchee is my new reality.

5 Days Left

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5 Days Left

2020. The neverending year from hell. It didn’t start out that way. Think back to:

January. Rang in the new year with friends. Sunshine and warm weather in Aguascalientes. Coloring in the park. Exploring museums. Considering going to Mexico City and Cuernavaca to see friends.

February. Time has flown by quickly. Culiacán is on the agenda for next month. Enjoying my volunteer work and my private students.

March. A contagious flu bug out of Wuhan, China is classified a pandemic as of the 13th. Travel plans quashed. Will ride this out in Mexico.

I finally arrived in Leavenworth in September instead of in April. No volunteer work, church ministry, bridge games, craft days, exercise classes, book club, memoir writing classes or traveling.

I currently have friends in three countries struggling with Covid. On Thursday I found out that my granddaughter in Canada needs surgery. Yesterday my friend in Winnipeg told me her husband is in the hospital with pneumonia. Read the obituaries in the Winnipeg Free Press and recognized one too many names.

And then a couple of nights ago night we got our first substantial snowfall. Some has melted but not all of it.

My body is tired of wearing long sleeves and jeans, and now boots. It’s begging for shorts and t-shirts. I know this is one Christmas I won’t forget. Although it was enjoyable, I found my heart wandering elsewhere.

I’ve always thought American history was far more colorful than Canadian history. But after all the controversy surrounding the recent election, I just wanted things to calm down. Instead there was a bombing in Nashville that has everyone on red alert rather than on code red for Covid.

And 5 days still remain in 2020….

Twas The Week Before Christmas

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Twas The Week Before Christmas

Today is one day or two days before Christmas. In Mexico, the big celebration is Christmas Eve complete with ponche, tamales and pozole. But I won’t be doing that this year. Instead it will be a traditional turkey dinner on Christmas Day here in the USA.

It doesn’t matter where we are in the world this year. It’s a Covid Christmas. Large family gatherings will be via Zoom rather than in person. There will be only two of us for dinner on Friday.

With temperatures in the 40s and no snow on the ground, I found it even more difficult to get into the festive spirit this year. It also feels strange not to be in Mexico.

We watched an excellent movie on Netflix last night. I highly recommend that you watch The Butler. American history is colorful and seeing old video clips really brought me back in time. I wonder what it would have been like if the internet had been around in the days of Kennedy and LBJ. Instead we had only the 11 o’clock news at night.

A sad event this past week. A writer friend of mine in Texas lost his battle with cancer. He was a retired homicide detective who unfortunately never had the chance to really enjoy his retirement.

I spoke to my son in Winnipeg and was updated on the code red lockdown. There are far more closures there than there are here in Washington.

I’ve gone on several enjoyable walks this week. I’ve been exploring my new neighborhood. The other day I saw a flock of geese take to the skies in a V formation and for a moment was transported back to Manitoba.

I went to Leavenworth one day and had lunch with Karen. Despite the snow and icy sidewalks, I loved all the Christmas lights and decorated trees near the gazebo.

Yesterday Ann and I were at the Wenatchee Valley Mall and Fred Meyer. At the mall, Ross appeared to be the busiest store with people lined up to get in and a strict head count. It was the complete opposite at Fred Meyer.

Please keep me in your prayers. Joyce and I are attacking Walmart today and I’m sure it will be a zoo.

Please mask up and physical distance when you are out and about. Stay safe!

Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

What’s Next

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What’s Next

The clock is ticking. I’ve been in the USA for over two months now and still don’t have a clue as to where I’ll go when my 180 days are up.

I know that I am not anxious to travel. If anything I’m anxious about travel, whether it be to Canada or to Mexico.

One thing I do know is that while Covid-19 is crazy everywhere, I am also determined not to live in fear. I’m not going to seek out crowds, but I do intend to continue to do my own shopping and to go out with friends. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the library has reopened although the book club and craft activities are still cancelled.

By nature I am an extrovert. However after all the quarantining and closures, I believe I am now leaning towards being more of an introvert. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.

While it is nice to have a less hectic schedule, I miss my volunteer work in Leavenworth and in Cashmere. I miss my friends and the programs at the senior center. I miss the children’s ministry at church. And virtual Thanksgiving celebrations just don’t cut it.

It’s been well over a year since I last saw my daughter and granddaughter in Kelowna. I haven’t seen my son in Winnipeg in well over three years. And I haven’t seen my family in Culiacán in a year. Duo video calls are enjoyable, but they don’t take the place of in person interaction.

In one of my recent conversations with my son, he asked me what my long term plans were. He was adamant that 180 days in the USA is not a long term plan. I disagree. For me it’s as long term as I can fathom right now.

Before Covid I kind of had a long term plan. From Mexico I was planning to go to Winnipeg to see my son. I was planning on going to Kelowna to see my daughter and my granddaughter. I was also going to take some time to find a quaint little town somewhere in Canada where I might want to settle down in a couple of years. But now all of that is on hold.

I was also planning on doing a few months in Leavenworth again before heading back to Mexico for the winter. But it now appears that I am about to experience a Washington winter instead.

There always needs to be a Plan B or C or D because the only constant in life is change.