I’ve been in unofficial (and then official) quarantine for three weeks now. Thankfully, my leftover cough from my horrific flu in February is gone. No fever. No cough. I’m OK. Still teaching a few students, but we’ve made some big changes. My new classroom is our old study room, and each kid gets a table all to themselves. Public school was supposed to return from spring break on Monday, but it’s been postponed indefinitely. I don’t believe they’ll go back before September.
It’s Thursday, though the only way I can be sure of that is looking at the menu bar on my desktop. My RSS reader of choice, NetNewsWire, has a weird bug that backdates all my blog posts by a full day, only adding to the time dilation of quarantine. Many of our days have been cloudy and grey, so the sun is no help with the time. It even hailed this morning.
My job has slowly diminished as COVID-19 spread across BC—from my usual 12 hours/week to 6 to just 4 this week. But where this would have caused me stress last year, I’ve had a small financial cushion to keep paying my rent, and now that tax refunds are coming out, and the government is providing help, I know I’m OK for now.
(That’s me in my new classroom, with my new friends.)
I’ve been uncharacteristically unstressed about all of this. Yes, I’m a homebody who loves my solitude, but the weather has also been spring-like, and usually I’d be hiking on my days off. I’ve been struggling, but not worried about it? My brain hasn’t been catastrophising, especially not in the last weeks as it seems like, locally, we have a handle on things. I know how lucky I am to live in a place with the support of socialism, with our small, spread-out population, with my parents close whenever I need help.
A common refrain I’ve heard—from folks my age and younger—is that we were just getting our lives together when this happened. I definitely felt like 2020 was gonna be a good year for me—finally taking some big steps and acting on long-held ambitions. But I’m also very OK with letting go of the old normal because that’s what needed to happen. (I’ve been joking that my farmers market biz was already apocalypse-proof; I just didn’t realise it would be relevant so soon.)
The heart of everything I create has always been DIY. The heart of this new normal to which we’re headed is going to be DIY.
The last few years, I’ve chosen a word—a theme—to guide the year. At the start of 2020, I chose CONTINUE. Some plans have changed (XOXO is cancelled, concerts have been postponed), but others will continue. It would be so easy to cancel everything, but the White Rock Farmers Market will CONTINUE. We open May 3rd, a Sunday, with modifications. If you’re not ready for our new DIY world, I can help.
My obsession with traditional crafting means I already had a sourdough starter ready to share once everyone decided to bake bread at home. I had already turned my focus to the local environment—salt made from Crescent Beach, flour milled in Chilliwack, herbs grown in my own backyard. I was ready for this paradigm shift that we never actually wanted to witness. But we’re here now. We’re going to CONTINUE. I can’t take your hand, but you can follow me.