Cathy Austin October’20

Bubble Life

By Cathy Austin

In the before-times we went about our day barely thinking about the spread of illnesses. We’d get up, have breakfast, read the paper or watch the news, shower and go about our day doing whatever it is we all do. During these pandemic days we think carefully about everything from the moment we get up and plan for a grocery shopping adventure to dressing for a walk. Our masks are always on or at the ready and we have sanitizer in our pockets. The after-times are making us keenly aware of our surroundings, other people, and ourselves. Ah, life in the bubble… an adventure with possibilities!

We have lived in a bubble of two, just me and the hubby, since COVID-19 came. Masked up in the driveway we enjoy quick visits from friends and family, kindnesses from our neighbours, and lots of waving safely to others who pass up and down our street. The highlight of these visits was seeing our two great-grandsons on my hubby’s birthday in early September. The surprise visit from my stepdaughter and granddaughter delighted us no end, masked up, naturally. The boys are quite good at wearing their masks and we had a nice hour-long visit in the driveway. It is a new way to visit, sure, but we can still laugh and share!

As all dear to us have their own children or family to care for, we’re keeping safe in our wan little circle. We are going out only for groceries and walks, checking on some older friends up the street, and staying off transit. Whatever we can’t get at the grocery store we order online: books, yarn, and as we are in for a long winter, fresh bed pillows arrived last week. Amazing what we’ve learned to live without– if you don’t see it you won’t buy it! Big items, should we need any, our kids will bring to us. We are working together, as family and friends, to stay safe.

Way back in the spring I lamented about having no annuals to plant, but now I have no worries. I now have, ta-dah! Potatoes! Yes indeed, I planted some old taters with eyes that I forgot about in the cold closet in our rec room (our neighbour got us a big bag, too much for us back in March). Another pot is spilling over in a big bushy green bunch with flowers. I can’t wait to pull them up in a couple more weeks. The wildflower seeds I tossed in a variety of pots have also taken off and keep on blooming! We’ve enjoyed our yard and garden more than ever this summer, got some long needed chores done because we had days on end to get to them, and have read a lot of books with no distractions– unless you count watching sparrows and cardinals in the bird bath a distraction. We’ve gone for a quick picnic in our local park, too.

We’ve each of us reacted in different ways to living during this pandemic. For us, having once lived a retail life for over 20 years and during that time experienced SARS, we immediately knew the importance of stocking up when COVID-19 hit. We continue to get bulky items each grocery day to save bundle buggy space for other needed items. The second wave will hit, and we aim to be prepared. We’ve tins on hand, food in the freezer, flour, books, yarn and most importantly, good health going into the fall and winter. We’ve stayed safe and sound. Like everyone, we are a bit frazzled at times, but putting it all into perspective we know we can only control what’s in our own house. So we chill, breathe deep, exhale, smile, and go forward.

Bubble life will be the norm for the coming months. It’s the new normal. Let’s continue to hang in, stay safe, and be well.