How are you faring during this time of isolation? Are you feeling frustrated? Had enough? Have you ditched your face mask and gloves? And even though we are able to see one another, its not quite the same, is it.

I was in Mexico when it all began and was quick to buy all the antibacterial products I could find. I sprayed every door knob and touchable surface in the house. I social distanced, donned a mask for my daily walk and initially felt quite safe.

Three cancelled flights and a large chunk of change later, my husband’s anxious pleas won out and I was relieved to be on my way back to Canada. It was early April. I spent the mandatory two weeks quarantined in Toronto then moved to our still snow-bound woodland cottage in Muskoka.

Feeling like I was on retreat, I hit the computer keys and wrote several hours a day. What joy! What freedom! I was happy to be a recluse. To let go of the to-do list, the mandatory social gatherings, the packed calendar and I had a good excuse. I’m in a vulnerable age group and have bronchial problems so l can’t afford to be exposed.

I dug into my writing and let the rest of the world go by. Except for weekly forays into town for food shopping – our only social outing – I was delighted to have no TV and curl up with my husband, our cat and dog and eat chips and watch Netflix.

This was fine for a month, then two. By mid-June I was languishing under the lag and drag of isolation. The birds were singing, squirrels chattering, bullfrogs croaking and it was just me and the ole computer chugging along. I missed the warmth that social gatherings bring. The hugs and bright smiles, the exchanges of information and shared anecdotes. Sure, we had zoom meetings which continue to be a godsend, but I missed the corny jokes and arm strokes. More than anything, this pandemic has shown me how much I treasure the ordinary, and while it has given me time to practice my craft, it has also allowed me to see how important it is to connect with people and how much I treasure their existence.. 


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