My blog buddy Debra, She Who Seeks, was asking if now that we have the Atlantic Bubble (effective July 3rd) I would be joining the lemming-like rush over to Costco in Moncton. Well now Debra I like Kirkland peanut butter but not as much as all that. Our “bubble” has been expanded to encompass the entire Martimes but I think I’ll just stay where I am and enjoy summer – once it comes – here on Prince Edward Island. I only wish the news were a bit more reassuring.
For over two months now there had been no known cases of COVID-19 on the Island until, unfortunately, this past weekend. Three cases were reported on Saturday and another two on Sunday. It appears to be a “cluster” of people all known to each with the nucleus being someone returning home to PEI from Nova Scotia. We have been assure that the cases are mild and in two cases asymptomatic and that the individuals are going into quarantine. And in a politically wise move we have been reminded by our Premier that this all this occurred before the Atlantic Bubble came into effect. As Dr Heather Morrison, our remarkable Public Health Officer, said yesterday it was bound to happen it’s just a disappointment that it has happened so soon. But given that very few people wear masks, social distancing has been forgotten – where are the nuns with the tape measure when you need them? – and gatherings have become increasingly larger it is no surprise. Our good fortune over the last few months has led us to a sense of complacency which is as dangerous in its own way as the recklessness we are seeing in other places.
Several weeks before we started our entry into the “new normal” a young acquaintance, perhaps understandably frustrated after being cooped up, declared that many of us were “so afraid of dying that you have stopped living!” I pondered that accusation – and it was meant as an accusation – carefully before formulating a response.
Was she right? Was my staying at home, avoiding social contact, and following the guidelines all founded on a fear of dying? I can honestly say no! I have lived my promised three score and ten years and a while back I made my peace with the knowledge that there are fewer days before me than behind me. I’d rather not right now thank you but I am not afraid of dying. However I would rather not die in a hospital, pierced with tubing, drugged into a coma, surrounded by strangers in protective equipment or even worse alone. And if doing the things I was doing put the odds in favour of not going that way than I’m all for it.
Had I indeed “stopped living”? No! What I was doing was living differently and adapting to new conditions. But then I have done that all my life. Any time we have moved – and as most of you are aware we have moved often – I have had to adapt to new circumstances, new cultures, new laws, new rules, new people, often a new language and new ways of doing things. This time I had not changed locale but the conditions of life were changing so I adapted – not always easily but change I did as I have so often before.
Lest I sound like a superannuated Pollyanna you can be assured that these musings have not been the result of an emotionless, drama-free four months. There have been a disproportionate number of sleepless nights, strange dreams, bouts of depression, irrational rages and a full menu of angst and anxiety. And with the uncertainty of the times that angst and anxiety remains. I was pleased to see that my favourite psychiatrist the good Dr Spo, a handsome gentleman well over five foot five upon whose couch I would happily recline, has a few gentle words to pass on about coping with some of the worry and anxiousness that uncertainty brings: How to cope with covid. As with anything he writes it is more than worth the reading.
In the meantime this weekend’s reports suggest that perhaps a few more changes will have to be made to “living”. So make them I will.
*Laurent has suggested that no one will have the slightest idea who Miss Sally Rand was, and he may be right. Might a suggest that a look at her original – well not quite as in this version she remains demurely clothed – Bubble Dance.
The word for July 7th is:
Anxiety /aŋˈzʌɪəti/: [noun]
1.1 A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
1.2 Psychiatry: A nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks.
1.3 +Infinitive: Strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
Early 16th century from French anxiété or Latin anxietas, from anxius (anxious).