A Journal of the Covid 19 year. I have just returned from one of my many daily walks along the the lakeside street of Harrison Hot Springs. It is so surreal to walk along the lake and by empty closed businesses that you usually see bustling with visitors this time of year.
Perhaps because tomorrow would have been my 65th birthday if I had not decided to cancel and delay it for five years because of the virus, or perhaps because of the much greater time that we are all spending in our homes now, I find myself much more reflective and thinking about growing up in Levack, Ontario, a town of 3,100 just a little bigger than Harrison Hot Springs). I hope that being reflective of your past is not a sign of impending death. In any event, my walks today remind me of every Sunday in the small town that I grew up in . At that time there was a provincial statute in Ontario requiring Sunday closure. Although I always recognized the problem with imposing a day of rest based on on one faith on citizens of many faiths and often no faith, I did lament the change in the law allowing Sunday openings. Sunday closures created a day when family members would generally be together, rather than individually racing around to jobs and other commitments like all of the other days of the week.
The Covid 19 virus shutdown of most businesses has created that situation every day of the week and reminded me of the closed Sundays of my youth. Don’t misunderstand, I like shopping and being busy on Sundays. The extra day of work has probably improved our collective material wealth. I am a much wealthier consumer because of it. And yet if there is one positive result of this gloomy virus pandemic, it is the forced creation of time for family and reflection. Maybe one day per week of that wouldn’t be so bad.
I promise this is my last doting Daddy post. While I lament social distancing (unbeknownst to me I really like being around people) and lament that my major isolation time project is slowly and pitifully marking my UFV final exams (I now am officially late in turning in marks), my daughter Lauren is making the best of the family isolation, with the positive attitude that I aspire to have.
April 30 at 7:07 PMI passed some time yesterday drawing this. I’ve found that this is a great time to work on developing different skills and interests. I’ve started drawing, practicing calligraphy and hand lettering, learning new dance/acro skills, hiking, relearning how to play the piano, learning ASL, and much more. I hope to come out of self isolation with all sorts of new skills and hobbies that I otherwise wouldn’t have had time to learn. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this time.
A Journal of the COVID 19 year. One of the realities of the pandemic is the cancellation of all of the spring and summer events to which we usually look forward. Recognizing this reality of cancellation I have decided to cancel my May 4th birthday. I mean the birthday itself. Not any party. I could easily proceed with a party of all my friends and family and not have numbers that would cause provincial health chief Bonnie Henry any concern. And I could manage appropriate social distancing and still hold the party in a broom closet. My decision to cancel my birthday is not for distance compliance but out of solidarity with all of the other cancelled events. My next birthday will be delayed for five years, out of principle. As a result I will not hit 65 until May 4, 2025 rather than next week. I recognize this is a sacrifice, but this pandemic calls for sacrifice.
The five year delay in celebrating my birthday is in fact very little sacrifice for me. Why should I celebrate my birthday? What accomplishment is attaining 65. It’s not like I found a cure for cancer or a new vaccine for Covid 19. All I had to do was breath for 65 years, and I almost messed that up. So, in summary, I will not be having a birthday next week, no matter what the Facebook birthday reminder says. And yes, I continue to post on Facebook while avoiding marking my final exams.
Like Queen Elizabeth, I may view 2019 as having been a little bumpy, but I look forward to 2020 with resolutions galore and a loving family that continue to make me one of the most hugged people in Canada and two irritating dogs that make me one of the most licked.
I wish all of my friends a Happy New Year in which I hope you experience much love, both given and received .
Photo by Pamela Palmer