“Thus each of us had to be content to live only for the day, alone under the vast indifference of the sky.”
― Albert Camus, The Plague
Well. We made it through the winter. Spring has brought with it new life. We stayed toasty, delightfully warm, although the water in our tank-fed supply froze a few times. No burst pipes so no worries. I figured out how to do yoga in a small space, unplug an RV toilet, and make dog treats in the Instant pot. Oh yeah, and due to a pre-coffee accident, I learned how to replace the (expensive) glass gas stovetop after I forgot to turn the burner off before putting the glass down over the propane stove in my zeal to pour my freshly brewed Moka pot coffee into a cup. By the way, if you love great coffee like I do, you need to get one of these little pots. No filter, no pods, no mess. Just amazing espresso-style coffee, really fast. Like, less than 5 minutes on my gas stove. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoLs_Zttmcg&w=560&h=315]
Last month, I was thinking it would be really hard to consider living in a house ever again. I am quite content in my tiny home, especially where it sits with an ocean view. The other day I watched cow-sized sea lions herding fish and trapping them in the shallow water close to the beach. The sea lions were well organized and stealthy and large areas of the water shimmered like countless thousands of silver sequins. Pretty soon small and large fish were flying everywhere in unsuccessful attempts to escape their inevitable fate as post-sport dinner for the giant sea lions. It was just amazing, and beautiful, and awe-inspiring to watch.
Birds, Bird Dogs, and Birds
Tonight Helen and I brought our chairs and blankets to the edge of the beach and drank wine and discussed the comings and goings of the fish and the thousands of gulls who have suddenly arrived to eat the herring roe. My bird dogs Annie and Jolene are beside themselves when we go outside now because of the huge number of gulls up and down the beach. Oh well, It’s always an opportunity to teach both dogs self-control around high-level distractions.
New Spring and New Life
In the past few weeks I have watched families driven together and held close by the COVID 19 pandemic response which has seen schools close, businesses shut their doors or limit hours, and has had an extraordinary and devastating effect on all normal life here. In other cases, family’s have been split by this virus. My new Granddaughter, Stella Grace presented herself to the world with all the promise of a tiny spring lily, but 12 weeks earlier than expected. Because of this, she remains in NICU the hospital. Because of Covid-19 her parents cannot visit her there, even after she had surgery. It’s already such an unthinkably difficult situation everywhere. And it will get worse before things improve.
Stay Home. Don’t Roam.
We are supposed to stay home and not go out. However I would estimate that only 2/3 of the local population considers that this strong request (put forth by those in charge of public health) applies to them. Many are out grocery shopping, trying to find a salon open to get hair and nails done, trying to find a restaurant that’s open (they’ve almost all closed their doors now). Public recreation facilities are all closed now. Last week, shoppers bought all the available rolls of toilet paper. Some people are hoarding literally hundreds of rolls of toilet paper. All the hand sanitizer is gone. Potatoes are a rare find. Our local store sells plastic bags with 1 lb of small red potatoes for $5 now. Shoppers are hoarding Hundreds of pounds of meat, beans, and other staples, as though they can protect themselves from a virus by having rotting mountains of food around them when they are supposed to stay away from other people.
A Virus and a way of life
This is an ugly virus. It doesn’t affect children, but causes horrible pneumonia in adults, especially those over 65, or with diabetes or obesity. According to Statistics Canada, Comox Valley’s population includes 17,080 people over 65. There are way over 17,080 vulnerable citizens in our area. There are 146 care beds in our local hospital. The hospital employees maintain that these will be more than adequate for their expected patients from COVID-19. Word has it that these beds are already full of patients with other illnesses, and I do not in any way feel assured that there are enough beds, equipment and staff to look after all the 100’s of people who could be stricken by this virus.
Clients still want me to train their dogs. I can’t in good conscience do so. I have set up some online classes to finish up my group classes before I leave the province, and I am offering online lessons to those who request them. I will be posting videos of how a train and exercise my own dogs during this time on my Youtube channel.
***Update: It is three days later. The number of COVID 19 cases have tripled, so there are now 37 known, tested cases on Vancouver Island. No one knows the true numbers though. The test kits are not widely available, so only a few people who show moderate to severe symptoms are tested. It’s transmissible for weeks without any symptoms at all though. So I suspect there are a lot of cases that aren’t reporting yet. Anyway, I drove to Comox last night, to do a final lesson on a reactive dog consultation. There was hardly anyone around, anywhere. There was very little traffic. Parking lots of stores were nearly empty. Suddenly, people are taking this all very seriously. The change has been so swift.
I expect with the spread of the virus we will soon be in lockdown. Unless an asteroid hits us first. I hadn’t considered being in lockdown when I began this venture. But hey- what’s the worst that could happen? I wonder if this is a new age where insanity will be the new normal for everyone, and any sane people will be rounded up and taken into isolation rooms to remove any remnants of sanity.