For some folks, a global plague highlights a lot what they took for granted since this past March. Or confirmed what one knew or decided long ago:
Mask-Wearing for Hours is Hot
I mean kind of sweaty. My double-sided, non-medical cloth mask is hot to wear for several hours at room temperature. When reading a book on the plane, glasses fog up from your breath. Sage advice from the ‘Net: is to place a piece of tissue between eyeglass rim and mask edge to create an airlock. Or place medical tape on that same nose bridge place.
Like all other passengers, we had to comply with Canadian federal government’s directive to wear masks on international and domestic Canadian aircraft, effective Apr. 20, 2020 during covid-19.
Old Habit of Stockpiling of Toilet Paper, Pasta
No worries. I already had a stockpile of toilet paper and pasta, when mass panic buying ripped through grocery stores started in Mar. 2020. Since we don’t have a car, throughout the year I am buying on sale and dragging home these essentials ‘cause it becomes a hassle during very cold winter days to transport a lot of goods home when we don’t have a car. Not a big deal when buying is spaced out over many months, not in 1 day of toilet paper madness.
Bike Shops –an Essential Service
In Alberta and various jurisdictions, bike shops are considered essential service. See under retail section here, in government edict (see under retail in link). Thumbs up for cyclists who commute already in last few years. Thumbs up for others dusting off their forgotten bikes for a refreshing bike ride on much quieter streets or now, on busier park pathways with others.
Didn’t Cause Flour Shortage
No, I am not inspired like other wannabes to start baking bread at home while stuck in self-isolation. I have not become one of the consumers who have drained grocery stores for weeks from their stash of flour. I just continue to occasionally make focaccia and pizza from scratch –1-2 times annually. Meanwhile flour mills across North America are working happily in overdrive to meet mass consumer demand.
Bakery Cafe Becomes Temporary Liquor Store
Some businesses are privoting to a temporary different service or product. General Motors, the auto manufacturer, is making face shields and other personal protective equipment. CAE, a Canadian aerospace and flight simulation equipment, software developer, is working on patient ventilators to address the national shortage for hospitals.
Our neighbourhood bakery cafe and pizza place, has become a seller of Italian wines and overly expensive dried pasta. But you wouldn’t know it –there’s no sign outside and nothing on their website.
Need a Haircut? — A Bike Helmet Hides Alot
It’s not only women who want to look good, so do men. For past decade, I drop
by a male-dominant international cycling ‘Net forum, enough men want the cut or they do it themselves. It’s been almost 6 months since my last layered cut at the hair salon. My curling iron, retired 7 years ago, was fired up to lift bangs hanging in my eyes.
Stuck at Home for Weeks- Dehydrating, Lonely Experience
I don’t have a home humidifier. So I took for granted our properly humdified office building for 2,000 employees. Working from home every day full-time for last few weeks, resulted in chapped lips (even though winter is over), drier skin and drier sinuses. Prairie air is noticeably drier than Vancouver or Toronto. Cups of tea and occasional smoothies keeps me hydrated while hunkered over the computer.
I miss water cooler office talk or just occasional in-person interaction with people. Sometimes it’s just faster to solve a problem, solidify understanding by walking across the floor and chat with the person. Phoning is a problem since my employer doesn’t provide several thousand employees with their own work cell phone. I don’t know other employees’ personal phone number unless I ask.
Social Distancing Drives Gangbuster Online Sales: Butcher Shop
Finally Jack’s son had his online ordering launched this mid-March, for his Toronto butcher shop. Internet online sales orders for meat, sausages, organic
eggs and gift certificates grew from a trickle to a steady modest stream up to even midnight –6 hours after the store has closed. In addition to walk-in customers for past 6 years, the store now provides curbside delivery for driving customers and direct home delivery. Additional delivery staff have been hired just to handle the volume.
Social isolation at home has inspired some meat hoarders, cooking enthusiasts and up to 40% increase in total sales over previous years during same time period.
Fast Internet Service – Just In Time
Thank goodness, last year I switched to a different telecommunications company for faster Internet service . Necessary now, when I’ve been working full-time from home for last 2.5 months. Otherwise, work videoconferencing for several meetings per week, would have been a disaster for me.
Appreciation of Health Care Workers, Other Essential Workers Always There
My gratitude for health care workers has a personal edge: I already have several siblings and other family members who are front line workers in hospitals and have been for many years. In our family, there are 2 doctors (emergency medicine, pediatric), hospital pharmacist, a patient intake-receptionist and information technology techie who all work in such facilities.
For many years I have been grateful, to draw upon their expertise in medicine and drugs. Yes, they must wear masks at work. Yes, they must clean or set aside their work clothing separately and take a shower immediately at home before doing anything else.
In downtown Vancouver in past few months, at 7:00 pm every evening, apartment and condo dwellers from their balcony and window, are cheering, clapping, bazooka blowing and clanging cooking pots for the health care workers. A cannon gun salute at Vancouver Harbour is blown off and tugboats blast their horns at the same time too.
You do get the sensation not only are the cheering folks are appreciative, but want to make happy, cheerful noise during this time death, sickness and restrictions.
Some day, we will go back to happier times. For now, we keep distance and hopefully are learning how to live better.