This weekend has been sunny, chilly, and uncharacteristically... eerie. Had a couple friends over Saturday night for what will likely be my last evening of in-person socialization for a good while. I just... didn't have the heart to cancel it. On Saturday afternoon the evening hangs didn't seem like a bad idea — but less than 24 hours later I'm no longer sure how wise it was, and even regretting it.
After a really bewildering grocery shopping session on Friday night (So many overjoyed children running around! Why were all the carrots gone, of all things?), we ran a few nonessential errands within walking distance of our home today: mainly yarn and more tea, to help keep hands busy and the mind clear as we get ready for best-case-scenario social distancing and worse-case-scenario quarantining ahead.
Because Montréal (and by extension, Québec) has a low amount of cases as of this writing, it feels — I hope, at least, fuck — like the city's still has time to prepare. I hope the proposed measures are effective. I can't stop wondering whether some of what I'm seeing, and measures I'm being told to implement are overreactions or underreactions. I'm really concerned about all the people who will be making enormous sacrifices for social distancing to really effectively flatten the curve: disabled or elderly or marginalised people who need community care and who will be so much more isolated; sex workers; artists; writers; conference and workshop-runners; community organizers; freelancers of all kinds; waiters and janitors; the list goes on. I can't stop thinking about who is going to be considered acceptable to leave behind. Many of my friends and colleagues are already hard-hit by cancellations that within the past week have them wondering how they'll survive on cancelled commitments, being laid off, or work indefinitely postponed. Canada's 1B dollar plan has no specific language or measures to take care of those of us working in the gig economy.
I'm also worried about my 83-year-old grandmother, who is going to be alone for the coming weeks, and I quite literally won't be able to be of much help.
I have a medical procedure that is going forward this week (last I checked it's still happening, but will be talking to a nurse Monday to reconfirm) and I've actually been planning since mid-January to take the next two weeks off work around that procedure. It's surreally bizarre to have this covid-19 virus pandemic suddenly get real within a few days of my medical leave, and to be honest, with my medical history (a shit show! a shit show on fire!), I am having an interesting time trying to stay calm and composed.
Books help: I just finished Proust's Duchess by Caroline Webber, am currently reading Wilkie Collin's The Moonstone, just started on Les exilés de Montparnasse from Jean-Paul Caracalla. Tea helps a lot: chamomile is my go-to for anxiety, Earl Grey with rose petals is my newest obsession because it's damn delicious!
Cooking also always helps me feel a bit better — I finally restoked our freezer with home made chicken stock (we actually just ran out of our reserves of homemade chicken stock, so the timing worked out) and bone broth; as well as roasted some cauliflower, onions, and potatoes — it's funny how on Sunday night all the food I "prepped" is already gone because it was so good (my friends who came over last night helped), but there's only actually so much cooking one can reasonably do in a weekend, and I'm very satisfied with what got done yesterday.
True to my last post, I've been trying to find moments to get back into a textile practice. When my tendinitis wasn't too unmanageable and painful, I endeavoured to finish a shawl I started in early March:
So, that's that, really. I don't know what the next few weeks are going to look like outside the confines of my own small, narrow existence, but I have been planning to go on medical leave for this procedure and then recover more or less in isolation afterwards. If I have time and energy, there are a handful of potential blog posts I might try to crank out before my procedure: chiefly a blog post on the tisanes and ingredients I use for healing, and another blog post on strategies to work from home from the perspective of someone whose health issues have essentially forced them to work from home for years. Elsewhere on the writing front, I'm ashamed to admit I've been neglecting my creative writing for the same old, same old writing block insecurity bullshit. I'll dredge the rivers of my creative soul one day, and figure out what's holding me back, like how Chihiro helps that River Kami in Miyazaki's Spirited Away.
I hope you've been doing well — whoever you are: old friend, or longtime reader of this blog, or perhaps you stumbled in here by accident and have no idea where you are. I wish you the best possible outcomes for this harrowing situation. I dearly wish for all of us to get through this even more in solidarity with one another other, and even stronger convictions that we can build a better world for each other.
End of personal log.