When a Caged Bird Sings

birdcage-altered-playing-cardThis 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.

caged-bird-altered-playing-cardSo, 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.

13 thoughts on “When a Caged Bird Sings

  1. I couldn’t agree more about this situation. I am so pleased you rescued your Mum, we have the same issue here in the UK with care homes. It seems that it is assumed that care staff are nurses which they are not, and when a health issue happens they don’t have the training or equipment needed to deal with it.
    Supermarkets are never my favourite places and the stress of going to one now usually means I sleep for two hours afterwards. Going to little shops is fine- the butchers greengrocers etc, being treated like an adult helps, and I can cope with the size. I suspect that my dislike of large shops plays a big part in the stress in the supermarket.
    We are as you recall half packed up to move, although we have a nice sized house we can’t move for boxes. However now we can’t do anything about the move husband and I are getting on very well indeed- co-operation is in danger of breaking out!
    I love your page today, yes the cage bird sings but I bet it would prefer freedom, just like us. I think your pages get better and better each time.
    Stay safe and well.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your very kind comments, Cathy! I’m so sorry that your house moving has been caught in this limbo, but I’m glad to hear you seem to have made peace with it. That’s all we can do, isn’t it? I’m starting to think I’m becoming agoraphobic, as for some reason I seem to invite trouble when I go out, in good times and bad!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your craft. I have no talent there. My mother was in a nursing home after a stroke that made her nearly paraplegic. I can’t imagine what caring for her would be like right now. One of her pleasures was watching the birds outside her window.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Eugenia! What a poignant memory. When watching the news (which I try to limit these days, all the while staying properly informed), I choke up every time they talk about the long-term care facilities. Having now had first-hand experience of one of these “forgotten” places, I can see why C-19 is spreading through them like wildfire. Please stay safe.


  3. What province do you live in? I’m in Quebec… So glad you were able to get your mother out! We are still reeling from the horrors of the Herron place. Unbelievable…
    As for writing about the situation, ya done good and didn’t whine about it 😉
    I agree. Grocery shopping has become awful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more. Luckily I am still working, but working remotely. We sold our home before this virus became widespread. We had to be out of our home by 4/1. We loaded all of the things we had not sold and sent them off to storage. We then drove 22 hours to my sister’s where we are staying until we can get in our new home on the 30th. They will deliver the storage container to us, but having sold all of our furniture, we will need to purchase new. Most of the stores are closed, but some will make appointments for you, which is what we hope to do. Luckily, we are all safe and healthy. We only venture out if it is absolutely necessary. We are able to take walks and be outside in the sunshine as long as we keep our distance from others also spending time outdoors. Stay safe and keep crafting! This is such a happy page. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have my craft supplies out of storage!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I too am amazed at the people who are not trying to practice the distancing. I am ordering on groceries on line, which has made a huge difference. So glad your mom got out in time and is doing well-and that card is just perfect, especially now!!

    Liked by 1 person

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