Nothing is Normal

I have been reading and watching as much as possible about the Black Lives Matter protests. Although I was already solidly on the side of the protesters, I am still learning a ton and reading everything I can that comes my way. Although the death of George Floyd was, sadly, not new or different or even shocking, I feel hopeful, like this time, things can really be different. I feel like people are listening, and making an effort to learn, and trying to figure out how to be actively anti-racist, not just bystanders. And I feel like the general tide of public opinion in both the United States and here in Canada is turning, in that I read lots of (eye-opening, compelling) arguments supporting people rioting, and it made sense, and the world really does feel like we have to burn it all down in order to get some half-decent change around here, so let’s do it.

I hope this means real and lasting change. I will continue to read and learn and be active in putting my money, votes, and voice where I can help.

In other news, the government of Ontario is now opening things up pretty widely. Starting this week, we can all get haircuts and the mall is open and we can go to the beach and the park. Just about everything is open now, except schools and big sports and concert arenas.

So like most families at this time, we are struggling with choosing between what is permitted, versus what we think is actually safe. I understand the need to open things up a bit, but it really does feel a little too soon – when you look at all the data and graphs, other countries who are opening up shops are far, far ahead of where North America is in terms of number of cases and number of deaths.

My husband and I are still working from home, and our kids are still doing school at home (but very much looking forward to the summer break). I’m still wearing a mask when I go out to do grocery shopping, but in the past two weeks I have expanded my weekly shopping trips to include a couple of other stores where I’d been putting off picking up a few needed items for a long time. We have finally made an orthodontist appointment for Gal Smiley, who broke her permanent retainer wire about six weeks ago, which I’m nervous about but they have strict separation and protection equipment rules in place so that’s a go, for now.

We’re considering expanding our bubble to include my sister and her husband who live here in town. Our youngest turns 13 in a couple of weeks and we are considering letting her invite one friend over for an afternoon, but that still seems radical and crazy. But perhaps we will just always feel that way now – that having people over is a dangerous thing, that going from store to store in a morning of errands is a bold and risky endeavour.

It looks like Sir Monkeypants will be working from home for several more months, at least – he can easily work from home and his company is in no rush to have people back. With school ending, the kids will be here just like always. So it looks like we’ll just Keep On Keeping On for the foreseeable future at least, keep watching the numbers, keep learning new things, keep trying not to panic, but rather to make safe choices and bold choices and choices for change and choices for life.

It’s all kind of a jumble right now. But we’ll get there.

8 thoughts on “Nothing is Normal

  1. We are in Phase 1 of re-opening and I’m still staying in and much as I can because I also feel it is too soon. But we have tentatively visited with our friends that we KNEW have been quarantined all this time. Like you, I’m keeping an eye on the numbers and hoping for the best.

    But I fear that if by opening too soon, it will be next to impossible to get people to quarantine again should it become necessary.

  2. I’m the opposite, I feel that we’re definitely not opening “too soon” but that it’s about bloody time. This is a respectful disagreement by the way, I’m absolutely not qualified to make public health decisions 😆 While I don’t miss shopping badly I do think we have to learn to live with the virus and I don’t see a perfect time to start. I’m probably biased because I saw Europe opening a month ago and it seems to be under control, which gives me a (maybe false) sense of hope.

  3. I so agree with you that George Floyd’s death is not anything new unfortunately, but it seems like people are changing their mindsets and tuning in a bit instead of just shrugging and acting like ‘this doesn’t impact me’. It is long overdue.

    Our kids have been out with friends gradually and at this point they are hanging with friends daily. Trying to keep them home feels like trying to herd cats. I am back to babysitting too so while I am not going out much- things are starting to feel a bit more normal.

  4. Marianne Tilton

    We are still keeping pretty isolated (minimal shopping trips, mostly curbside pick up, wearing masks) but are looking to start opening up to outdoor socially-distanced visits, including some for our kids. Jeff worked in the office last week for the first time since the end of March, and I have twice had access to my school to retrieve materials and pack up my classroom for the summer. We want to stay cautious and healthy, but also know that this is going to be a long stretch of restrictions and getting some in-person connections to other humans now can help us through the many months still to come.

  5. Shan

    We’ve done a couple of socially distanced outdoor visits and we are sticking with curbside pick up where we can. We are very content to keeping close to home. We typically have a lot of balls in the air, so we are very much enjoying the quiet and the slow pace. We are starting to go out a bit more in terms of errands with masks on. I also tend to think this is happening too soon, but also I appreciate that at some point we have to get on with it. I have also been watching, reading, listening and learning a lot in regards to the protests and am hopeful the wheels of change are starting to turn.

    1. Mark

      Amen to “enjoying the quiet and slow pace” after typically having a lot of balls in the air. It is very relaxing, if nothing else.

  6. bibliomama2

    I’m with you on the protests – I feel like, as with the MeToo movement, it feels like the needle might be ever-so-slightly moving a fraction in our favour, although the number of numbskulls on social media (a couple of whom are – or were until recently – my friends, unfortunately) are still spiking my blood pressure (HOW can someone be that willfully blind and ignorant HOW?). Also with you on the opening up procedures. Matt’s still working at home, I’m still “working” at home (it’s hard to do much meaningful work as a school librarian without the, you know, library), Eve is finishing up school. Angus is cleaning windows, but he wears a bandana as a mask if needed and drives himself. We have socialized a bit more, still social distancing mostly outside, and we’ve hugged my parents but they’re the only ones we’re bubbling with. Oddly, the summer weather is making everything feel worse to me right now, but hopefully that will pass.

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