This altered playing card is for those folks who may be having a hard time in isolation at home.
I’m an introvert who enjoys puttering about at home, so an enforced confinement is relatively easy for me. I am, however, one of countless people who have been temporarily laid off because of COVID-19. My heart goes out to those who have or will lose their jobs or businesses, and of course those who are suffering from, or have lost a loved one to this ruthless disease.
Since my province declared a state of emergency a month ago, closing non-essential businesses and services (with further prohibitions coming every few days), I have gone out only three times. (My workplace closed even before the official shutdown.) The first time was to retrieve my mother from the long-term care facility where she was completing a three-month convalescence after knee replacement surgery. Her release came just after she turned 90 – a milestone birthday which, due to the lockdown, we were unable to celebrate with her in person. The facility encouraged us to withdraw her a few days early for her safety – a decision we heartily welcomed. She is healthy and doing extremely well in her own home, I am deeply relieved to say. Over the weekend, we heard that there is now one diagnosed case at the same facility; as the coronavirus sweeps devastatingly through nursing homes across the country, I weep when I think of those families who are not so lucky.
My only other errands have been to get groceries. How distressing and exhausting this is! (I’d like to say these outings are brief, but actually they take three times longer than before, what with all the cowering around corners and dodging one has to do.) Despite my best efforts to maintain physical distancing, there are still plenty of folks out there who don’t understand – or care – what staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart means. My safe space has been compromised several times, including a physical brush-past by a guy wearing a mask, store staff (twice), a man in the checkout line with a constant, juicy cough who, when asked to, refused to use his sleeve, and an elderly man whose feeble excuse for not distancing was that he was “too stressed”. These folks who think that their Oblivion Shields will protect them truly deserve the “Covidiot” label. (Any bets on when this term appears in the OED?) No doubt they’re the same people who insist on gathering in large groups (five is the new limit) in the now-closed public parks for a good natter and an unhealthy dose of contagion-spreading.
So, I’m more than happy, despite not being able to see my family or go to work, to stay safely at home – as indeed it is our civic duty to do. My husband and I make 24/7 time together in our small apartment work because it’s necessary – and there’s no point in complaining about it. (We do have to “book” time at the only decent worktable in the place, however!) My latest altered playing card was a spur-of-the-moment idea which gave me an opportunity to use a couple of layers of mulberry paper and a new set of cling stamps. I was also drawn to the cheery, bright colours. To me, birds have always represented freedom and hope; listening to the pre-dawn chorus of robins outside our window, for example, never fails to inspire joy.
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay home.