Covid Chronicles: Stories of the Pandemic -- Experiences for History:
Covid19 comes calling early and changed much - sample entry.
“I have COVID”. Certainly, these were the words we did not to hear from one of our adult children and who also works in the family business. She was one of the very first to be diagnosed here in March of 2020 and was probably infected during a foreign trip. As close contacts, we were ordered by the Health Unit to quarantine immediately. She had to stay home separate from her partner while we were checked on every day by the Health Unit to determine if we might exhibit any symptoms. It was a tense time as you might imagine. Our financial industry business being designated as “essential” required us to locate to the office which is just a short walk from our residence but had to send other staff home. We were able to deal with clients by e-mail, fax, phone, Zoom and regular mail but keep the door always closed to the public. Our family Covid patient was very sick and recorded her experience below:
She is still experiencing some aftereffects. Those who feel this virus is not serious are very wrong and vaccination is important.
After a few weeks we began to function in the new environment with having half of the staff working from home and the other half in the office. While there was a financial impact the workload had not decreased and, we were working longer hours as many clients had financial concerns that needed to be addressed and as well as tax filings required to be submitted, thankfully the filing deadline was extended. We undated our website to include the latest pandemic information and available resources from governments federal, provincial, and local. We had planned for a celebration of our 20th anniversary for clients, family and friends in our present office location but looks like it is going to be in 2022 to celebrate 22 years?
We had enough supplies at home to get us through the first couple of weeks and then we ordered online to pick up groceries and other needed items from retail outlets doing curb site pickups. As for eating we often worked late, and many restaurants closed early so even pick up was not possible. Normally we would eat our at least a couple of times a week at various restaurants.
With six kids we have a large family plus Linda’s relatives and mine in southern Ontario and out west from Thunder Bay to Vancouver Island. Only two kids are in Sudbury the rest plus grandkids are “away” as are the other relatives so it was through Zoom and telephone that we keep in touch. One family from down south did manage to visit last summer 2020 outside with masks on (taken off for pizza) and we did manage to get to see some friends locally at safe distance, but it certainly was not normal with all festivals and other entertainment not taking place, restaurant dining restricted as was shopping and depending on government and health unit pronouncements more shutdowns and limitations from time to time. I would venture out at times to do essential banking and mailing for the business plus grocery shopping masked of course and noticed almost everyone with face coverings. I was surprised how many people recognized me with my mask on – I guess I would make a very poor robber. One son and one older granddaughter were affected by the pandemic and waiting to get back to work.
Because of the long hours and weekend work the time did pass rather quickly. We just had time at night to eat, feed the cats, watch some TV (Netflix and Prime) then sometimes the news and then bed to start over again – Linda up before 6 every day while I try for around 8. We had some exercise equipment put in at the house and office as gyms were closed – Linda does the exercising which I try to avoid. There was time for some work around the house during the weekend but still time every day at the office. It did seem a bit strange no having to go out to events, especially on the weekend. Linda and I are fairly involved in the arts, attending exhibitions, concerts, plays etc. and it seemed a bit strange that this was all shut down. However, the fall of 2020 we did take part in some jazz concerts downtown which went well even though social distancing keep us apart. As chair of the Blueberry Festival ran a Blue is Beautiful contest and the entries can be seen on the website www.blueberryfestival.ca. Linda as Chair of the Arts Council conducted a very successful on-line course in business planning for artists. I rather enjoyed Zoom calls with those in various organizations belonged to - no need to get out of the house, drive to the meeting and then back again sometimes at night when I don't see that well and of course no going out in bad weather. I rather suspect this may continue. Also conferences on-line easy to attend. I still want to get together for lunch with friends and some in person meetings still needed but perhaps not so much.
At this writing Linda and I are waiting for our second vaccine “shot” and hopefully a return to whatever the new normal will be. We rather suspect that there will be relief but caution as things “open up”. As has been said we “live in interesting times” for sure and we never know what the future may bring.
John Lindsay Chair, Blueberry Festival.
Note: This report is just an example - not part of the "event" qualifying for a prize.