On March 14th, 2020 my partner and I returned from the Bahamas and a lovely, relaxing vacation; entering into a world straight out of a Hollywood movie. This is an extraordinary and unprecedented time in history and no one is unaffected by this pandemic. As the infection grows and spreads, I have yet to leave my home other than to walk my dog, and even then it is quick and every effort made to avoid every other human. We were recommended to self-isolate for 14 days following our trip but truthfully, I feel that it is the only option to successfully flatten the curve and wish more would do it too. My mother, aunt and friends are kindly getting supplies for us and it is heart-breaking having to chat to them half way down my hall, after they’ve left the items at our door. We try to only ask for things if people are already out getting items for themselves and don’t want to feel responsible for exposing others unnecessarily. Also, thank goodness for delivery services and the brave people who continue to support the community. It is unrealistic to not have anyone out, as food is imperative but limiting the exposed population is extremely important. It goes without saying how exceptional those on the front line are and how vital they are; such as doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital workers.
As a Pilates instructor, my livelihood has been undeniably compromised and my entire profession is learning new ways to provide service to our clients and communities. Businesses you would never have considered prior are finding new and creative ways to bring their services online. This virus is creating a whole new, albeit challenging, world of commerce that will no doubt change the way businesses are run forever. I take comfort knowing that we are all in this together though and that most are experiencing financial uncertainty and worry during this time. My father always said, it’s only money. On his death bed he said “I guess I lived my life the right way” and I always remembered it. He had a fair bit of debt but he also lived his life and did the things he wanted, knowing time with family and the joy of his hobbies was more valuable to him. Of course, debt is not ideal and limits you in many ways and finances differ person to person but especially in times like this, it’s just money and your health and life is more important. I’m very thankful we live in a country where our government is trying to find ways to help our citizens.
Personally, I began a podcast about a month ago entitled Femicide, my first venture into the true crime arena, and I’m discovering much more time to channel my energy into it. We’ve also cleaned our entire kitchen, getting years of stubborn grease off the side of our fridge (finally!) and organizing loads. Our new motto is “time no longer exists”, as we wake when we feel and eat when we are hungry. There is something freeing about no longer having the constraints of time and scheduling to dictate my day. I’ve got a few more projects to complete around the apartment and another podcast episode in the works, as this quarantine does not yet seem to have an ending in sight. Yesterday I ordered two new books to read as well, feel good rom-com time novels that I tend to gravitate to. I prefer novels that I don’t have to overthink and are “easy reads”. There are plenty of courses or classes also being offered, not to mention the endless universe that is YouTube, that is chalk full of informative videos ripe for the choosing. You can cook, bake, learn an instrument, learn coding, learn a language, learn to garden; basically anything your little heart desires.
Alternatively, you can choose not to be productive and use this time to veg out and (attempt) to relax on the sofa, binge watching the entirety of Netflix. We’ve definitely had these days too, which is absolutely fine and completely needed some days. It is not a bad thing to take some time to not think, in fact, it is a necessity once in a while. Do not discount these days!
The most important thing is to stay safe and take the necessary steps to help flatten the curve. Washing hands, sanitizing, social distancing and most crucially staying home. Self-isolating is vital and I understand needed to go out for supplies, etc. but if it’s not essential, then stay home. I hear so many stories of people venturing out because they are bored inside or waiting in line ups at the shops; that is, simply put, irresponsible. Fresh air and vitamin D is a requirement, absolutely, but there are plenty of outdoor spaces where you do not need to be near a single human. Go for a drive with the windows down, go for a walk on an empty beach or a hike in the woods. Be smart about venturing out and if there happens to be people around, unfortunately that means you need to go back home. End of story. If we do not take these precautions seriously now, we will not have a choice in the near future. There is no other option for this to become worse before it becomes better, that is just facts but we can impact the severity and duration of this virus. Hopefully returning to our normal existence, sooner rather than later.
xo Shawn Marie