Cooped up and coping.

COVID 19 has affected everyone differently, I guess. Some love the chance to isolate, some hate it, some would be fine with it, except their entire family is isolating WITH them, and that’s no fun. Like a lot of guys my age, I expected the apocalypse to have zombies in it, so I have spent some time considering the need to metaphorically pull up the drawbridge. It’s nice to have the option to walk the dogs without also carrying weaponry (saying this now, aware it may not age well…)

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We’re very fortunate on many counts – our corner of BC is voluntarily self-isolating, rather than being in lockdown. We can still visit grocery stores and there’s things to buy when we get there. Mrs Dim is able to work from home, ad though I’ve been laid off from the library, I have the option of EI or the CERB when my money runs out. In the meantime I get to play teacher for Tiny Weasel, tidy up all those long-term DIY jobs, and the plethora of other ones that have sprung up now that Mrs Dim has a little more time to stride around the house.

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And, as other people have pointed out, it’s Spring. We have the cheering sight of nature waking up around us (including bears, of course) and the weather is warmer, and sunnier than it has been for a while. We get to remodel the top of the creek bank, and if my tennis elbow ever clears up, I can take that carload of rubbish to the tip.

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The other thing that reminds us how lucky we are is our contact with the outside world. I’m used to Skyping with my Mum and Dad back in the UK, but these days Mrs Dim has been video conferencing with her whole family once a week. That means family in the UK, in Greece and in Washington State. Every one of them is in Lockdown, with trips outside severely restricted.

We don’t know when things will change, but I think everyone is accepting the idea that they will simply change, not “go back to normal”. This weird interlude has upended so many aspects of normal life that it seems impossible things can go back to the way they were. I hope the good parts, like remote working access for disabled people, become the norm, but I worry that the gratitude being showered upon the health workers and delivery personnel will evaporate when the time comes to give it a more concrete reward than clapping. The NHS may have saved Boris’ life, but I truly believe he cares more about his bank account, and that’s being cared for by lobbyists.

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Like many folks, I’m not finding the constant anxiety, crowded house and gloomy news broadcasts very conducive to creativity. I still have scripts to read and appraise, and I still have writing projects of my own to work on, but I find the more mechanical task of appraisal easier than writing something new. I’m trying to learn 3d modelling from free youtube tutorials, and my wooden AT AT toy is…. well, I’ve nearly got all four legs on, let’s say no more than that. Each day is an adventure, but I’m using the word the way Rincewind the Wizard would. Adventures are uncomfortable, awkward and sometimes terrifying things, best viewed from a distance.

Wherever you are, and whoever you’re there with, I hope you’re remembering to be kind to yourself. This isn’t normal life, and anyone who’s expecting you to act like it is can be safely ignored as a dangerous loon. With whatever methods at your disposal, check in on your friends and neighbours, not least because that means they’ll be able to see you’re alive too. And if you’re looking for a reason to be grateful… well, there AREN’T any zombies.

Yet.

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